Lancaster Surprise Leader at John Deere

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. -- It took Neal Lancaster a while to wake up. When he finally did, he was already well on his way to shooting his best round in two years.
 
Lancaster fired a 7-under 64 in the morning wave Thursday at the John Deere Classic, shocking even himself with a display of accuracy that netted the 44-year-old grinder eight birdies and a one-shot lead at TPC Deere Run.
 
'I was hitting it right at the flag,' a smiling Lancaster said after finding 16 greens in regulation and 12 of 14 fairways. 'Actually, I was shocked a couple of times.'
 
He led Duffy Waldorf, Kenny Perry, Scott Gutschewski, Jason Dufner and Paul Stankowski by one shot.
 
Waldorf was tied for the lead with one hole left, but he made bogey from a bunker at the 18th and shot a 6-under 65 to join the others in a tie for second place.
 
Bob May and Kevin Sutherland shared seventh place at 5-under 66, and there were 12 players tied for ninth at 67.
 
Lancaster started in the first morning group off No. 10, beginning his round at 7:00 a.m. local time. Playing partner Greg Owen asked him on No. 4 -- their 13th hole -- if he was awake yet.
 
'Not yet,' Lancaster responded.
 
But he had already made five birdies by then -- back-to-back from the 10th and 14th holes, and another at the 18th to make the turn in just 31 shots.
 
Just as the wind began to pick up, Lancaster set off on another birdie run beginning at No. 4, where he made the first of three straight birdies to get to 8-under par.
 
The wind aided his group at their last hole, par-4 ninth, where it was blowing in the direction of the green. But Lancaster made his only bogey there to fall back to 7-under.
 
'I hit three-wood off the tee. I think the two guys I was playing with hit driver, wedge, and the hole is 500 yards,' said Lancaster, who shot a 64 for the first time since 2005.
 
'With no humidity the course is going to dry out over the next three days. But the wind is picking up. Some holes are playing longer. The greens are soft, very receptive, and you've just got to make putts. If it's not the Open, you've got to make putts.'
 
Waldorf needed just one putt on 11 holes, the last coming after he knocked a 134-yard approach shot to 5 feet at the 17th to set up a birdie that briefly tied him with Lancaster atop the leaderboard.
 
'I had a lot of different lengths, but my speed was good,' said Waldorf, who led the field in putts per greens in regulation. 'It's nice to make some longer putts. It helps to get your round going.'
 
But Waldorf found a greenside bunker with his second shot at the 18th, then missed a 12-foot par putt to drop out of a tie for the lead.
 
With no top-10 finishes this season, the 44-year-old Waldorf currently ranks 144th in FedEx Cup points. Only the top 144 players will be eligible for the new PGA TOUR playoffs beginning in August.
 
'I feel like this is my run to see if I can move my way up the list,' said Waldorf, a four-time PGA TOUR winner.
 
Among the players tied with Waldorf for second place only Perry ranks in the top 100 in FedEx Cup points. Lancaster, the leader, is among the lowest-ranked players in the field in FedEx Cup points at No. 208.
 
In fact, the field includes only one player inside the top five: Masters champion Zach Johnson, who ranks fifth. Johnson had a 1-under 70 Thursday and was tied for 56th place.
 
With the top players either taking off or playing in Scotland ahead of the British Open, this week's field is lacking in star power.
 
The tournament took a further hit when Michelle Wie, scheduled to play for the third time on a sponsor's exemption, withdrew to continue rehabilitation on her injured wrist.
 
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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.

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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.


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    “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.