Johnson captures Mobile Bay LPGA Classic

By Associated PressMay 19, 2013, 11:59 pm

MOBILE, Ala. – Jennifer Johnson won the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first tour title, birdieing four of the final six holes for a one-stroke victory over Jessica Korda and Pornanong Phatlum.

The 21-year-old American closed with her second straight 7-under 65 for a tournament-record 21-under 267 on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex.

A 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole secured the win.

''Before I hit my birdie putt on 17, I saw that Pornanong was tied with me at 20, and I didn't want a playoff so I was like, 'I'm going to make this thing,''' Johnson said.

The former Arizona State star two-putted for par on the final hole, tipped her cap and headed toward the practice range to hit a few balls in case of a playoff.

But Phatlum was already done and the lead was safe, even with Korda's closing birdie. Phatlum, a 23-year-old from Thailand, closed with a 63. Her previous best finish was third at the Kia Classic.


Video: Far out! Johnson uses spaceship putter in LPGA win


Johnson had only one previous top-10 finish, an eighth-place tie at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, Ala. This time, she got a win along with a hug and a ''Good job, champ'' from her father, Mike.

''I'm a little shocked,'' Johnson said. ''I didn't even realize I shot 65. The whole back nine, I don't know what was happening.

''The birdie putt on 17, that's when I started thinking a little more about winning the tournament.''

She went home after missing her second cut of the year at the Kingsmill Championship and switched to what she calls her ''spaceship putter'' because of its appearance. Johnson said that part of her game had been her Achilles heel.

''I hit the ball really well. It was like when I missed the cut I felt like I should be playing,'' she said. ''And I went and saw my coach right away in Florida and worked some things out. I put the spaceship putter in the bag, and now the putts are going in.''

Johnson made the winning point in the 2010 Curtis Cup and was 3-0-1. She improved 19 strokes from her 45th-place tie in Mobile last year.

Between this win and Prattville, she's thinking maybe the cuisine deserves some credit.

''I think the barbecue has something to do with it because I'm a real foodie, and like, when I eat good, I'm happy,'' Johnson said. ''And in both these locations, I've been eating barbecue and good tea and pudding and that has a lot to do with my mindset more than I think.''

Phatlum three-putted the opening hole for bogey for the third straight day but rebounded nicely.

''I just concentrate on my game and do what I have to do and try my best,'' Phatlum said. ''Putting very good today, so like, I just didn't have pressure on myself.''

Korda finished with a 68 that included three bogeys and seven birdies.

Five players finished two strokes back, including Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and third-round leader Chella Choi, a South Korean who was seeking her first win. Swede Anna Nordqvist followed up a course-record 61 with a 69. South Korea's Jiyai Shin shot a 63 and birdied the final three holes, while Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn had a 65 to join the group at 19 under.

Defending champion Stacy Lewis was three shots back of her playing partner and got to pass the torch to Johnson.

''It was fun there at the end because Jennifer was making putts, and I don't think she realized what she was doing,'' Lewis said. ''I told her when I hugged her, 'I think you just won yourself a golf tournament.' And she's kind of like, 'What?' It was really cute.''

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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.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


“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. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.


Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.