Man of His Word Furyk Back to Defend

By Associated PressJuly 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 Canadian OpenMARKHAM, Ontario -- Jim Furyk kept his word.
 
Minutes after winning the Canadian Open last September at historic Hamilton Golf and Country Club, the American star said he would return to defend his title despite an untimely new spot on the PGA TOUR schedule.
 
'It was never a question,' Furyk said Wednesday after his pro-am round.
 
'The first question when I got in the media room was, 'Are you coming back next year?' And I was like, `Why wouldn't you if you're the defending champ?''
 
For most top players, the national championship -- in its second year without a title sponsor -- wasn't a viable option because of its position after the British Open and before the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship.
 
Furyk, coming off a 12th-place tie Sunday in the British Open at Carnoustie, probably would have taken the week off if he wasn't the defending champion.
 
'I wouldn't say, yes, I would definitely be here,' Furyk said. 'I won't say no, I definitely wouldn't be here. It would have probably been a call on how I felt.'
 
He would have rather played Hamilton again than Angus Glen's revamped North Course.
 
'If I had to pick between here and Hamilton, I would have wanted Hamilton,' Furyk said. 'I love that golf course, but I don't think this is a bad golf course in any means. I think it's fine. It's just a totally different style.'
 
At No. 3 behind Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Furyk is the top-ranked player in starting field Thursday. No. 7 Vijay Singh, the 2004 winner, also is playing, but Canadians Mike Weir (No. 36) and Stephen Ames (No. 38), and No. 46 John Rollins, the 2002 champion on the adjacent South Course, are the only other top-50 players.
 
Woods, the 2000 winner at Glen Abbey, hasn't played since 2001, and Mickelson made his last appearance in 2004.
 
The Royal Canadian Golf Association also failed to get a commitment from Davis Love III, a surprising decision after Love's design firm restructured the North Course last year in preparation for the tournament. Love created new tees, narrowed fairways and altered bunkers on the 6-year-old course designed by Jay Morrish and Canadian Doug Carrick on a former cattle ranch in the rolling hills north of Toronto.
 
'Every time we talked from THE PLAYERS Championship on, he was going to play,' tournament director Bill Paul said Tuesday. 'He's the biggest disappointment. ... Obviously, he should be here.'
 
Weir, whose 2003 Masters victory played a key role in Royal Montreal getting the Presidents Cup, is fighting to earn one of 10 automatic spots on the International team, but will likely end up as one of captain Gary Player's two picks. The Canadian tied for eighth in his last two starts, the AT&T National and British Open.
 
'I guess you'd have to ask Gary as far as where I stand in his mind. I have no idea,' Weir said. 'I can't worry about the Presidents Cup. I'm trying to get focused this week. This is a big week, so I'm not looking down the road.'
 
The 10 spots available through the world rankings will be set after the PGA Championship. Weir is 17th and Ames 18th, with Australians Aaron Baddeley, Stuart Appleby and Robert Allenby also outside the top 10.
 
'I wouldn't want to be in Gary's shoes,' said Jeff Sluman, the longtime tour player who will serve as U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus' assistant.
 
Weir, from Bright's Grove on Lake Huron near the Michigan border, came close to winning in 2004 at Glen Abbey, but lost to Singh on the third extra hole. Pat Fletcher was the last Canadian winner, taking the 1954 event at Point Grey in Vancouver.
 
'Hopefully, somebody will do it soon,' Weir said. 'I hope it's me.'
 
Mark Calcavecchia, the 2005 winner at Shaughnessy in Vancouver, praised the course.
 
'With the rolling hills, it's a beautiful piece of land. It's visually appealing,' said Calcavecchia, coming off a 23rd-place tie at Carnoustie. 'I think the battle this week will be on the greens. They can come up with some really tough pins and if you hit it in the wrong place, you're going to have a hard time two-putting.'
 
Singh also pointed to the hole locations.
 
'They need to hide the pins,' Singh said. 'Otherwise, guys will go very low.'
 
Divots:
Furyk teamed with BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie in the pro-am. ... Spencer Levin, the former U.S. amateur star who won consecutive Canadian Tour events this year, topped the six qualifiers from the circuit's money list. He tied for 13th as an amateur in the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinnecock. ... Singh tied for 27th at Carnoustie. ... The final two holes are part of the South Course. The layout was altered because of the large seating capacity around the South Course's 18th green.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    “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.