Notes Varying Green Speeds Being Johnny Miller

By Associated PressJune 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
U.S. OpenMAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The slope on the 18th green at Southern Hills was so severe in the 2001 U.S. Open that officials had to change the mowing pattern to keep it fair, leading to a different speed than the other greens.
 
That will be the case at Winged Foot, but its by design.
 
The first green is so severely undulating that to keep it at 12 on the Stimpmeter would create problems.
 
If youve been out to see the first hole, you know that it has a pretty severe slope from back to front, said Jim Hyler, USGA chairman of the championship committee. We are keeping this green speed a little bit slower than the other green speeds, and we have notified the players of this.
 
PROUD AS A PEACOCK
Johnny Miller, the lead golf analyst at NBC Sports, said in a conference call Wednesday that the U.S. Open has the most collapses on the last day of any championship.
 
Then again, NBC televises the U.S. Open. And Miller never won the Masters.
 
World-class players have missed crucial putts and hit wayward shots down the stretch at the U.S. Open, whether it was Tom Lehman at Congressional in 1997, Phil Mickelson at Pinehurst in 1999 or Retief Goosen shooting 81 in the final round at Pinehurst last year.
 
But thats not much different from other majors, and some of the most memorable collapses have come at Augusta National. There was Scott Hoch missing a 2 1/2-foot putt to win in a playoff over Nick Faldo, or Raymond Floyd pulling his approach into the water in another playoff against Faldo.
 
Does Greg Norman blowing a six-shot lead with a 76 in the final round of 1996 ring a bell? Or more recently, Fred Couples three-putting from 4 feet on the 14th hole of the final round this year?
 
More from Miller:
 
The fact that its the United States Open, he said. We are the most powerful country on Earth, obviously we all believe its the greatest country. To win something that says the United States Open Championship, that tends to get your hairs on the back of your head up a little. Every shot is so important.
 
WINGED FOOT VETERAN
Rich Beem figures he has played Winged Foot a half-dozen times, and its one of his favorites. But hes never seen it set up for a major, having not joined the PGA TOUR until 1999.
 
Even so, the memories are priceless.
 
I played a Monday pro-am after I won the Kemper, Beem said. It was $5,000 to tee it up, and then they gave $25,000 for first place. These friends of mine I was staying with were saying it was going to eat me alive. Sight unseen, I shoot 65.
 
It was a handsome payoff for a corporate day at Winged Foot, and coming off his first PGA TOUR victory, Beem was living large.
 
I was 28, just starting out on tour. How did I look at life? Im thinking life was pretty good, he said. Im in New York City that night with $30,000. And I somehow made it home alive.
 
Beem has good friends who are members at Winged Foot, and he continues to play when hes in town.
 
The next two days, the score will be a little more meaningful for the former PGA champion.
 
VIJAYS BALL
Starting at the U.S. Open, Vijay Singh will throw a ball into the gallery after he finishes his final round that will be worth a trip to Thailand for whoever catches it.
 
The promotion is sponsored by Boon Rawd Brewery, which makes Singha Light beer.
 
Whoever retrieves the ball can redeem it for two economy-class plane tickets to Thailand for one week and unlimited rounds at Santiburi Golf Club. In addition, Cleveland Golf will provide the winner with a set of clubs.
 
The promotion will last 12 months at every event Singh plays, which usually is a lot.
 
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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.