Notes OHair Caddie Split Wie Plays Stanford

By Associated PressSeptember 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
Sean O'Hair has found remarkable support from Steve Lucas as a father-in-law and as a caddie since joining the PGA TOUR two years ago. And while they took a break last year, this time it's for good.
 
'I am now retired,' Lucas said after the BMW Championship, teeth clenching a customary cigar.
 
O'Hair is 25 and will be starting his fourth year on tour next year, and both feel it is time for him to find a full-time caddie. O'Hair has signed up Paul Tesori, who formerly worked for Vijay Singh.
 
'We're both ready this time,' O'Hair said after his FedExCup season ended at Cog Hill. 'He's always going to support me, and he'll always be there for me.'
 
They certainly are going out in style.
 
O'Hair plans to play next month in the Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, and he's bringing his father-in-law along as his amateur partner. The tournament is Europe's version of the AT&T Pebble Beach, played on St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. Lucas will use a local caddie, while O'Hair's wife will caddie for him.
 
Jackie O'Hair last caddied for her husband right before he earned his PGA Tour card at Q-school, and a few months before she gave birth to their first child.
 
As for Lucas, his last time on the bag will be the World Cup in China, which O'Hair called a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
 
STANFORD PLAYER:
Michelle Wie already has played her first round at Stanford -- but not for Stanford.
 
According to Golf Digest's web site, the 18-year-old played nine holes Monday at Stanford University Golf Course, accompanied by her parents. Freshman were to check in Tuesday, with classes starting next week.
 
Golf Digest also reported that while Wie is required to live in a dormitory on campus -- a rule for all freshmen -- her parents have rented a house nearby. Wie cannot play for the Cardinal because she turned pro two years ago, although she will be allowed to use the course and the practice facilities.
 
OPEN TO FEDEXCUP?:
The PGA TOUR earned a small victory when the Masters agreed to offer invitations to the top 30 in the final FedExCup standings, along with the top 30 from the final money list.
 
Whether the U.S. Open and British Open follow suit remains to be seen.
 
The U.S. Open exempts the top 30 from the money list, while the British Open exempts the top 20. The tour recently sent letters to both organizations asking the money list and FedExCup standings be used, believing that it would strengthen both fields.
 
'Discussions are ongoing,' said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.
 
The FedExCup standings were frozen after the TOUR Championship, but the money list resumes this week at the Turning Stone Resort Championship and will not be final until the Disney Classic ends Nov. 4. Someone who is 90th on the money list could win Turning Stone this week and move into the top 30.
 
USGA executive director David Fay said he expects a decision at the October meeting of the championship committee. When contacted Tuesday morning, he happened to be studying the FedExCup standings and money list in the newspaper.
 
'One thing that drives us perhaps more than the other events is the number of entries we have,' Fay said. 'We expect 9,000 to 10,000 for the next few years. How we philosophically look at the Open is we like to have 50 percent come to the field by qualifying.'
 
At Oakmont, 54 percent of the U.S. Open field came through qualifying, while 20 players qualified exclusively by their finish on the 2007 money list.
 
'One can assume we're not looking to add exempt players,' Fay said.
 
Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson was in a meeting Tuesday afternoon and could not be reached for comment. The R&A previously has shown support of the PGA TOUR by offering a three-year exemption for The Players Championship winner. The U.S. Open and PGA Championship has offered only a one-year exemption.
 
DRUG POLICY:
The PGA TOUR will make it official this week that it will have a drug policy in 2008.
 
Golf has been under increasing pressure to come up with a policy against performance-enhancing drugs, and PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said earlier this year that while there is no evidence of steroids, drug testing in sports has become a reality and it was prudent for all golf organizations to deal with them collectively.
 
'I think we're at a point where to maintain confidence in the public and the fans, we have to take this step, even though there's great speculation about the extent to which substances can help you in this game,' Finchem said two weeks ago in Boston.
 
A conference call to discuss the policy was planned as early as Thursday, although it was not clear what Finchem would announce. He has said any policy would start with an education plan and a list of banned substances, although testing might not begin until at least the second half of next year.
 
TIGER AWARDS:
Tiger Woods won't play for money until the Target World Challenge in December, and even that doesn't count as official. But he already has wrapped up a couple of awards.
 
He officially won the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the PGA TOUR money list when Phil Mickelson did not enter the Turning Stone Resort Championship. Even though Lefty only plans to play once in the Fall Series, even if he were to play the last five and win them all, he still would be more than $1 million short of Woods.
 
This is the third straight year Woods has won the award, and eighth time in his career.
 
Woods also mathematically clinched the points-based PGA Player of the Year award presented by the PGA of America. It also is the eighth time he has won that award.
 
The Jack Nicklaus Trophy as PGA TOUR player of the year is voted on by the players.
 
DIVOTS:
Fresh off a victorious Walker Cup, Chris Kirk has decided to turn pro and will make his debut next week at the Viking Classic in Mississippi. ... Vijay Singh was over par in five consecutive tournaments until he finished at 10-under 270 at the Tour Championship. ... The Ginn sur Mer Classic has offered exemptions to twins Derek and Daryl Fathauer. It will be the first time identical twins have played in the same PGA Tour event since Curtis and Allen Strange in the 1981 Texas Open.
 
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Tiger Woods earned just over $3 million in three playoff events. Only 10 other players have earned more than that all season.
 
FINAL WORD:
'We've got bigger things to do yet.' -- Steve Stricker to caddie Tom Mitchell after finishing his year second in the FedExCup.
 
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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.