Notes Kite in Contention at Congressional

By Associated PressJune 10, 2005, 4:00 pm
BETHESDA, Md. -- Sure enough, just as his 31-year streak of U.S. Open appearances is about to come to an end, Tom Kite goes out and shoots his best back-to-back rounds of the year.
The 55-year-old Kite shot rounds of 68 and 69 Thursday and Friday to put him at 5 under par and four shots off the lead midway through the Booz Allen Classic.
'I'm pleased with how I'm playing, pleased with how I'm putting,' said Kite, whose trademark straw hat is the perfect attire for the sticky weather this week at Congressional Country Club. 'Got a lot more to go.'
Kite won the 1992 U.S. Open but failed to make this year's field in qualifying at nearby Rockville. He's concentrating more on the Champions Tour these days and has made just two PGA Tour cuts in nine tournaments.
Asked if playing well this week would take away the string from missing the Open, Kite said, 'A good week here is always nice.'
Kite said Congressional is playing easier than expected, but he's still not a fan of the setup that has the course ending with a par-3 18th hole.
'That's probably the one drawback to the golf course,' Kite said. 'The 17th hole is a great finishing hole. Unfortunately, with that lake behind the green, there's not room for all the spectator amenities you need in a finishing hole. So I can understand why they did it, but finishing on a par 3 is kind of a strange feeling.'
Three Australians - Robert Allenby, Adam Scott and Steve Elkington - are within two shots of the lead after two rounds, the latest sign of the Down Under invasion of the PGA Tour.
'We have so many,' Elkington said. 'I haven't gotten around to introducing myself to all of them yet. ... As a rule, Australian sportsmen travel really well. They've always done well in the Olympics and big events for some reason. Australians can leave their home and compete and do well.'
Elkington is among the elder statesmen of the group, and he's happy to be playing well after a spate of injury problems a couple of years ago.
'I'm like a giant mutual fund,' he said. 'My stock went up, went down. Maybe I'm kind of coming up a bit more now.'
Second-round leader Allenby's only bogey of the day came at the par-5 ninth hole, when his attempt to reach the green in 2 landed short and on the steep slope of a huge gully.
'Just before I went to hit my 3-wood,' Allenby said, 'my caddie did say, 'Oh, what about laying up?' So I hit the 3-wood and I looked at him and said, 'Thank you very much. Thanks for the vote of confidence.''
It seems like a stretch, but Phil Mickelson said it. Asked how this week's tournament will help him prepare for next week's U.S. Open, Lefty instead thought ahead to the next time that the major will be held at Congressional.
'I think the great thing about this is the more rounds we get out here at Congressional before the 2011 U.S. Open,' Mickelson said. 'We'll still remember some shots, some putts we hit on these greens that will carry over into the performance in 2011.'
No one expected first-round leader Matt Gogel to match the course record of 63 he set Thursday, but he certainly wasn't satisfied with a 72.
'I knew I wasn't going to shoot a really low score again today like a 65 or so,' Gogel said, 'but I fully expected to play better than I did.'
Gogel's problem was off the tee - he missed seven of 14 fairways - but he also had a 3-putt from 45 feet at No. 16 after he and playing partners Glen Day and Tom Pernice Jr. were warned for slow play.
'We were being timed the last four or five holes,' Gogel said. 'I didn't have much time to look at the putt, rushed the putt.'
Still, Gogel is just two shots behind Allenby headed into the weekend.
'If I can get the ball on the fairway over the weekend, I'll be a factor,' he said.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Booz Allen Classic
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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.

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    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.