Garcia takes over control at Tour Championship

By Associated PressSeptember 27, 2008, 4:00 pm
THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 LogoATLANTA ' Sergio Garcia enjoyed an amazing turnaround Saturday against Anthony Kim in the Tour Championship, and it had nothing to do with the Ryder Cup.
 
Garcia shot 3-under 67 to go from a three-shot deficit on the front nine to a three-shot lead through 54 holes, leaving him poised to become only the third player to capture The Players Championship and the Tour Championship in the same year.
 
Garcia was at 8-under 202 and will play in the final pairing Sunday with Phil Mickelson, who made some long par putts and just enough birdies for a 69, giving him a chance to end his year on a strong note.
 
Six days after Kim crushed Garcia in the leadoff singles match at the Ryder Cup, the 23-year-old American looked as if he would get the best of Garcia again with six straight one-putt greens. But Kim hit only four fairways, and his wildness caught up with him.
 
I dont know anyone that could have fixed that golf swing, Kim said. I was just trying to hit it in the right areas of the rough.
 
The worst of it came on the ninth, when his tee shot hit a 48-year-old man in the forehead on the fly, opening a 2-inch gash that spilled blood on the Bermuda rough. The fan, David Whitfield of Atlanta, was taken to a hospital, but he never lost consciousness and appeared to be in good spirits.
 
Kim gave the mans wife a golf ball that he signed with a note: Sorry.
 
Garcia birdied the par-5 ninth to catch Kim, and he pulled away with a birdie on the par-5 15th.
 
Obviously, AK wasnt on his A-game, Garcia said. I still feel like he scrambled nicely. He got some putts going in the beginning. I managed to make some birdies and played solidly.
 
Kim wound up with a 72 and was three shots behind.
 
Those two young stars in the final group of the third round finally brought some energy to the post-Ryder Cup blues at East Lake, although anyone hopeful of a rematch would have been sorely disappointed.
 
They were laughing and chatting from the start, especially on the first green when Garcia asked if he should move his ball mark.
 
He gave me of those looks like, I dont need to hit it that far left. And he actually hit the left side of the coin, Garcia said. It was one of those funny things that happen.
 
There wasnt much humor early on.
 
Garcia was closer to the cup on the first four holes ' twice for birdie while Kim was trying to save par ' and Kim wound up expanding his lead. Even Kim had to laugh on the fourth, when his approach from the rough came out so hot that it wound up 35 yards over the green, leaving him no shot to a back pin. His chip rolled down the ridge 30 feet away, and he holed it for par.
 
Garcia offered a wry smile, but he never got down.
 
Theres no doubt he got off to a good start with his putter, made some good putts early on and kind of went in front of me, Garcia said. But I was just staying patient. I knew that my game was in good shape.
 
Kim was errant off the tee no matter what club was in his hand, and he was fortunate to lose only one shot on the par-3 sixth when his fall wound up right of the green, off the slope and into the water. Garcia closed the gap to one shot with a 12-foot birdie on the seventh, then took the momentum on the ninth.
 
It was an ugly scene, with Whitfield on his back covering the 2-inch gash, and Kim pacing as the paramedics arrived.
 
I thought I killed him, Kim said. It was an awful feeling to look down and see a golf ball-sized impression in his forehead and its cut open. It was probably the nastiest thing Ive ever seen. It didnt affect my golf game. I still played the way I would ' I was hitting it terrible, anyway. I was hoping and praying that hed be OK.
 
Garcia fell one behind with his only bogey of the round on the 13th, but the third round turned in his favor.
 
Kim three-putted for bogey on the 14th, took three putts from just off the green on the par-5 15th as Garcia made birdie, then hit his approach off a corporate tent on the 16th and had to scramble for bogey.
 
Mickelson, who saved par from 35 feet on the 11th, briefly joined them in the lead with a birdie at the 15th, only to miss the fairway into thick rough on the next hole and drop a shot. Even so, he has been lurking around the leaders all week and worked his way into the final pairing on a course where he won in 2000.
 
Its fun to be in the last group, Mickelson said. Im looking forward to it. I know its going to be difficult. Im spotting Sergio three shots. I know how well hes been playing, so itll be a difficult round for me to get it done.
 
Camilo Villegas had a 69 and was at 3-under 207, while Ben Curtis (68) and Robert Allenby (67) were another shot back.
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.