Notes St Andrews Weather Quickly Turns Ugly

By Associated PressJuly 12, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Now this is more like it.
 
The British Open felt like Florida much of Tuesday, the temperature climbing to 84 degrees'downright sweltering in these parts. Fans strolled along the Old Course in shorts and T-shirts, while hundreds of sunbathers cooled off in the waters of nearby St. Andrews Bay.
 
Then, with stunning swiftness, things got back to normal.
 
The wind shifted, the temperature plunged 22 degrees in only five minutes and a thick fog rolled in off the North Sea. In local lingo, its known as the haar'sea fog.
 
The temperature of the North Sea is very, very low, meteorologist Mike McClellan said. The hot air over cold water created the fog. When the wind shifted, it just brought it right on inland.
 
Golfers who had been practicing in short-sleeve shirts suddenly had to dig out sweaters and jackets. Shivering fans flocked toward the exits, no longer dressed appropriately and not able to see much anyway. Once the fog settled over the course, the flag at No. 1 was barely visible from the tee box.
 
Suddenly, its back to normal, two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen said.
 
Tom Pernice, who played 18 holes in the heat of the day, grabbed his bag and scrambled for the warmth of the Royal & Ancient clubhouse.
 
The Scottish weather has come, he said. The other was a bit too warm.
 
McClellan said summertime temperatures in the mid-80s are hardly commonplace in eastern Scotland. The usual high this time of year is around 65.
 
Temperatures are expected to sink into a more normal range the rest of the week'between 65 and 70 -- while the winds should pick up to 15-20 mph, still rather light by Scottish standards but stiffer than they have been.
 
Thursday is going to be kind of breezy, McClellan said. That should be a good day at the Open championship. They want it kind of windy around here.
 
St. Andrews'which is shorter than most major layouts and has plenty of width on the fairways'relies on the unpredictable Scottish weather to help keep scores in line.
 
Five years ago, when the wind and rain stayed away, Woods overpowered the Old Course for a 19-under 269, the lowest score in relation to par in major championship history. But in 1995, John Dalys winning score at St. Andrews was 13 strokes higher.
 
They keep it fair and let Mother Nature dictate what the winning score is going to be, Woods said. The wind didnt blow in 2000 and I went low. The wind blew in 95 and we didnt go very low. Its kind of cool when you play it that way.
 
While McClellan forecast more normal conditions the rest of the week, stay tuned. As Tuesday showed, things can change drastically in a matter of minutes.
 
This is like Pebble Beach, he said, times five.
 
FAVORED TIGER
Tiger Woods has a familiar role at the British Open.
 
Favorite.
 
Betting firm William Hill made Woods a 5-2 pick to win his second Open championship, hoping to stem the flood of money pouring in on the nine-time major champion.
 
It wasnt working.
 
Hill predicted a record of more than $35 million will be wagered on the tournament in this betting-crazed nation'much of it on Woods. Already, the firm took a bet of about $35,000 from a Scottish client, while a London gambler put more than $14,000 on the American to win.
 
This time last year, you could get 6-1 for Tiger to win the Open, but he is coming into this years event bang in form and our customers are backing him as though defeat were out of the question, Hills spokesman Graham Sharpe said. If he wins, the industry will take a multimillion-pound hit.
 
Woods won the Masters in April and was runner-up to Michael Campbell at the U.S. Open last month.
 
Ladbrokes, the other of Britains two largest betting firms, made Woods a 3-1 pick, with the lure of a slightly higher payout should he win.
 
Hills second choice was Ernie Els at 10-1, followed by Vijay Singh (14-1) and Phil Mickelson (16-1). Ladbrokes also made Els its second choice (8-1) and was giving the same odds on Singh and Mickelson.
 
British gamblers already are lining up behind Woods to break Jack Nicklaus record of 18 major titles. A Hill client wagered almost $20,000 -- at 10-1 odds'that Woods would claim his 19th major title by 2010.
 
Hill was giving 6-1 that Woods would eclipse Nicklaus mark before retiring.
 
And what about Nicklaus, who is playing the final major of his storied career at St. Andrews?
 
Ladbrokes had the Golden Bear at 5,000-1, while Hill made him a 1,000-1 long shot. The latter firm also provided 3-1 odds on Nicklaus making a birdie at his final hole'whether its Friday (should he miss the cut) or Sunday.
 
THE SHORT COURSE
Mark Calcavecchia made short work of his practice rounds.
 
The 89 British Open champion is staying at the Old Course Hotel, just off the 17th fairway at St. Andrews. Rather than walk up to first tee, Calcavecchia rolls out of bed and heads for the second tee across the fairway. And after he plays the 17th, he goes back to his room.
 
I did the same thing in 2000, he said. I never played the first or 18th holes until the tournament started.
 
Tuesday was different. He started at 5:45 a.m., so early that he played among the mowers. He was done by about 8:30 a.m., only this time he played the 18th.
 
But only because I had to go inside and register, Calcavecchia said.
 
MORE HONORS FOR JACK
So much for Jack Nicklaus fading into retirement.
 
In addition to all the furor created at St. Andrews by his last appearance, Nicklaus will get more attention at next months PGA Championship.
 
The Golden Bear has been named honorary chairman of the final major of the year, which begins Aug. 11 at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J.
 
The day before the tournaments first round, a permanent commemorative plaque is to be placed in Nicklaus honor on the 18th tee of Baltusrols Lower Course, where he won a pair of U.S. Opens.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
  • Daily Photo Gallery
  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
  • Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.