Notes Baird Gets Wedding Gift
Thanks to a wedding in Hawaii, he's in the $7 million tournament.
Kirk Triplett has decided not to play at La Costa because his best friend is getting married, his agent said Tuesday.
If no one else withdraws, Baird would draw Tiger Woods in the first round.
Triplett has never made it past the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, although his agent said he never considered showing up to get guaranteed money.
''That wouldn't be fair to the rest of the field,'' Ron Graham said.
El Paso vs. Hazeltine
The relationship between Rich Beem and Hazeltine National Golf Club did not end when he held off Tiger Woods to win the PGA Championship.
Hazeltine gave Beem an honorary membership -- and got a friendly rival in return.
The PGA champion was simply beaming after his El Paso Country Club hammered Hazeltine two weeks ago in what has become a grudge match.
''The bragging rights are only going to get bigger,'' Beem said.
It started last summer, when Hazeltine wanted to give Beem an honorary membership at the club outside Minneapolis. Beem brought a group of members from his home club, and they wound up playing a friendly match. Hazeltine won big, although Beem chose not to get into details.
''The weather was horrible,'' he said.
''We had a good time, if you can have a good time getting your (behind) kicked,'' added El Paso member Greg Johns.
El Paso wanted a rematch, and it went to great lengths to secure homefield advantage.
Hazeltine is under 2 feet of snow this time of the year, and its members are in the middle of golf hibernation. El Paso invited the 11-man squad to west Texas the first weekend in February.
''We picked a time that would be advantageous to us -- their winter, when they haven't picked up a club,'' Johns said. ''We don't miss many days because of the weather. I think we engineered it very well.''
It wasn't just the dates.
Johns said one Hazeltine member had to pull out three days before the rematch with a wrist injury. His spot was taken by El Paso's general manager, who used to belong at Hazeltine.
''He plays only twice a year, so we immediately thought he should fill in,'' Johns said.
Playing a points-based Nassau -- one point for the front nine, one for the back and one for the 18 holes -- El Paso squeaked by with a 30-6 victory.
''These guys were fun,'' Johns said. ''They were gracious winners and sore losers. And that's the way it should be.''
Throwing in the Towel
Laura Davies beat only one player in the ANZ Championship, and while she said that was probably her last time competing against the men, she had no regrets.
''I'd rather have had a go and not made the cut and finished poorly than just sit back and turn the invitation down, because I would always have been wondering,'' she said. ''Now I know.''
When she was at the top of her game, Davies played a four-day exhibition in Asia against eight men and finished last, 39 strokes behind Vijay Singh. She played the Korean Open last fall and missed the cut by four shots.
Next in Line
Another 14-year-old girl will be teeing it up against the men, this time in South Africa.
Ashleigh Simon, the top female amateur in South Africa, has been invited to play this week in the Tour Championship at Leopard Creek.
Simon, a member of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, started playing when she was 6 and played in her first tournament at 11. She already has won six titles, including the KwaZulu Natal Championships.
Some used to joke that the Presidents Cup was between the United States and an International team that lives in Orlando, Fla.
The flip side of that is the Tavistock Cup, competition between two Orlando clubs whose rosters are loaded with players from all over the world.
The Tavistock Cup is an exhibition March 29-30 between Lake Nona Golf and Country Club and Isleworth County Club, where several professionals live.
Ernie Els is captain of an eight-member team at Lake Nona with no Americans. It includes three South Africans (Els, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman), three Englishmen (Nick Faldo, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose), a Spaniard (Sergio Garcia) and a Swede (Annika Sorenstam).
Mark O'Meara leads the Isleworth team, minus Tiger Woods, who would rather get ready for The Masters that week. It also includes Americans in Scott Hoch, Lee Janzen and Charles Howell III, along with Aussies Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby and Darren Clarke, a newcomer from Northern Ireland.
Each player on the winning team gets $100,000, while a meager $50,000 goes to the losing team players. There also will be $100,000 for the lowest score of the second day.
Annika Sorenstam keeps saying she won't play on the PGA Tour again, although that hasn't kept the Chrysler Classic of Tucson from trying. Tournament officials have called her agent three times offering her a spot in the field. ... For the first time since the World Ranking began in 1986, no European is among the top 10. ... Among early trends on the PGA Tour, three of the first six tournaments have been decided in playoffs. Also, Ernie Els, at the Sony Open, is the only winner this year who did not have at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
Stat of the Week
Phil Mickelson has started the season with four straight finishes in the top 10, the first time he has done that in his 12-year PGA Tour career.
'I think I can play that good again.''
-- Tiger Woods, who won 23 of 59 times during a three-year stretch on the PGA Tour.
Final Word, part II
'You better. I'm building two race cars.''
-- Steve Williams, who races cars in New Zealand when he's not on the bag for Woods.
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.
Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026
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.
“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.