Notes Ground Ruling Helps Els

By Associated PressApril 10, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- When Ernie Els didn't get the ruling he wanted, he went straight to the top - and he got his way.
Els hit his tee shot on the 11th hole at the Masters on Saturday into an area where workers stacked some limbs that had been torn off trees during a storm.
Facing an unplayable lie, Els asked the rules official on the hole if he could move the ball by invoking the ground-under-repair rule.
That official rejected his request, but called over chief official Will Nicholson, who allowed Els a free drop. Els parlayed that good break into a bogey, en route to a round of 1-under-par 71 that left him at 3 under, three strokes out of the lead.
'I just felt they could have moved the stuff offsite, off the golf course,' Els said. 'In South Africa, we call that greenskeepers rubble. I felt pretty strongly about that.'
Els' question prompted about a 15-minute delay. Phil Mickelson, who was playing behind him, whiled the time away on the tee box, sitting on a towel and stretching to keep his back loose.
'Ten, 11, 12 are not really the holes you want to be waiting on, but it was all right,' said Mickelson, the co-leader with Chris DiMarco after three rounds.
Bernhard's Bonus
There might not be a setup in the world that rewards course knowledge more than Augusta National. Nobody knows it better this week than Bernhard Langer.
Langer, the champion here in 1985 and '93, shot 69 in the third round to move into a tie for fourth, only three strokes behind leaders Phil Mickelson and Chris DiMarco.
Langer hasn't finished in the top 10 here since his 1993 victory. That, plus the fact he's 46 - the same age that Jack Nicklaus became the oldest Masters winner in 1986 - might make Langer's the most surprising name near the top of the leaderboard.
'It's probably the knowledge of having played somewhere near 150, 200 rounds on this golf course,' Langer said, when asked to explain his success. 'That can be a good thing. I thought it was a boost today.'
Amateur Hour
While Phil Mickelson, Chris DiMarco and the rest go for the green jacket, Brandt Snedeker and Casey Wittenberg will be playing for a prize of their own.
Snedeker leads Wittenberg by four strokes in the race for low amateur. The winner gets a sterling silver cup.
Snedeker, the U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, and Wittenberg, the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, came into the day tied at 4 over par. With the help of an eagle on No. 10 - an iron shot he holed out from the fairway - Wittenberg shot 71 in the third round, while Snedeker shot 75.
'It was unbelievable that it was on that hole, and in this tournament,' Wittenberg said.
Both players know they have a big day coming up. Snedeker also announced Sunday this will be his last tournament as an amateur. He said he'll turn pro Monday, and already has invitations to play in the Byron Nelson Classic and the Memorial, both in May.
Nice Hat
It was easy to spot the Alex Cejka fans.
Eleven of Cejka's family and close friends sported Day-Glo yellow hats Saturday with 'Team Cejka' on the front in green script lettering and 'Check out Cejka' on the back.
'Yesterday at dinner I realized it would be funny, a nice surprise. It would be easy for Alex to see us in the crowd,' said Rudy Masopust, a close friend of Cejka's and the one who came up with the idea.
That hats were whipped up at the last minute by a local company.
Unfortunately for Cejka, the hats didn't help his game. He shot 78 to finish 2 over and fall from a tie for second to eight strokes behind.
With a storm expected to roll in late Sunday, Masters officials moved all tee times up by about an hour. Jeff Sluman and Chris Riley will begin play at 10:30 a.m., and the leaders tee off at 2 p.m. ... Vijay Singh opened with a birdie and an eagle, but didn't quite make the charge he needed, shooting 69 to finish 1 over. ... At one point, on the seventh hole, Sergio Garcia and Bernhard Langer were an entire hole behind the group in front of them. They made up ground quickly and were back in position by the turn.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - The Masters Tournament
  • Full Coverage - The Masters Tournament
  • Masters Photo Gallery
  • Tee Times
  • Arnold Palmers 50th Masters
    Copyright 2003 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.