Ochoa Three Back in Arizona

By Associated PressMarch 27, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Safeway International pres by CocaColaSUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. -- Angela Stanford shot a career-best 10-under 62 on Thursday to break the Prospector Course record and take a three-stroke lead over defending champion Lorena Ochoa in the Safeway International.
 
Stanford, the 2003 ShopRite LPGA Tour Classic winner, had a bogey-free round at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club. She had six birdies in a front-nine 30 and birdied the final two holes for a back-nine 32.
 
It all happened so slowly, Stanford said. Im still in a fog. Its just one of those days you cant even get in your own way.
 
The 30-year-old Texan broke the course record of 63 set by Cristie Kerr in 2004, and topped her previous career best of 64 in the first round of the 2006 Canadian Open.
 
Ochoa, the Mexican star who won the tournament last year for the first of her eight 2007 titles, had nine birdies and two bogeys. She won the HSBC Champions on March 2 in Singapore for her 18th LPGA Tour title.
 
Im going to try to be aggressive (Friday) and try to catch her. Maybe I can beat that, Ochoa said after congratulating Stanford on her round.
 
Sherri Steinhauer was third after a 66, Karen Stupples, Jee Young Lee and Yani Tseng and Heather Young shot 67s, and Michele Redman, Sophie Gustafson and Na Yeon Choi followed at 68. Three-time winner Annika Sorenstam birdied the final two holes to match Paula Creamer with a 69.
 
I finished strong and got a little momentum, said Sorenstam, who shot the first 59 in womens tournament history in her 2001 victory at Moon Valley. The 70-time LPGA Tour winner also won in 2004 and 2005 at Superstition Mountain.
 
Stanford wasnt pleased with her 3-wood approach on the par-5 18th, but put it on the green from 236 yards to set up a two-putt birdie.
 
Hook. Chunk. Duck. It was just bad, she said. But I had enough topspin to make it to the green.
 
Stanford said she sensed a special round coming when she got up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker on No. 1.
 
Stanfords lone victory came 114 starts ago and her best finishes since came in 2006, when she was second twice.
 
Im not even going to think about it (winning), Stanford said. I want to, but Im just not going to.
 
Ochoa shot a 5-under 31 on the front nine, but three-putted the par-3 12th for a bogey and also dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th when she hit a wedge over the green and into a bunker.
 
Two silly mistakes, she said. Im OK. Its a great way to start.
 
The 45-year-old Steinhauer had eight birdies and two bogeys.
 
Yeah, thats all right, Steinhauer said. Its fun to come out ahead of the young ones at times. Ive been terming myself Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde. Today was Mr. Hyde, but tomorrow it could be Dr. Jeykll.
 
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc aced the 167-yard 17th hole with a 7-iron. She finished with a 72.
 
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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.