Notes Love Salvages Week

By Associated PressMarch 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Just like Tiger Woods, defending champion Davis Love knew hed have to play well to stick around for the weekend.
 
He made it, but not by much.
 
With his back feeling better than it did at the start of play Thursday, Love shot 68 to finish at 1 over and make the cut with a shot to spare.
 
I wouldnt say I kicked it into another gear, he said. I just went back to playing the way Id been playing.
 
Love, who made five birdies including one off a chip in from the sand trap on No. 6, said it was easier without having to worry about his back. He hurt himself hitting on the driving range before the first round and never got into a flow, always fearing an awkward swing would cause the injury to flare up. He spent Thursday afternoon getting a massage and stretching, and that eased his pain.
 
Happy to be feeling better, Love still didnt think making the cut was much to celebrate.
 
Its a little disappointing, he said. Yeah, Ill get to play the weekend. But I wanted to at least get to under par and have a chance.

Daly Doing Much Better
 
He has trashed a hotel room, hurt his hip and thrown his driver into the water. This time, John Daly is doing something different during Players Championship week.
 
Hes playing well.
 
After extending his streak to 27 holes without a bogey, Daly struggled over the final nine holes of his second round March 26, but his 1-over-par 73 still left him at 2 under, in a tie for 21st.
 
Daly needs a 19th-place finish or better to qualify for the Masters, although he claims thats not on his mind as he goes around the Stadium Course.
 
Its a matter of just trying to concentrate on each hole here, Daly said. The outside goal is to get in the Masters, but I cant think about it when Im playing here.
 
Daly has had his difficulties both in and around the Sawgrass resort in years past.
 
In 1997, he withdrew from the tournament after going on a drinking binge and trashing his hotel room, an episode that compelled him to enter a rehab clinic.
 
In 1999, he withdrew with an injured hip.
 
Two years ago, in a much lighter moment, Daly broke his driver while teeing off on the 14th hole and tossed the club in the lake that runs aside the fairway, a made-for-TV moment that probably looked worse than it really was.
 
On Friday, Daly opened on the back nine and made two birdies to get to 5 under, just three strokes off the lead. But the putting touch that got him there left him on the front nine. He made four bogeys -- his first four of the tournament -- and wound up seven strokes behind leaders Kevin Sutherland and Jerry Kelly.
 
Daly has never finished better than 16th in 12 appearances here.
 
Kucher Makes a Cut
 
A difficult year got a little better for Matt Kuchar, who opened his day with a pair of birdies to shoot 67 and make his first cut in seven weeks.
 
Its just a next step, Kuchar said of the round that also included three consecutive birdies on Nos. 1-3, the start of his second nine. I dont want to call it a breakthrough. It just happens that things are coming together now.
 
Before Friday, Kuchar had broken 70 just once on Tour this year -- in the first round at Pebble Beach. He made the cut that week and finished 48th, but it was the only time he played the weekend in six events.

One Reason to Smile
 
This week included 35 holes of agony, and only one hole to smile about for Jose Maria Olazabal.
 
Olazabal became the first player to record a hole-in-one at this years Players Championship when he used a 7-iron to ace the 171-yard 13th hole.
 
It wasnt nearly enough to save his round, though. He shot 74 to finish at 6 over and miss the cut.
 
I dont feel good around the greens. I dont feel good about my short game. Im struggling, said Olazabal, whose best finish this year was a 32nd in the Nissan Open.
 
Kerplunk!
 
Charles Howell looked like a good bet to play this weekend. Then, he got to the island.
 
Howell dunked two balls in the water on No. 17 en route to a 7. He went from 1 over, one ahead of the cut line, to 5 over, which wasnt even close. Another bogey on No. 18 left him with 75 and a 150 total.
 
With the pin in the front left corner of the green on 17, Howells shot landed in a decent spot, but it had too much backspin and it rolled back into the water. His next shot, from the drop area, flew the island completely, and after hitting another shot, he two-putted from 30 feet.
 
Others going home include Stuart Appleby, who has three top-3 finishes this year, 2002 champion Craig Perks and 2000 winner Hal Sutton.
 
Meanwhile, Greg Norman shot 73 and made the cut at 1 over. He hasnt played four rounds on the PGA Tour since last September, when he tied for 24th at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
Divots
 
Sergio Garcia holed out on No. 9, his final hole, for eagle to finish at 3 under. It was part of a round that included four bogeys, one double bogey, three birdies and the eagle. Painful, was how Garcia described it. ...Brent Geiberger withdrew before play began with an injured back. ...After surrendering a record 43 birdies in the opening round, No. 18 gave up only 14 Friday and played to an average of 4.326, the toughest hole on the course. ...Todd Hamilton, who picked up his first Tour victory two weeks ago at the Honda Classic, closed with three consecutive birdies to finish at 1 under.
 
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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.