Lindberg leads LPGA Farr Classic

By Associated PressAugust 10, 2012, 1:27 am

SYLVANIA, Ohio – It was unofficially international day at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic.

The leaderboard might not have had many household names after the first round Thursday, but the leader and her closest pursuers included players representing Sweden, France, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the United States.

Pernilla Lindberg holed birdie putts of 40 and 50 feet and added three 25-footers in a round of 7-under 64 to take a two-shot lead after the opening round at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

A top early contender to make the European side at the 2013 Solheim Cup, the Swede is virtually unknown in the States, even though she played at Oklahoma State and is in her third year on the LPGA Tour.

''That is one of my goals,'' she said of making it big on this side of the Atlantic. ''If I can start showing my name on the leaderboard more often here, it's going to give me more confidence and that, of course, is what everyone wants.''

The 26-year-old Lindberg has not finished in the top 10 of an LPGA event in her 36 starts as a pro. She has missed the cut in six of her 10 starts this season, although she did tie for 12th at the Lotte Championship in April for her lowest career finish on tour.

There was no secret why Lindberg, who went off in the second group of the day, posted such a low score. She drained a 50-foot putt for birdie at No. 5, made a 40-footer for a 2 on the par-3 14th and made 25-footers at Nos. 4, 12 and 18.

''It felt like every putt I hit all day had a chance to go in,'' said Lindberg, who grew up idolizing fellow countrywoman Annika Sorenstam. ''Even the pars I made out there, they were still good birdie chances.''

Texan Angela Stanford was two strokes back along with Japan's Mika Miyazato, South Korea's Chella Choi, LSU grad Meredith Duncan, rookie Numa Gulyanamitta of Thailand and France's Karine Icher.

The 2008 champ, Paula Creamer, had a 68, as did Toledo-born Stacy Lewis, the LPGA money leader. Defending champ Na Yeon Choi shot a 71, while Yani Tseng, No. 1 in the world rankings, had a 72.

On a day in which a steady rain turned the greens into dartboards, 71 players – almost half the field of 144 – broke par. Yet Michelle Wie finished with a 75 and Morgan Pressel a 79.

Of the top seven players, the only one who has won an LPGA event is Stanford, with five wins to her credit. Several are rising players just trying to establish themselves, others have cashed big checks but just haven't won yet.

Stanford said she didn't let the rain bother her.

''We knew it was coming,'' she said. ''When you know it's in the forecast, it doesn't surprise you.''

Miyazato has earned more than $2 million in LPGA events and has 16 top-10 finishes. Just this year she has tied for second twice, including at the LPGA Championship, and also tied for seventh at the U.S. Women's Open.

Neither she nor Stanford had a bogey.

''I played more aggressive because the greens are very soft,'' Miyazato said.

Choi posted a career-best tie for second earlier this year at the Manulife in Canada. Duncan hasn't made a dollar on tour the past two years. Her best finish is a tie for fifth in 2009. Gulyanamitta, 1 over through seven holes, birdied four of her last six to close out her 66. She's a former Purdue star who tied for 21st at the U.S. Women's Open.

''I made a bogey, then a birdie, then another bogey, then another birdie,'' said Gulyanamitta, who now calls West Lafayette, Ind., home. ''Then I chipped in at 9 for birdie and I started going good.''

Icher, completing a decade on tour, travels the globe with her daughter and husband, who also is her caddie.

''It's super nice. We have to be well organized, but it's fun to be parents,'' said Icher, who has 22 top-10 finishes on tour but has never been in the winner's circle. ''It's cool to have (daughter Lola) on the tour and traveling with (us).''

More thunderstorms are predicted for Friday's second round. The field will be cut to the low 70 and ties at the completion of play.

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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.