Notes Tiger Gives TOUR a Plug Couples Caddie

By Associated PressFebruary 28, 2007, 5:00 pm
Tiger Woods has bounced a golf ball off his wedge -- behind his back and through his legs -- in a spontaneous ad for Nike. He played the role of Carl Spackler from 'Caddyshack' in a commercial for American Express. And in his latest TV ad for Buick, Woods tackles a guy trying to make off with his golf clubs.
A television commercial that won't be shown until this summer will be memorable in at least one aspect -- it's his first public service announcement for the PGA TOUR.
While at home in Florida two weeks ago, Woods did three spots for the PGA TOUR. One of them was a voiceover, and the other two were scripted roles promoting the FedExCup.
'Clearly, having Tiger do these spots is a very nice element of the campaign,' TOUR spokesman Ty Votaw said. 'It's always good to have your No. 1 player participate in these things. He's someone who resonates with our fans, and to see him in this kind of context is something the fans will enjoy.'
PGA TOUR commercials are among the best in sports. Some of the memorable spots over the years included David Duval knocking over a range cart with his tee shot, Chad Campbell raking a sand box while playing with kids, and Ernie Els teaching math by asking children to add a scorecard (yes, that was his daughter who gave the answer, '3 under par').
Until now, none had featured the most famous face in the game.
Mark Steinberg at IMG said PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem approached him late last year and they found a spot in Woods' schedule -- coincidentally, it was the week of the Nissan Open, which Woods skipped for only the second time in his career.
'Tiger is helpful when he can be,' Steinberg said. 'We found a way to fit it into his schedule.'
The timing is helpful on a couple of fronts.
With the tour tirelessly promoting the new FedExCup, it can only help having the world's best player in its corner. And it should squash speculation over the last few weeks -- emanating from Britain -- that Woods is at odds with Finchem and could give up his tour membership.
Woods was genuinely surprised last week when a British broadcaster questioned his relationship with Finchem.
'We talk about once a week, so I don't where that comes from,' Woods said.
The nature of the PSAs remain a mystery. Votaw would only say that the commercials probably would not air until after the U.S. Open.
'Without giving it away, there's some aspect of a figurine of Tiger as a mascot that plays into it,' he said.
The caddie for Fred Couples put his foot in his mouth -- then used his foot to save face.
It started last summer when Joe LaCava was stuck watching the World Cup during a storm delay, and he saw England score only one penalty kick in a loss to Portugal.
'I said, 'This is the biggest event you have and you're deciding this in a shootout? Hockey would never do that,'' LaCava said. 'I said, 'Geez, I could score a goal from there.''
One of his friends in the clubhouse, Devon Baransky of Merrill Lynch, held him to his word.
In a gentleman's bet that took six months to unfold, Baransky arranged for LaCava to get a 15-minute soccer lesson, then booked a field near Bel-Air Country Club during the Nissan Open. He hired Ian Feuer, who had spent 10 years playing in Europe, to be the goalie.
'I had never kicked a soccer ball in my life,' LaCava said.
Now, this wasn't the World Cup with 90,000 screaming fans with paint on their faces. About 40 people showed up to see LaCava, decked in soccer gear with a gold cleat. To win the bet, he had to make one kick in five tries.

He wound up with eight attempts, but all that mattered was the first one.
'I hit it as hard as I could,' LaCava said. 'The goalie said to me, 'No disrespect, but you don't have any tendencies. I can't read you because I don't think you know what it's going to do.' And he was right. I tried to hook it and I pushed it. He went the wrong way.'
The PGA TOUR made it official Tuesday by saying the Presidents Cup would go to Harding Park in 2009, pending approval by San Francisco city officials.
The public course along Lake Merced also will get the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour in 2010 and 2011, a FedExCup 'playoffs' event in 2013 or 2014; and either a playoff event, Presidents Cup or World Golf Championship between 2014-19.
With his victory in Mexico, Fred Funk surpassed $20 million in career earnings. Not bad for a former golf coach at Maryland. ... During his 11-1 record at the Accenture Match Play Championship, the highest seed Geoff Ogilvy has faced is Henrik Stenson at No. 9. ... Here's how much the golf scene has changed in nine years of the World Golf Championships. In the first year of match play, there were 39 Americans and 11 Europeans in the 64-man field. This year, there were 23 Americans and 19 Europeans.
Nick O'Hern has lost to the eventual winner of the Accenture Match Play Championship in three of the four years he has played.
'It's very flattering that no matter what the reference, every time you pick up a newspaper and you talk about what he's doing, I'm mentioned. Because I'm sort of his standard.' -- Jack Nicklaus, on comparisons with Tiger Woods.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.