Molder (3 holes to play) leads by 1; Spieth 2 back

By Associated PressMay 28, 2016, 3:09 am

FORT WORTH, Texas - Bryce Molder would have a magical number if he could combine his front-nine scores through two days at Colonial into one round.

Bolstered by 11 combined birdies on Nos. 1-9 at Hogan's Alley, Molder had a one-stroke lead with three holes to play Friday in the Dean & Deluca Invitational when second-round play was suspended because of darkness.

''It's kind of a tale of two nines even though I didn't finish the second nine,'' Molder said. ''The first nine was really clean. ... Everything was going right.''

At 9 under, Molder was a stroke ahead of Webb Simpson and two in front of second-ranked Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. Simpson and Spieth completed their rounds.

Molder was the first-round leader after an opening 64 with six birdies on the front nine. He had five more birdies on that side Friday, which would translate to a 59 - that is the best score ever shot on the PGA Tour.

''You know, I thought about that when I was on No. 6 today,'' Molder said. ''That was fun. I mean, I wish I could have just turned back around, teed off on No. 1 and just kept going because that side has been really good to me.''

Play was stopped at 8:21 p.m. with 61 of the 121 players still on the course. They will return to complete the second round Saturday morning, scheduled to resume just more than 11 hours after stopping. The third round will be played after the cut is made.

Simpson was 8 under after a 67.

Spieth shot a 66 with four birdies in five holes after turning to the front nine.

Reed had 10 holes left. He has a PGA Tour-high eight top-10 finishes this season.

Molder's only slip-up was a double bogey at the 441-yard 12th, when he hit his first two shots into the rough and three-putted from 27 feet not long before play was stopped Friday.

In his first round Thursday, Molder was in the first group off the No. 10 tee. He got to his seventh hole before a 75-minute weather delay, then came out to finish the seventh of his nine consecutive pars before all his birdies on the front side.

There were consecutive birdies after starting at No. 1 on Friday, and Molder hit his approach from 188 yards at the difficult fifth hole to 2 feet for another birdie. He chipped in from the front bunker at the par-3 eighth.

Spieth goes into the weekend in contention at home for the second week in a row, and at Colonial for the second year in a row. He tied for second in the 2015 Colonial, one stroke behind Chris Kirk.

The 22-year-old Dallas native was a stroke out of the lead after two rounds last week at the Byron Nelson, and was alone in second going into the final round before a closing 74 that left him tied for 18th.


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This week, Spieth said he is much more comfortable with his swing and his game overall midway through the tournament.

''Much better, yeah. I'd say it's up there close to if I want to have it 100 percent trust by major time. It's creeping up,'' said Spieth, the defending U.S. Open champ playing his third tournament since blowing a five-stroke lead on the back nine when trying to win his second consecutive Masters last month. ''Big step up from last week. It's getting close."

After starting the second round with a three-putt bogey at the 408-yard 10th, Spieth had a couple of short birdies before another bogey at the 192-yard 16th. His 35-foot downhill putt that he hit at a 90-degree angle picked up speed and went 15 feet past the hole.

His birdie rush after the turn went through Nos. 4 and 5, the 221-yard par 3 followed by the 472-yard hole along the Trinity River that wrap up a difficult trio of holes known as Colonial's ''horrible horseshoe.''

Simpson had 17 consecutive rounds of 70 or higher before an opening 65 at Colonial that he backed up with a round of four birdies and one bogey.

''It was kind of a grind. ... I had to get up-and-down a few more times today and guess out of the rough what the ball was going to do into the green,'' Simpson said. ''But it felt great. Just almost more satisfying today than yesterday because I managed my game.''

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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 PGATour.com 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 ESPN.com, 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.