Notes Monty Falls Short at Home

By Associated PressJuly 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
TROON, Scotland -- All week long, they cheered their favorite son. Colin Montgomerie was the hometown boy who made good, and it seemed all of Scotland wanted to see him win at Royal Troon.
Before the week began it seemed too much to hope for. Montgomerie was mired in an ugly divorce, and his game was in even worse shape than his marriage. But he opened with a 69, added a second one the next day and, suddenly, anything seemed possible on the links where he had honed his game.
'Come on, Monty,' they cried, urging him on.
Montgomerie's weekend, though, didn't turn out like they - or he - hoped. He shot 72 on Saturday, then 5-over 76 in the final round to finish at 2 over, 12 shots off the winning score.
'Obviously today it just didn't happen,' Montgomerie said. 'I knew I had to go and score 7 under and unfortunately it wasn't to be.'
Still, he left happier than he arrived.
'It was wonderful, a wonderful experience I've had this week,' Montgomerie said. 'I'll always remember it. I'm going home now, a long way home. And I'll think about the whole experience this week, the whole thing. I'll look back in years to come and remember this.'
Montgomerie stayed at his father's house and walked daily to the course, basking in the attention his countrymen paid him. He found some love, and also some of his game he thought was missing at the age of 41.
'A lot of positives from this tournament. Knowing I can still win this championship if it all goes your way,' he said. 'It has to go your way, and it didn't today.'
Davis Love III was thrilled when the crowd stood and cheered for him as he walked to the 18th green. Unfortunately for Love, it wasn't because he was leading the British Open.
Love played well, but never really made a move. The standing ovation came when he hit a 6-iron from 192 yards into the cup on the final hole.
'I've had them clapping a lot when I've been coming up there but I've never had them jump to their feet so that was exciting,' Love said. 'It's fun just to get to play up the 18th on Sunday let alone have the stands full and have them cheering for you.'
Love, whose best finish in an Open came last year when he tied for fourth at Royal St. George, finished with a 67 that put him in a tie for fifth at 279.
Love said he let an early tee time in the first round get to him, shooting a 72 the first day that left him well off the pace. He came back to shot 69-71-67 the next three days, but it wasn't enough to make him a factor on the final day.
'To get up in the top 10 shows I was grinding it out all week,' Love said. 'I had some bad holes this week and didn't play to the best of my abilities. But I ground it out and got a good finish.'
The eagles came one right after another, three of them in a row when it really counted on the par-5 fourth hole.
Thomas Levet of France started it all by chipping in from behind the green for his 3. Playing partner Barry Lane then sunk a 20-footer to match the eagle.
In the group just behind, Phil Mickelson had a 40-yard pitch to the green. He, too, holed it, much to the amazement of the fans gathered to watch.
Mickelson's playing partner, Retief Goosen, could have made it four in a row, but missed his eagle putt and had to settle for birdie.
None of them could match what Gary Evans did in the opening round on Thursday, though, holing a 5-iron from 227 yards for the rarest of golf course sightings, a double eagle.
In Sunday's final round, the fourth hole played the easiest of all, with four eagles and 18 birdies for an average of 4.68.
After failing to contend on the weekend, Vijay Singh is planning to do something unusual for him - take some time off to prepare for the next major championship.
Singh, who opened with a 68 in the British Open but fell out of contention with a 76 in the third round, said he will take two of the next three weeks off to get ready for the PGA Championship.
'I just have to go and rethink what I need to do. You can't be making so many simple mistakes in majors,' Singh said.
Singh, who has played in 20 tournaments already this year and rarely takes a week off, said his putting let him down this week.
'I have to fix my putting. I feel like I'm putting well but the balls are not going in. So I can't be putting well,' Singh said.
Jerry Kelly made the cut on the number, but was unable to move up the leaderboard and finished the British Open at 7-over 291 - just in time for lunch.
The only disappointment Sunday was not being able to leave sooner. Kelly likes Scotland just fine, but the Greater Milwaukee Open - his home tournament - starts Thursday, and he would have liked to get an extra day of rest.
'We looked at everything imaginable,' Kelly said. 'There's just no way out.'
Mark Calcavecchia wouldn't mind if every British Open was held at Royal Troon.
Calcavecchia won his only major championship at Troon in 1989, then came back to finish in a tie for 10th when it returned in 1997.
If he would have played as well in the first and second rounds as he did on the weekend, he might have been a factor in this Open at the age of 44.
Calcavecchia barely made the cut with opening rounds of 72-73, then came back on the weekend to shoot 69-68.
'It seems like I struggle every week just to make the cut on the nose and when I do that I run out of gas on the weekend,' Calcavecchia said. 'Here was the opposite. I looked at it as a positive, came out with a lot of energy and a good attitude for the weekend.'
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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.