Lee supplants Tiger wins US Amateur

By Associated PressAugust 24, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. AmateurPINEHURST, N.C. ' His whirlwind month complete, Danny Lee finally has a few days off. Now the carefree 18-year-old has time to reflect on his latest accomplishment: Outdoing Tiger Woods.
 
Lee became the U.S. Amateurs youngest champion Sunday, supplanting Woods by holding off Drew Kittleson 5 and 4.
 
One month to the day after his 18th birthday, Lee frittered away most of a 6-hole lead before regaining control with a string of birdies midway through his second trip around Pinehursts No. 2 Course. He capped his 11th consecutive day of competition by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on the 14th, dropping his putter and thrusting his fists into the air in celebration.
 
I dont think I could play better than this, Lee said. Perfect golf.
 
Lee, who is six months and 29 days younger than Woods was when he won the first of his three Amateurs in 1994, joined 2005 U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell as New Zealanders to claim championships at Donald Ross-designed No. 2 and became the fourth foreign-born Amateur champion in six years.
 
The victory gives him exemptions into the U.S. and British opens, an invitation to the Masters and a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Amateur, as long as he remains an amateur.
 
Initially, Lee downplayed his new place in the record book. Yet when a USGA official told Lee that hes likely going to be paired with Woods for the first two rounds at next years U.S. Open, he was speechless.
 
Im going to beat him, Lee said, laughing.
 
Before that, hes headed back home to New Zealand next week, and hell spend roughly three weeks there finishing high school. Hes not sure when he will turn pro or if hell attend college.
 
Just get ready for the big major tournaments, Lee said. I want to be a professional golfer, but I want to be a student at college as well.
 
Kittleson, a Scottsdale, Ariz., native who plays for Florida State, made things interesting in the afternoon. He had birdies on the third and fourth holes before closing to 2-down on the par-4 seventh by chipping in from about 30 yards for eagle.
 
I felt like Tiger Woods for a second, Kittleson said.
 
Lee reasserted himself on the ninth, placing his tee shot about 8 feet from the hole and sinking his birdie putt. He regained his 4-up lead on the par-5 10th with a five-foot birdie putt that followed a behind-the-green chip that buzzed past the flagstick ' his fourth consecutive birdie.
 
For Lee, it was an exhausting finish to a hectic past few weeks that included 212 holes of competitive golf.
 
He won both medalist and match play titles at the Western Amateur and tied for 20th in his PGA TOUR debut at the Wyndham Championship across the state in Greensboro the day before he started at the Amateur.
 
After two rounds of stroke play, he began a seemingly unchallenged charge through the bracket to the finals. But unlike his previous five matches, this one was never easy.
 
Lee, who entered having trailed on only one hole since Wednesday, quickly went 2-down to Kittleson through five holes, before surging back into the lead midway through his morning trip around the course.
 
I wasnt really surprised ' I knew he was going to come back sometime, on some holes, Lee said. I was expecting that to happen, and since he made that chip-in, I was thinking, Ive got to play well and keep focused on my game, try to make birdies.
 
He squared the match with a par on the par-3 ninth, starting a successful string in which he won five of seven holes ' with birdies on four of them. He was up 5-up after one trip around the course, then increased his lead to 6-up with a par on the par-4 second.
 
Im usually that guy that would not be happy about anything going good for anybody else, Kittleson said, half-laughing. It was kind of fun to watch. I mean, he was making everything. What are you going to do? Hes pouring it in. We all have those days.
 
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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.