Kim Leads Youthful Resurgence on TOUR

By Associated PressMay 6, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods was waiting on the sixth hole at Southern Hills last year during a practice round at the PGA Championship when he walked over to the side of the tee box and asked a question no one saw coming.
 
What do you think of Anthony Kim?
 
Woods pays attention to more than trophies and his bank account, and there was something about the 22-year-old Californian that caught his eye. Kim has explosive skills rarely seen in his age bracket, along with emotions that fit the same description.
 
He was an All-American for three years at Oklahoma, where he was more about self than team and wound up leaving early. In his first PGA TOUR event as a pro, he received a sponsors exemption to the Valero Texas Open in 2006.
 
Kim laughed Tuesday when he recalled the first prolonged conversation he had with Woods in January.
 
It was at the Buick Invitational, right after I tied for third at the Bob Hope Classic, Kim said. Tiger came over to me on the range and said, Its about time.
 
Gone was the brash talk that defined Kims first season on the PGA TOUR, when he rubbed folks the wrong way by talking a far better game than he played, even though he finished 60th on the money list.
 
Humility comes through winning, even when you smoke one of the best fields on one of the toughest courses. Kim won the Wachovia Championship by five shots with a record score of 16-under 272, impressive with or without Woods at Quail Hollow.
 
Still wearing his royal blue blazer, with a gaudy, diamond necklace spelling AK draped around his neck, Kim walked through the doors of a restaurant and saw Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples and NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson.
 
He received a standing ovation that lasted five minutes.
 
I dont think Ive heard anything like that for me since I was in high school and won a tournament, Kim said.
 
It never took him so long to unpack his golf bag. Stooped over in front of his locker at the TPC Sawgrass, Kim could barely remove a pair of shoes or box of balls without someone coming by to slap on the back, shake his head or otherwise congratulate him.
 
He could get used to this.
 
And unless he does, Kim will fall into the rut of other young players who finally win and are rarely heard from again.
 
It is not unusual for players in their 20s to win on the PGA TOUR. Kim was the fifth player in that age group to win in the last six tournaments, including Trevor Immelman at the Masters, Adam Scott at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship and Andres Romero of Argentina at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
 
Already this year, there have been eight winners in their 20s, surpassing the total from all of 2007.
 
I think the notion has received a lot of focus the last few years about where the young players are, PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said. And perhaps were headed in a more aggressive direction of young players coming on in the cycle. And well see how that develops the rest of the year.
 
Its not just about winning. Its about contending regularly, which allows for more chances to win.
 
Twenty players in their 20s have won PGA TOUR events over the last three years, but only four of them have won multiple times. Scott has won each of the last three years, with Immelman, D.J. Trahan and J.B. Holmes winning twice.
 
The list includes Charles Howell III, who went five years between his first and second victory. It does not include Sergio Garcia, who is tied with Scott for most victories (six) by a player currently in his 20s.
 
This comes a decade after three players each had at least a dozen victories in that age group. Phil Mickelson won 16 times on tour before turning 30; then came David Duval, who won all 13 of his career victories in his 20s, including a British Open.
 
Woods won 46 times and 10 majors before his 30th birthday.
 
Certainly, its tougher to win in the Tiger Era, but Duval won all his trophies with Woods on tour.
 
Why arent young guys winning at that rate any more?
 
I think theres a great crop of young players that are out on tour, Mickelson said. I dont know if the increased depth of talent makes it more challenging, or if guys are able to play better golf later in their 30s and 40s. That could be a big element. But when I look at these young players in their 20s, theyre all so talented. They all have so much game, and a lot of them have won this year.
 
I dont think its an area of concern by any means.
 
Kim was the youngest PGA TOUR winner since Garcia captured the Mercedes Championship in 2002 three days before turning 22. He can only hope this is the start of bigger things, but Howell and Sean OHair had similar aspirations after their first and second victories.
 
Theres a reason Woods said to Kim, Its about time.
 
Kim is as good, if not better, than any other youngster to join the PGA TOUR since Woods said, Hello, world in 1996.
 
Mark OMeara has a better perspective than most. Woods sought him out when he turned pro, and OMeara hadnt seen anything close to that kind of talent until he wound up as Kims partner in the Merrill Lynch Shootout last fall.
 
Afterward, OMeara was raving about him.
 
Everybody asks who is the next young player to come along, OMeara said earlier this year. I see a lot of talented young players. Nothing really kind of jumped out at me until I played with this kid. I played with Anthony for three rounds, and I was blown away.
 
I would expect big things out of him this year.
 

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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.