Kelly Will Have Hometown Support at PGA

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipKOHLER, Wis. -- This is the ultimate major week for Wisconsin native Jerry Kelly.
Kelly, who still lives in Madison, has earned more than $1.5 million this year, hasn't missed a cut in 19 tournaments and has a great shot at making his first Ryder Cup team.
But to clinch a tee time with the American team at Oakland Hills next month, Kelly will have to play well at the PGA Championship - the last major of the season - on one of the toughest courses on the planet.
The links style, moonscape of Whistling Strait along the shores of Lake Michigan is the longest in major championship history at 7,514 yards, a length rivaled only by the more than 1,000 bunkers that blanket the layout.
It's not a course that favors Kelly's game, built more on his competitive spirit and consistency than distance off the tee. But he's sure to have plenty of support from the locals who will turn out to watch the first major championship being played in Wisconsin in 71 years.
'I kind of melt into my own misery sometimes, and they don't let me do that here,' Kelly said.
Kelly doesn't hide his desire to play in the Ryder Cup.
'I want to play great here, make my way into the Ryder Cup,' he said.
So much so that he couldn't watch Jay Haas' final putt last week at The International. That putt lifted Haas into fifth place and into the top 10 in the Ryder Cup points standings, just ahead of Kelly.
The top 10 are automatically in and Kelly needs at least a top 10 finish this week to clinch a spot.
'Jay is the greatest guy in the world, there's no way I'd sit there thinking I want him to miss it,' Kelly said. 'We don't want to get the spots by someone else's failures. That's not part of the game.'
So that left it all up to this week.
'If I play well, everything will take care of itself,' Kelly said. 'So that's where my mind-set is, have fun with the people out here, let my game come.'
Kelly's game has come along nicely.
He's one of the PGA's most consistent players with earnings of more than $6 million since 2001. He's had two PGA wins - both in 2002 - at the Sony Open and Western Open.
But Kelly hasn't contended in the majors. He finished in a tie for 31st at The Masters, tied for 40th at the U.S. Open and tied for 47th at the British Open. In seven previous PGA Championships, his best finish was a tie for 26th.
He's confident that all could change overnight, as it did for fellow American Todd Hamilton at this year's British Open.
'It's strange ... thinking I could be in line to win one of these events when I haven't even competed,' he said. 'But I know I've put my time in and I know the first time that I get there (in contention), I could break through. It's not going to be a fluke.'
Kelly also can borrow from a little recent PGA history in his quest to prove the bubble sitter in the Ryder Cup chase can rise to the top. David Toms was in a similar position when he won this major in 2001.
Kelly, who has played with Woods in the final group on Sunday, said he tends to play better with a large gallery. 'It's much easier to drown out a crowd than it is to drown out an individual.'
Woods, who always plays before a full house, understands the kind of challenge - Ryder Cup spot or not - Kelly will face this week.
'It's one of those things where you have to put it all aside and go play,' he said. 'There's a lot of pressure playing in a major championship and that's enough.'
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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.