Garrett Out Front Webb Two Back

By Associated PressFebruary 8, 2008, 5:00 pm
Ladies European TourGOLD COAST, Australia -- Australian Nikki Garrett holed a bunker shot for eagle and finished with a 5-under-par 67 Friday to take a one-stroke lead over 10 players after the opening round of the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters.
 
Garrett, the 2006 Ladies European Tour rookie of the year and winner of back-to-back tournaments last year in Spain, had two birdies on the back nine at Royal Pines.
 
Her eagle came on the par-five 5th when her sand wedge from more than 118 feet checked on the green and rolled the final 33 feet into the cup.
 
The large group one stroke back with 68s were England's Lisa Hall and Johanna Head, Taiwan's Tseng Ya-ni, Australia's Kristie Smith, Shani Waugh, Leah Hart, Stephanie Na and Vicky Thomas, South Korea's Shin Hyun-ju and Spain's Tania Elosegui.
 
Smith, an amateur and daughter of former Australian pro Wayne Smith, upstaged the two other players in her group Friday. Six-time Masters champion Karrie Webb and 2006 winner Amy Yang of South Korea both shot 69s to be in a group of 14 two strokes back that included Americans Carri Wood and Diana D'Alessio.
 
The tournament was reduced to 54 holes after rain washed out Thursday's first round. A 36-hole cut will be made after Saturday's second round, with the top 65 players and ties advancing to Sunday's final round.
 
'After all the rain the course has had in the last week, it's not really that wet out there and the greens are perfect,' said Garrett, who was in the first group of the day. 'I was pretty relaxed going out there. I like the 6:40 (a.m.) tee-off. It was a great way to start the tournament.'
 
Garrett was playing in the same group as three-time former champion Laura Davies of England and South Korea's Shin Ji-yai, who lost in a playoff last week to Webb in the Australian Open at Melbourne's Kingston Heath.
 
Davies and Shin Ji-yai, who was second to Webb here last year, each had 70s, as did Japanese star Ai Miyazato.
 
Webb, who also started her round on the 10th, had two bogeys and two birdies in her opening nine but had a run of four straight birdies from holes 2 through 5 before bogeying No. 7.
 
She was in danger of doing the same on the par-four 8th when her tee shot went into trees on the right side of the fairway. But Webb hit a low 4-iron under a tree and onto the green to about 15 feet and two-putted for par.
 
'I always feel like the front nine is where you can make your score,' Webb said. 'I didn't play all that well on my first nine -- it was pretty ugly -- and I thought if I could get three or four in the bag, I'd be on my way.'
 
Smith, who plans to turn professional later this year and will attempt to get her LPGA Tour card for 2009, has had a stomach virus for about a week and was happy to have an extra day to recover when Thursday's round was canceled.
 
She was also unable to practice early in the week due to heavy rain.
 
'I haven't been feeling well the past couple of days, so this is a bonus really,' Smith said. 'It's been a very unusual week -- I've been here since Sunday and I haven't seen the course until Friday.'
 
Yang, who recently graduated from high school on the Gold Coast after moving to Australia from South Korea three years ago, was 5-under with four holes to play when she took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 6th hole.
 
After going in the water with her approach shot, her problems continued on the green when she missed a tap-in of about four inches for a three-putt.
 
Miyazato, who finished second to Webb at Royal Pines in 2005 by one stroke, started on the back nine, bogeying the par-three 11th and getting a birdie on the par-three 16th before three birdies and a bogey on the front.
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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.