High winds suspend play at Shell Houston

By Associated PressApril 2, 2009, 4:00 pm
2007 Shell Houston OpenHUMBLE, Texas ' The first round of the Shell Houston Open was suspended because of high winds on Thursday afternoon with only half the 72-player field on the course. The round will resume on Friday morning.
 
A morning thunderstorm postponed the start of the tournament by 2 1/2 hours. Play was then stopped at 12:50 p.m. because of winds that were strong enough to move balls on the slippery greens before players could mark them. The round was suspended for the day at 3 p.m. after wind gusts reached 50 mph.
 
It was kind of a situation where we couldnt conduct the competition properly this afternoon, PGA tournament director Mark Russell said.
 
Lee Westwood shot a 4-under 32 on the front nine to take a two-shot lead before the horns sounded across the course. Westwood sank 18-foot birdie putts on the first two holes, then added a 45-footer on the par-3 ninth.
 
He was ready to hit a 15-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole when a tournament official warned him that play was about to be stopped.
 
I said, Oh, so I can putt it now while its unplayable, or come back in the morning, when theres no wind on the greens, he said. Let me think about that.
 
The National Weather Service measured sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph on Thursday morning. The service issued a wind advisory in the area to remain in effect until 7 p.m.
 
The wind delay was the first on the PGA Tour since the final round of the 2007 Verizon Heritage Classic at Hilton Head was suspended until Monday.
 
You dont often get weather delays without a cloud in the sky, thats for sure, Westwood said.
 
The Houston event drew a star-studded field, with 15 of the top-20 players in the world rankings here to fine-tune their games before next weeks Masters. Organizers have tried to set up the Tournament Course at Redstone with conditions simulating Augusta ' fast greens and light rough.
 
Westwood said the speed of the greens contributed to the stoppage.
 
Thats been the problem, really, the pace of the greens, he said. Once the wind started blowing as strongly as it did, there was no way the ball could stand still.
 
Westwood held a two-shot lead over a pack of eight players at 2 under.
 
Big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros didnt cope with the wind quite so well, ballooning to 9-over par through 12 holes before the delay. Playing in the first group of the day, Quiros hit only three fairways with his first seven tee shots and drove into the water on the par-4 11th for a double bogey.
 
Phil Mickelson also struggled, shooting 3-over through eight holes. Greg Norman, making a rare appearance on the regular tour, hit an approach to about six feet on the par-4 18th, but as he walked up to the green, the winds blew the ball to the fringe, about nine feet away from the hole. Norman was even through eight holes.
 
You know, I know they probably shouldve known the weather conditions were going to come in, said Norman. Ive been in this situation before, where we had to halt play. Its not an anomaly. Its just one of those things where well go back.
 
Rory McIlroy, Geoff Ogilvy, Anthony Kim and Vijay Singh were among the players who did not tee off on Thursday.
 
With a favorable weekend forecast, tournament officials were optimistic about finishing the event on Sunday. But Russell didnt expect to complete the third round on Sunday morning.
 
We dont need any more interruptions, Russell said. Its going to be kind of crazy. Were going to have to start at daylight and play till dark.
 

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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.