Norman Looking Towards 50th Birthday

By Associated PressFebruary 1, 2005, 5:00 pm
Just over a week away from his 50th birthday, Greg Norman is looking forward to being a rookie again.
Back in Australia for the Heineken Classic, Norman said Tuesday he will play six or seven Champions Tour events this year after finally escaping that 'five-year period in your golfing career between 46 and 50 when you are wallowing around in a no man's zone.'
'You like to compete as a regular but are you as sharp as the younger players? No,' Norman said. 'I should not speak for other players, but I found it a bit of a void.'
Norman, whose birthday is Feb. 10, said he had dinner with Raymond Floyd two weeks ago in Palm Beach, Florida, to check out the Champions Tour.
'I asked him, 'What if I went here, what if I went there? What are the hotels and airports like?'' Norman said. 'These were the things you would do when you were a rookie coming out at 18 years old in the United States or Europe or Australia.'
Norman looked fit as ever Thursday at Royal Melbourne, where he'll begin play Thursday with Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Adam Scott and Stuart Appleby, trying to prevent Els from winning the event for the fourth year in a row.
It should be a busy 2005 for Norman, who has his longtime back problems in check. He'll play the first week of March at the Dubai Desert Classic, then back to the United States for the TPC Championship, Bell South and Hilton Head tournaments.
His first Champions Tour event likely will be the Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley, outside Pittsburgh.
'Then I will play, with a bit of luck if I am exempt, all the senior major championships,' Norman said. 'They run pretty tight between the end of June to the middle of August.
'It is a weird schedule for me, playing in a couple of other major championships. I will be playing eight out of 10 weeks . . . six major championships almost in a row.'
Included in that schedule is the British Open at St. Andrews from July 14-17 - Norman's best chance to capture his third career major.
'I like St. Andrews, I have never won but I have performed well there over 25 years,' Norman said. 'That type of venue would suit me. Going to a long golf course like Pinehurst (site of this year's U.S. Open), probably not. I'm not saying I am hitting it short but I am definitely not hitting it as far as the longer hitters. From a venue perspective, and if my game is sharp, I would have a chance.'
Norman said he is 'not 100 percent in my back and I never will be, even with surgery.'
'I've opted not to have surgery, just work out through physical therapy and training. That is why I am a lot more happy with myself because I really have a lot of things under control.'
He said his zest for life and the game gives him the confidence to even consider winning at St. Andrews.
'I have never felt more at peace with myself, where I am in the world and all that,' Norman said. 'It is the balance I have in my life right now. If I feel this great at 50, I have plenty more great years ahead of me.'
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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.