Langer leads by eight at Senior Players Championship

By Associated PressJune 13, 2015, 11:17 pm

BELMONT, Mass. - Bernhard Langer has an eight-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Senior Players Championship, and that doesn't leave much hope for the golfers chasing him.

The defending champion shot a 4-under 67 in the third round on Saturday and is 16 under in the third senior tour major of the year. Langer has never shot worse than 70 in the final round of the Senior Players.

At the Senior British Open last year, he led by eight strokes after 54 holes and won by 13 - the largest margin of victory in Champions Tour history.

''My goal is to shoot under par. And, if I can do that, it will be very difficult for anyone to catch me,'' said Langer, who is trying to become the first repeat winner at the event since Arnold Palmer in 1984-85. ''I'm eager to put a 'W' behind my name. But I'm not saying I'm there yet.''

Russ Cochran was even for the day and in second place at the 6,812-yard, par-71 Belmont Country Club.

''He's a heck of a player and you expect him to take care of his business,'' said Cochran, who hasn't won on the Champions Tour since 2013. ''I'm hoping to use this as a building block. ... You never know, a victory down the line might start right here.''

Scott Verplank shot a 66 in the third round to move into a four-way tie for third with Colin Montgomerie, Jeff Hart and Guy Boros. Billy Andrade started the day at 1 under and birdied three of the first four holes. He eagled the par-4 eighth hole and finished at 6 under, tied for seventh.

''I knew I needed to shoot a couple of 65s and maybe Bernhard would relax over the weekend,'' said Andrade, who is from Bristol, Rhode Island. ''But he's playing so good I don't know if anyone has a chance.''

After matching 65s in the first two rounds, Langer had a pair of birdies on the front nine and two more on the back in his second straight bogey-free round. He is seeking his 24th victory on the Champions Tour, tying him with Miller Barber for fourth on the career list.

His eight-stroke lead after 54 holes is tied for the largest in the tour's history. He was ahead by eight after three rounds at Royal Porthcawl last year, matching Jack Nicklaus' lead in the 1991 Senior PGA Championship.

''Whenever you have a lead on a very good field it takes some really good play,'' Langer said. ''There are some great champions out there.''

Hale Irwin, who turned 70 on June 3, shot 70 on Saturday. It's the 18th time he has matched or bettered his age on the Champions Tour.

Montgomerie and Boros each threatened Cochran for second place, improving to 8 under before bogeying the 17th hole. When Langer came around to the 501-yard, par-5, he chipped to six feet to set up another birdie.

''We all kind of marvel at his clarity. He stands over it and he performs,'' said Cochran, who will be in the final group with Langer again on Sunday. ''So that's what I take from the day: just how he goes about his business and what a great performer he is.''

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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.