Montys Mind on Ryder Cup

By Associated PressAugust 11, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 PGA ChampionshipHAVEN, Wis. -- Colin Montgomerie has always been more at ease playing for the flag than for fortune, so its no surprise his mind is more on the Ryder Cup than in shaking his stigma as the worlds greatest golfer never to win a major.
Montgomerie, 0-for-52 in majors but rock solid in the Ryder Cup, is showing signs of emerging from a slump and land on the European team for the seventh straight time.
Hes got three more chances to move up from 18th in the standings, beginning with the PGA Championship this week at Whistling Straits, and Bernhard Langer said hell consider using one of his two captains picks on him if Montgomerie doesnt jump into the top 10 for an automatic spot.
Monty, who has never had to rely on a captains pick before, isnt lobbying Langer.
My goal over the next three weeks is to actually qualify for the team, something that Ive been very proud of doing the last six occasions, Montgomerie said. And I hope to make that seven to put him in an easier position.
It didnt look possible a few months ago, when the 41-year-old Scot was going through a divorce from his wife of 14 years made even more painful by the attention British tabloids paid to it. His game was so lousy he had to win a qualifying playoff just to get in the British Open at Royal Troon, where he learned the game.
Making the Ryder Cup team on his own would be a highlight in the career of the seven-time leader of the European money list who has won 33 times around the world.
I would be very proud of myself, Montgomerie said. Actually, Im quite proud of myself right now. But I would be more proud of myself if I could get three good finishes in the next three tournaments and qualify for the team.
Langer wont have an easy task if that doesnt happen. He has a deep field from which to choose and on Wednesday he mentioned several other possibilities, including Fredrik Jacobsen, Paul McGinley, Jesper Parnevik, Alex Cejka, Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Thomas Bjorn.
Although far removed from his heyday as Europes best golfer, Montgomerie is 16-7-5 in Ryder Cup competition, and Langer considers experience a definite tiebreaker should it be a close call after the NEC Invitational at Firestone and the BMW International Open in Germany.
I think its vital in a tournament like that that youve had experience either in the Ryder Cup or in major championships, just to have been under that kind of pressure, he said. The more the better.
Montgomeries recent recovery also works in his favor.
I have a tendency to pick someone who has played well the last four to six weeks because hes going to be high in confidence, ready to go, Langer said.
At Wentworth earlier this year, Langer said he wanted to see evidence that Montgomerie was working his way through his problems. Hes pleased with what hes seen so far, citing Montgomeries play at the British Open and Scandinavian Masters, in particular.
His form is very steady and hes extremely close to being the Colin we know, Langer said. You know, hes gradually creeping up in the rankings, as well.
Unlike many golfers who havent had much nice to say about Whistling Straits, Montgomerie has found the links-style course very much to his liking. Here, he said, nature tends to play more of a role than technology does, just as it does at the ancient coastal courses back home.
So, I look forward to that in a way because it is more like playing a links course than it is your average, standard, American target golf that we tend to play over here, he said.
The closest Montgomerie has come to winning a major was at the PGA in 1995 at Riviera. He birdied the last three holes to get into a playoff with Steve Elkington, who promptly birdied the first playoff hole. He lost a three-way playoff at Oakmont in the 94 U.S. Open and was tied for the lead at the 97 U.S. Open at Congressional until missing a 6-foot par putt on the 17th.
When it comes to the Ryder Cup, though, few are better than Monty.
Ive always enjoyed match-play situation more than I ever have stroke play, he said. My singles record Im particularly proud of, in not having lost, and I dont like losing very much. Now, whether you say thats patriotism ... or whether its an upbringing or whatever it is, I just have an inbuilt desire not to lose. We all dont like to lose, but me in particular.
Langer would love to have that attitude'and a back-to-form Montgomerie'with him next month at the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills in Michigan.
A huge difference, Langer said. Colin, when he plays his best can beat anybody. He can be a tower of strength. Hes been around for a long time. Guys look up to him. You know, that would be the best thing that could happen to us.
And also to Montgomerie.
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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.