Notes Sabbatini Helping Troops Through Pets

By Associated PressJanuary 3, 2007, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Rory Sabbatini is expanding his support of U.S. troops by giving new meaning to dog tags.

Sabbatini, a South African native who is married to an American, has been involved the last two years in a program called 'Birdies for the Brave,' donating money for every birdie he makes on the PGA TOUR.

Now, he has hooked up with Banfield, The Pet Hospital, to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which supports U.S. soldiers and their families who have been affected by military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

People can buy pet tags for $2 at Banfield hospitals and TPC courses around the country, with all proceeds going to the fund.

'Everybody gets attached to their pets,' Sabbatini said. 'We thought a feel-good issue with pets, try to raise some money and awareness, and expand it further for the families of the Intrepid Heroes Fund.'

Given the minimal cost and affection for their pets, Banfield executive vice president John Payne expects to be able to raise about $500,000 for the troops. Banfield is a privately owned veterinary practice that has more than 600 locations in the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico. He said 70,000 people come through their clinics each week.

Sabbatini also will have a logo of the 'dog tags' program on his golf bag.

He has two miniature Dachshunds, Chloe and Zoe, and thinks so highly of them that Sabbatini had their names stitched onto his head covers a few years ago, with his son's name (Hartley) on the other.

'My daughter didn't even make it into there,' he said. 'They're part of our family. It's really a great way to expand on trying to get people involved in supporting the troops. Two dollars for most people ... they go into a pet hospital and see this, and it's kind of like the Lance Armstrong bracelet for cancer.'

OGILVY AND RANKIN
Geoff Ogilvy's father was at a golfer tournament where Judy Rankin was working as a reporter when he introduced himself. Little did he know that his son would join Rankin's family in a roundabout way.

Ogilvy's wife is Juli, whose sister's husband is Rankin's son.

'Judy's son is my brother-in-law,' Ogilvy said. 'If there is such a thing, she's my aunt-in-law.' Their relationship is close enough that Rankin, a Hall of Famer who later joined ABC Sports, came to the Ogilvy's house for Christmas dinner. He doesn't know much about her career, such as becoming the first women to earn more than $100,000 in a season, but he knows she was a great player.

And she can offer some great advice.

Going into the final round of the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, he was at 3 over par and one shot out of the lead. Rankin left a message with Ogilvy's wife about what to expect on Sunday.

'It was very prophetic in the end,' Ogilvy said. 'She said, 'Everyone always opens the paper on Monday morning and is always very surprised at the score that wins the tournament.''

The winning score was 5-over 285. Ogilvy won after double bogeys on the 18th hole by Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie.

Surprise.

SURF'S DOWN
Adam Scott brings his golf clubs, clothes and surf board to Mercedes-Benz Championship. He said the waves have been relatively small this year, which is probably a good thing.

'I've surfed the last two days, and the waves have not been good, and I'm not good,' Scott said.

The Aussie grew up on the beach near Queensland and surfed as a kid, but gave it up when he was 13 to concentrate on golf, then resumed about three years ago when 'I needed something else to do.'

Asked for a handicap in surfing, Scott called himself a 10.

SENIOR HAWAII
Once the PGA Tour leaves Hawaii, the Champions Tour moves in.

Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd, Gary Player and Lanny Wadkins have accepted sponsor invitations to the season-opening MasterCard Championship on Jan. 19-21 at Hualalai Golf Course on the Big Island.

It will be the first time in six years that Wadkins, a former PGA champion, could concentrate solely on golf. He had been CBS' golf analyst until leaving late last year when Faldo replaced him in the tower.

DIVOTS
Swing coach Butch Harmon is wearing the initials 'D.H.' on the back of his cap in honor of his brother, Dick Harmon, who died last year. Dick Harmon's clients included Lanny Wadkins, Lucas Glover and Fred Couples. ... Rich Beem came to Hawaii early, filling in at the pro-am Wednesday for Tiger Woods. He also played in the pro-am at Woods' Target World Challenge three weeks ago. Also spotted at Kapalua was Dudley Hart, in Maui on vacation before next week's tournament in Honolulu.

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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.


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    “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.