Notes TOUR May Head to Puerto Rico
Players soon might have another option.
According to three TOUR officials, plans are coming together for a tournament next year in Puerto Rico, which would be held opposite the WGC event at Doral. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been completed.
The TOUR has been looking at Puerto Rico for the last year and had hoped to make it part of the 2007 schedule, but it could not make arrangements for a golf course. One official said the tournament likely would be played at Coco Beach Golf & Country Club, on the northeast end of the island. A security detail went to Puerto Rico earlier this month.
The TOUR has provided opposite-field events ever since the WGCs were created in 1999. This year, however, the old American Express Championship (held alternately in the United States and Europe) took on a new title sponsor and was folded into Doral, leaving those outside the top 50 in the world or top 30 on the money list with no place to play.
The timing would help the current climate on TOUR.
Some players are still angry over speculation that Tiger Woods' new tournament in Washington will be considered an invitational and have a limited field. Their argument is that opportunities are more limited under the shorter FedExCup season, particularly with the 'playoff' events eliminating players each week.
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem was working the range at Bay Hill on Wednesday, presumably to take a pulse on how players feel about new Washington event - or perhaps sharing news that the tour is close to creating another playing opportunity.
Starting with his first full season as a professional, Tiger Woods has played at least twice overseas every year, not including the British Open.
But after a trip in early February to the Dubai Desert Classic, he's done traveling the globe this year.
'I'm taking a little time off this year,' Woods said. 'I'm not going overseas.'
His contract to play the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan has expired, and Woods does not plan to compete in the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, were he was runner-up the last two years. He also will not return this year to the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, where he lost in the first round to Shaun Micheel.
Most of his scheduling has to do with his family. His wife, Elin, is expecting their first child this summer.
'I still enjoy playing overseas. I always will play overseas,' Woods said. 'As far as the number of events I go to depends on where our family situation is, and how much time Elin needs me around.'
Woods has competed in 14 countries outside North America.
Tiger Woods says his new tournament in Washington will have no bearing on the Target World Challenge, a 16-man field at Sherwood Country Club in California held in December.
'It stays,' Woods said last week. 'We thoroughly enjoy it and think it's a wonderful tournament. The guys enjoy playing it, and there's nothing in the foreseeable future that it would go away.'
The only thing Woods doesn't like about the Target is the dates - held this year Dec. 13-16, which makes it difficult for some players who are eligible for the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Hawaii two weeks later.
Now he must deal with another wrinkle.
The Australian Open has been moved to the same week, meaning Woods could lose Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy.
Michelle Wie has played every LPGA major the last two years, but her next start is up in the air.
Greg Nared, her agent at the William Morris Agency, said the 17-year-old from Honolulu was starting to chip and putt after injuring her right wrist during a fall last month. Doctors at the time set the recovery at about two months.
Wie turned down an invitation to play next week outside Phoenix, and Nared said he was not sure whether she would be play the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which starts April 29 in California. Wie finished one shot out of a playoff at the Nabisco last year.
'We'll see where it goes,' Nared said. 'If she can hit balls next week, we'll take it from there.'
The Safeway International was moved back one week in the schedule to allow it go back-to-back with the Kraft Nabisco, and that made it more appealing to Wie, who is in her senior year of high school.
That she has turned down the invitation raises speculation that she won't return from injury at a major championship.
J.P. Hayes, who withdrew from the PODS Championship in the final round after feeling minor chest pains and dizziness, was released from a Tampa-area hospital Monday. The tour said Hayes was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and flew home to El Paso, Texas, for further tests. ... The PGA TOUR's Web site Sunday featured a picture of Chris DiMarco and noted it would be a big day for him. He was in contention in Tampa and his beloved Florida Gators were going for another SEC basketball title. Never mind that another former Gator, Mark Calcavecchia, was actually tied for the lead. ... Peggy Kirk Bell has been chosen to receive the PGA First Lady of Golf Award. Bell, 85, will be honored at the Senior PGA Championship at Kiawah Island on May 23.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Justin Leonard has missed the cut in all six PGA TOUR events he has played this year, dropping to No. 210 in the world ranking.
'Are they tax-free?' - Brad Faxon, when told he had earned his FedEx Cup points of the year.
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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.