Immelman Happy to be in the Shadows

By Associated PressJune 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are all for it.
 
Trevor Immelman says hed pay to watch it'or at the very least, snag a media credential to follow along.
 
The USGAs decision to pair Woods, Mickelson and Adam Scott'Nos. 1-2-3 in the world ranking'in the first two rounds of this weeks U.S. Open at Torrey Pines has raised both interest and eyebrows. Its a terrific pairing, for sure, but some are wondering if fans will care about any of the other golfers who will be playing the clifftop South Course on Thursday and Friday.
 
When someone on Tuesday suggested that 75 percent of the fans would be interested in the pairing, Immelman, the Masters champion, revised that number upward.
 
Yeah, well, I think 100 percent of the fans will be following them, not 75, and, yeah, I would definitely watch them, Immelman said during his pre-Open news conference. I mean, I would pay to watch Tiger play golf, absolutely. Hes something we may never see again. But the thing about him that I find more incredible is the way that he handles everything that goes on around him and the grace at which he handles things. The way he treats people around him.
 
Hes the ultimate champion from start to finish, on the golf course and off the golf course. Theres no doubt about it Id pay to watch him play.
 
Asked if hed be willing to fight the crowd to do that, Immelman quickly thought of a Plan B.
 
Maybe Id get some sort of media credential from one of you. I dont often see many of you guys out there, he cracked. But I would probably walk the course.
 
Immelman said he did just that during the weekend of the 2003 U.S. Open, when he missed the cut but followed Woods on Saturday.
 
I saw him hit probably five or six shots that day.
 
Did Woods see him?
 
No, Immelman answered.
 
The key, Immelman said, is location.
 
Id strategically position myself some way, so I could see them come up a green or go down a fairway.
 
Woods, whos won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines six times, including the last four, said the pairing is exciting for the fans, exciting for the players. We all are looking forward to it. I havent heard one negative thing about it yet. Were usually spread out. You dont get pairings like that until maybe Saturday or Sunday.
 
Mickelson, whos won the Buick Invitational three times, think its awesome.
 
I wish that we had it more, he said. I havent in the past liked the way the PGA Tour puts us on opposite ends every week. I think its great that a major championship has us paired together, because usually one end of the tee times has an advantage over the other.
 
Woods, Mickelson and Scott will go off at 8:06 a.m. PDT Thursday.
 
Immelman, who won the 1998 Public Links championship at Torrey Pines, will be able to watch. He, Zach Johnson and Mike Weir go off at 1:03 p.m.
 
MAYORAL MUSINGS:
Although Mayor Jerry Sanders isnt a golfer, he knows the lure of city-owned Torrey Pines reaches beyond its stunning clifftop setting overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
 
Sanders welcomed the USGA and the U.S. Open to San Diego on Tuesday, two days before the national championship begins on Torrey Pines South Course.
 
This will be the first time the U.S. Open has been played on a city-owned course, and the second time its been at a truly public course'Bethpage Black, owned by the state of New York, was the first, in 2002.
 
While the PGA Tour has had a stop at Torrey Pines since 1968, hosting the U.S. Open elevates the course to a different status.
 
Now the residents of the San Diego and others in the San Diego region and visitors will get to play on a USGA course right after this event is over, Sanders said at a news conference. Theres a special thrill for golfers when they know Tiger Woods of Phil Mickelson were standing on the same green they will be standing on.
 
City residents, Sanders noted, pay about $42 a round to go out there and have a great time.
 
NOT SORRY, EH?:
Tiger Woods said hes gotten some grief regarding his comments last week zinging hockey.
 
The worlds top golfer was on a teleconference promoting Augusts PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in suburban Detroit when he was asked if he was rooting for Detroit or Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup, which was going on at the time.
 
Woods started to laugh, then said: I dont really care. Lets talk about the Dodgers, said Woods, who grew up in the Los Angeles area. I dont think anybody really watches hockey any more.
 
The topic came up Tuesday when Woods held his pre-U.S. Open news conference.
 
Woods wasnt apologetic.
 
Oh, yeah, Ive gotten a lot of grief over that, Woods said. I love the sport. I love watching it, but I dont like watching it on TV. In person its absolutely incredible, what theyre able to do and what they can do. TV doesnt do justice to that. But then, a lot of sports are the same way.
 
I said what I said and I was trying to be funny about it, but people didnt perceive it that way.
 
SHOTS, PLEASE:
Retief Goosen and Mike Weir, both TaylorMade tour staff professionals, joined Sergio Garcias father, Victor, at clinic benefiting the North County Junior Golf Association on Monday evening in Carlsbad, just a few miles from TaylorMade-Adidas Golfs headquarters. The company was one of the events sponsors.
 
Goosen said the presentation got a little bit technical at one point.
 
Some of the juniors got a little bit bored, some of the younger ones. They just wanted to see shots, you know. We hit a few shots for them and that gets them all fired up.
 
Overall, though, he thinks the kids had a good time.
 
I remember being 9 years old when I got to go watch some pros hitting balls and doing clinics, so yeah, it sticks in your mind, he said. It gets you all fired up and excited to keep trying, trying to improve in the game and maybe being there one day. You never know.
 
LEFTYS NO FAN:
Phil Mickelson, who grew up playing Torrey Pines, doesnt like the new tee box that was added to the South Courses par-5, 614-yard 13th hole, which will require a drive of at least 240 yards to carry the canyon.
 
Calling it terrible, Mickelson said the new tee box is the biggest waste of money that Ive ever seen. But it doesnt matter what I think, were going to end up playing it and Ive got to be ready for it. But its terrible.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Open
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.