Notes Jack Troubled by Kids Focus on Golf

By Associated PressNovember 28, 2007, 5:00 pm
Along with his record 18 professional majors and a PGA TOUR career that spanned four decades, perhaps one of the most remarkable tributes to the consistent greatness of Jack Nicklaus was that he only withdrew from two tournaments.
 
One of them was the Philadelphia Golf Classic in 1970. The other was the 1983 Masters.
 
Nicklaus doesn't consider himself lucky, just well-rounded -- not his shape, but his interest in other sports.
 
Even when he was at Ohio State, Nicklaus said he would put the clubs away after the golf season and play intramural football, basketball and volleyball. As a teenager, he played sports in every season.
 
'I think I was developed to play other things and do other things, and golf didn't beat me down to one thing. I just didn't wear out,' Nicklaus said during his recent visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Hardly anyone lifted weights if they were serious about golf when Nicklaus was growing up, but so much about this sport has changed. Nick Faldo and Greg Norman were fanatical about fitness, then Tiger Woods and a host of others have taken that to a new level.
 
'It's a different day,' he said.
 
What concerns Nicklaus are kids who are steered toward golf and spend their time doing little else.
 
'You see kids specialize in golf. I think that is idiotic,' he said. 'To play all the sports is great. I played everything. My dad played everything. Golf to me was just another sport until I was about 19. When I won the National Amateur at 19, I finally said, 'Hmm, I must be a little better than I think I am.' It was just a game -- still is a game.'
 
His advice to young golfers?
 
'I think kids should be playing everything, doing everything,' he said. 'Eventually, if you want to specialize in something, that's fine. But go out and enjoy, and be happy to be able to play other things.'
 
EVE N. PAR:
The LPGA Tour rolled out a playful statistic this year, keeping track of how much a player would have earned by finishing at even par (Eve N. Par) in all official events.
 
Eve N. Par would have finished with $605,121 to finish at No. 24 on the LPGA money list.
 
Apply that to the PGA TOUR, and the statistics get skewed, for Eve N. Par would have won the Masters and the U.S. Open. Total earnings would have been $4,650,492 to finish at No. 5 on the PGA Tour money list, playing in 43 tournaments.
 
Throw out the majors and replace them with opposite-field events (when applicable), and the total would have been $1,780,875 to finish 48th on the money list.
 
ULTIMATE GAME:
The Ultimate Game offers a $1 million first prize to two-player teams that pay their own entry fee of up to $60,000. The competition is off limits to fully exempt members of the PGA, European, Asian, Japan, Nationwide and Champions tours.
 
But it doesn't say anything about the LPGA Tour.
 
U.S. Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr plans to sign up for the March 6-11 event with her swing coach, Jim McLean.
 
'It's not often that I get to play in such a unique format with my longtime mentor and a person who has so greatly influenced my golf game,' Kerr said of McLean. 'Couple that with the fact that it's a chance to play for $1 million, and I can't wait.'
 
Kerr will play from the same tees as the men in the better-ball format. Entry fees range from $45,000 to $60,000 per team, and players get that back if they win two matches. It will be held at the PGA West Stadium Course.
 
CHOPRA'S CHOICE:
Daniel Chopra made plenty of right decisions when he won the Ginn sur Mer Classic last month, his first PGA TOUR victory that gives him a two-year exemption.
 
With Q-school starting Wednesday, it was a reminder of another good decision he made six years ago.
 
Chopra reached the final round of Q-school on the European Tour, and the second stage of Q-school on the PGA TOUR. The problem was they were scheduled the same week in November 2001.
 
'So I had to make a choice,' Chopra said. 'Do I go to European Tour school, final stage, have a chance to get on to the big tour? Or do I say, 'No, I want to go and play the PGA TOUR?''
 
The decision was surprisingly easy.
 
Chopra backed out of the European Q-school finals, stunning many around him. It was a huge risk; had he not advanced and earned a card through the PGA TOUR's Q-school, he would have essentially had nowhere to play in 2002. But he wound up making the Nationwide Tour that year, got to the big tour in 2004 and finally showed he could win.
 
'Took a long time,' Chopra said.
 
JACK IS BACK:
Jack Nicklaus is heading into the meat of his tournament schedule.
 
First up is the Del Webb Father-Son Challenge this weekend in Orlando, where he and Gary will try to win for the second time. Then after a three-month break, Nicklaus and Tom Watson will defend their title in the Wendy's Champions Skins Game in Hawaii.
 
That's about all the competition Nicklaus needs these days.
 
Nicklaus and Watson will compete in the Champions Skins Game Feb. 23-24 against Arnold Palmer and Jay Haas; Gary Player and Loren Roberts; and Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen. The format at Royal Kaanapali is alternate shot.
 
Nicklaus has earned $2,295,000 in the Champions Skins Game, about 40 percent of what he earned in his 45 years on the PGA TOUR.
 
DIVOTS:
Davis Love III had hoped to return from ankle surgery in time for the Father-Son Challenge and the Target World Challenge, but he is not ready to play. His next start likely will be the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Love, who received an invitation to Target, was replaced in the 16-man field by Colin Montgomerie. ... The PGA Grand Slam of Golf will return to the Mid-Ocean Club on Bermuda next year. It will be played Oct. 14-15, two weeks after the Tour Championship. ... PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem was asked if he could envision Tiger Woods ever joining the European Tour with the new bonus money and $10 million season-ending event in Dubai. 'I've learned after 11 years to let Tiger speak for himself,' he said. ... The 18 players in the Father-Son Challenge have combined to win 62 majors.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Sixteen players at the final stage of Q-school are past champions on the PGA TOUR.
 
FINAL WORD:
'It's not quite the Masters, but it's $675,000. Thank you.' -- Stephen Ames, on winning the LG Skins Game.
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.