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Henderson cruises in New Zealand Women's Open

By Associated PressOctober 2, 2017, 12:03 am

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Brooke Henderson won the weather-delayed New Zealand Women's Open on Monday, finishing off a 3-under 69 for a five-stroke victory.

The 20-year-old Canadian led by four shots through six holes Sunday when the final round was suspended after a day of heavy rain, high wind and threatened lightning strikes. She returned Monday morning to the Windross Farm course and easily held off China's Jing Yan for her second LPGA tour victory of the season and fifth overall.

Henderson finished at 17-under 271. She also won the Meijer LPGA Classic in June in Michigan.

''I was feeling pretty comfortable out there and I was just trying to keep it at minus 17 as long as I could,'' Henderson said after receiving the trophy, $195,000 winner's check and a ceremonial feather cloak presented by indigenous Maori. ''I had a couple of bogeys but made a lot of birdies and it was probably some of the best golf I've played in a while.


Full-field scores from the McKayson New Zealand Open


''I'm super excited to win outside North America for the first time and glad it could be here in New Zealand.''

Henderson said the relatively short Windross Farm course was not ideally suited to her game and she was pleased to show she could win on such a layout and ''in pretty terrible weather conditions.''

''I felt like the pressure was really off of me this week was possibly why I got off to such a fast start,'' she said. ''To play so well on this golf course was just incredible.

''I'm just so happy to win here. My season has been kind of up and down, steady for the most part. I got a lot of questions early in the year but now to get my second wind is great going into the last five events I'm going to play.''

The weather remained troublesome Monday with strong wind making low scoring difficult. Henderson mastered the conditions, birdieing three of the first five holes and turning for home five shots clear.

Yan shot a 71. South Korea's Hee Young Park was third at 11 under after a 69.

American Jennifer Song had the best round, a 68, to finish fourth at 10 under.

New Zealand star Lydia Ko closed double bogey-triple bogey for a 75 to tie for 22nd at 5 under.

''I played really solid apart from the last two holes,'' Ko said. ''I made an eagle on 15; I hit it really close and I thought I might have actually hit it in the water. It was a tough finish, but overall I felt really solid, a lot of positives.''

Ko defended the decision to play on in marginal weather conditions Sunday.

''Week to week we just have to go with it and they're trying to do the best for us,'' Ko said.

Henderson had an early bogey Monday on the par-4 eighth hole, then parred the next four and got to 17 with a birdie on the par-3 13th. By the 14th, the wind had picked up and was making it hard to hit the narrow fairways at the newly established course built on farmland east of Auckland. The wetlands layout featured bristling rough and water off the fairways but Henderson, with sister Brittany on her bag, was able to stay out of trouble and to maintain a lead that peaked at six shots.

She bogeyed the tricky par-4 16th and finished a birdie on the par-5 18th.

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.