Medalist moves on to Round of 32 at U.S. Amateur

By Associated PressAugust 18, 2016, 3:00 am

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Qualifying medalist Alex Smalley rallied to beat Scott Harvey, 2 and 1, on Wednesday in the first round of the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills.

Smalley, the Duke sophomore from Wake Forest, N.C., finished off Harvey with a half for par on the par-3 17th on the Donald Ross-designed South Course that Ben Hogan dubbed the ''The Monster'' in his 1951 U.S. Open victory.

''I played with Scott earlier this summer at the North Carolina Am, so I'm familiar with him,'' Smalley said. ''I knew it was going to be a tough day, and it was. I'm just glad I got out of there with the win.''

Smalley pulled even with the 38-year-old Harvey with a birdie on the par-4 11th and won the par-4 14th and 16th with pars in the match that was interrupted for more than an hour because of rain.

''It's basically another tournament, a brand-new tournament,'' Smalley said. ''It's a new day. Seeds don't really matter in match play. It was nice getting medalist. It was an honor, but I just had to start right all over again.''

Harvey, from Greensboro, N.C., got the last of the 64 match-play spots Wednesday morning, playing seven extra holes in a 23-man playoff for eight positions.

''I was OK for a couple holes, and then it's like it just caught right back up to me,'' Harvey said. ''It's just the longest - one of the longest days - on the golf course I've ever had.''

Smalley will face Illinois junior Dylan Meyer in the second round. Meyer, from Evansville, Ind., beat Scotland's Connor Syme, 2 up.

Second-seeded Dawson Armstrong, a Lipscomb junior from Brentwood, Tenn., also advanced, beating England's Bradley Moore, 1 up. Armstrong won the 17th with a par and ended it with a bogey halve on the par-4 18th.

''I now know that not only can I play well in match play, I can play well in match play under stressful situations,'' Armstrong said. ''Even when my game isn't at its best, I feel like I can do whatever it takes to make sure I get through.''

British Amateur champion Scott Gregory of England had the most-lopsided victory, routing Raymond Knoll of Naperville, Ill., 7 and 5. Gregory is trying to become the first player to sweep the British and U.S. Amateur titles since Bob Dickson in 1967.

In the only match to go to extra holes, Alabama sophomore Davis Riley of Hattiesburg, Miss., beat high school senior Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, Calif., with a par on the 19th.

''I've played a lot of match play and anything can happen,'' Riley said. ''You never have a match won, no matter how many up you are. So, I just told myself to stick to my routine.''

Three LSU players advanced. Tigers senior Brandon Pierce of Covington, La., edged Austria's Matthias Schwab, 1 up; sophomore Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., topped Colombia's Santiago Gomez, 3 and 1; and sophomore Luis Gagne of Orlando, Fla., beat Paul Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., 5 and 3.

Oklahoma sophomore Brad Dalke of Norman, Okla., knocked off Wake Forest junior William Zalatoris of Plano, Texas, 1 up.

Maverick McNealy, the Stanford senior ranked No. 1 in the world amateur ranking, failed to advance to match play. He was eliminated in the morning in the playoff for the final spots.

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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. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.