Pair Share Lead Tiger Lefty 3 Back at Medinah

By Associated PressAugust 17, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were more of a sneak preview than the main event.
 
Together in a major for the first time in five years, both shot 69 -- not usually a bad start in the PGA Championship, but certainly nothing special on a day of record scoring at Medinah Country Club.
 
Lucas Glover
Lucas Glover posted a 6-under 66 to grab the early clubhouse lead at Medinah.
Lucas Glover made a strong opening statement about his Ryder Cup hopes with three birdies on his last four holes for a 6-under 66, giving him a share of the lead with Chris Riley, one shot better than seventh-alternate Billy Andrade.
 
They were among 60 players who broke par at Medinah, billed as the longest course ever for a major (7,561 yards) but playing more like a pushover in soft, calm conditions. It was the most rounds under par since the PGA Championship switched to stroke play in 1958, two more than the second round at Riviera in 1965.
 
It was an assault on par and a march toward the Ryder Cup.

Davis Love III, in dire need of a good week to make his seventh straight team, was on the verge of tying the course record until he whiffed a shot with a wedge, took triple bogey and shot 68. He was joined by Stewart Cink, another Ryder Cup hopeful, and J.J. Henry, who is eighth in the standings and trying to show he belongs on the U.S. team.
 
Woods summed up his summit with Mickelson with numbers, not words.
 
'Sixty-nines,' he said. 'We all kept ourselves right in the ball game.'
 
'He's in his own world and we take care of our game and our business,' Mickelson said. 'It's a fun day and we shake hands afterwards. We both played OK today, but we both had a chance to go a little lower.'
 
U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, tagging along with the Masters and British Open champions, easily kept pace and joined them at 69. He didn't see any fireworks, only loads of photographers.
 
'The dynamic was exactly like probably every group this morning,' he said.
 
So were the scores.
 
Mighty Medinah was more of a cream puff under such benign conditions. When the PGA Championship was played here seven years ago, only 35 players broke par and the course played about a stroke harder.
 
'I don't think there's anything wrong with it,' Cink said. 'If somebody shoots 20-under-par this week, then they are going to be the PGA champion, and they are going to have to go through a whole lot to win this tournament. It's a tough win no matter what.'
 
It could be tougher with so many players challenging. Those 60 players were separated by five shots after one day.
 
Billy Mayfair, two weeks removed from surgery for testicular cancer, was among the leaders at 6-under until he ran out of steam on the hillier back nine and settled in at 69.
 
Also at 69 was Sergio Garcia, known in these parts for that improbable shot he gouged out of the base of a tree on the 16th hole when he came close to toppling Woods in 1999. This time, he languished over a 2-foot par putt on the 16th hole and missed it badly to the right.
 
'It's a shame I go and miss a short putt on probably my favorite hole on the golf course,' Garcia said.
 
Jim Furyk and Retief Goosen were among those at 70. Ernie Els, whose father-in-law died in South Africa early Thursday, shot 71.
 
The attention was on Woods and Mickelson, playing in the same group at a major for the first time since the 2001 Masters.
 
Only about 300 fans were waiting for them on the 10th tee at Medinah -- a 25-minute walk from the clubhouse -- to start the round.
 
They shook hands in a small tent while picking up their scorecards, just as they would if this were the Buick Invitational.
 
'Nice 3,' Woods said to Mickelson after Lefty rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at No. 11, the type of conversation heard at the Memorial.
 
Mickelson birdied the first two holes, then hit a stretch where he missed seven out of nine greens. He saved par on all of them except the par-3 second hole, pulling a 4-foot putt.
 
Woods made a sloppy bogey on the par-5 10th, cussing and flipping his club at the bag when he missed the green with his third shot, then chipped 35 feet by the hole. But he recovered with a key 7-foot par save on the 13th, and an unlikely birdie on the par-5 14th when he hit a blind 7-iron off a trampled lie in the rough and holed a 30-foot putt.
 
Otherwise, they were just another group of players taking dead aim at Medinah.
 
'No one was walking to the other side of the fairway to avoid the other,' Ogilvy said. 'And no one was walking across the fairway to talk to each other, either. It was a typical first day at a major championship.'
 
None of the three major champions got the most out of a vulnerable Medinah, but they did enough. By the end of the day, they were three shots out of the lead, a solid start toward adding another major title this year.
 
Glover missed the cut in the first three majors this year, but much more is at stake in this one. He is 14th in the Ryder Cup standings and knows captain Tom Lehman might bypass him in favor of a veteran to offset so much inexperience already ahead of him. Glover has been guilty of putting too much pressure on himself to make the team, and it's not easy to put the Ryder Cup out of his mind.
 
'Every day, every minute, every second for the last six months,' he said. 'But I had decided to put that behind me this week and try to just play golf, have fun, not worry about it.'
 
Riley tied for fourth in the PGA Championship two years ago to make his first team, but not even a victory would help him now. He hasn't had a top-10 finish since Whistling Straits in 2004, meaning he has zero points.
 
But he's starting to play well again, which means just as much.
 
He just never thought 66 would be good enough to be at the top of the leaderboard at Medinah, not on a day like this.
 
'I don't know what's low, but I thought 6-under would have been in the top five,' he said. 'I don't know what place it's in, but I'm happy with it.'
 
Love tried to put a happy face on his round, but there was no escaping the triple bogey at No. 17.
 
He tried to cut a 6-iron over the water, but pulled it into deep rough with a bunker between his ball and a slick putting surface running toward Lake Kadijah.
 
'If I fly it in the middle of the green, it's going in the lake,' Love said. 'I didn't have many options.'
 
He picked the worst one by trying to hit the perfect flop. His sand wedge slid so steeply through the tall grass that the ball didn't even move -- a whiff. He dumped it in the bunker on the next shot, blasted out timidly and two-putted from 12 feet for triple bogey.
 
'I was one club away from a great round,' Love said. 'Other than two or three swings, I wouldn't change much.'
 
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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.