Jim Furyk gives himself another chance to win

By Associated PressDecember 19, 2008, 5:00 pm
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. ' Golf has been merely a hobby for Jim Furyk the last few months.
 
He has not played a competitive round since Oct. 15, when he crashed the PGA Grand Slam of Golf party in Bermuda as an alternate and beat the four-man field of major champions. His next meaningful round came 54 days later'and the rust was only a rumor.
 
Despite failing to make birdie on the five par 5s at Sherwood Country Club, and with mud from the soggy turf causing his ball to fly three directions off the face of his club, Furyk managed a 4-under 68 on Thursday to lead the Chevron World Challenge by two shots.
 
It would seem he is just getting back into the swing of golf. But after this event ends on Sunday, Furyk wont play again for nearly two months, not resurfacing until the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
 
My expectations werent that high, he said.
 
Neither was his score.
 
Furyk birdied the 18th hole to build a two-shot lead over Boo Weekley and K.J. Choi, and only four other players in the 16-man field managed to break par in the opening round of the final golf tournament this year.
 
Im very happy to break 80 today, said Anthony Kim, one of those at 71.
 
Thats what Tiger Woods used to say in his self-deprecating style, but the defending champion is sitting this one out. Woods has been reduced to the role of tournament host at this $5.75 million event, sitting through meetings, keeping warm and resurfacing on Sunday to hand someone the trophy and a seven-figure check.
 
Furyk started strong, but he was wary.
 
Most players arrived at Sherwood with a fair amount of rust, and the scores tend to get better as the week goes on.
 
I think I see more 64s and 65s in this tournament probably in the second, third and fourth rounds than you do the first round, Furyk said. That being said, my best round is always in the first round.
 
Even so, he was surprised to be leading with the only sub-70 score.
 
The goal was obviously to come in and play well and try to win the golf tournament, Furyk said, but as little as Ive been playing, I wanted to just kind of get my feet wet and little by little, chip away and try to put a good round together.
 
The entire 16-man field got its feet wet at Sherwood, which was soggy from a week of cold rain.
 
Weekley was walking up the 11th fairway when he pulled up the bottom of his rain pants to reveal camouflage thermals to keep warm. He was heating up nicely until running into trouble on the par-5 16th, where he hit a fairway metal for his fourth shot and escaped with bogey.
 
Choi was flawless on the greens while working with a new caddie'Michael Sponge Waite, who worked for Michael Campbell when he won the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Choi plans to use two caddies next year as his regular looper, Andy Prodger, takes time off.
 
The bizarre round belonged to Mike Weir, who offset his lone bogey with an eagle on the par-5 13th. It was a solid round of golf over 16 holes, but it was the two at the turn that sent him to the bottom of the pack'a triple bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, followed by a quadruple-bogey 8 on the next hole. He wound up with a 78, tied for last with fellow Canadian Stephen Ames.
 
Ryder Cup teammates Kim, Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Vijay Singh were at 71, with Kim the most thrilled. He hasnt played since he was disqualified from the second round of the HSBC Champions in China in early November.
 
It was all rust, he said. I hit two shots that Ive never hit in my life on 16 and 18. My go-to shot is a cut'the ball would not go right when I was setting up to the left.
 
One of them was left of the bunkers on the par-5 16th, going into the hazard and leading to a bogey. The other tee shot on the closing hole was so far off that it landed between generators.
 
I told a couple of my buddies that breaking 80 was the goal today, Kim said. So even though I bogeyed the 18th, Im pretty happy.
 
Furyk didnt play golf for six weeks except for the odd corporate outing, spending most of his time going to Ohio State and Pittsburgh Steelers football games, and coaching his 5-year-old sons basketball team.
 
He tried to get in shape for this tournament, even with another big break on the other side.
 
I felt like I needed to bridge the gap'play here and then take another seven weeks or so off, he said. I just felt like the longer you wait, the more time its going to take to get back. I also have pride. To just come out here and slap it around and shoot 78 every day and collect a check isnt fair to the sponsor and its not fair to the tournament.
 

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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.