Pernice Jr. leads Kite by two in 3M Championship

By Associated PressAugust 3, 2013, 11:12 pm

BLAINE, Minn. – One good putt saved the day for Tom Pernice Jr.

Pernice moved into position Saturday for his second Champions Tour title, shooting a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Tom Kite in the 3M Championship.

He had a 13-under 131 total at the TPC Twin Cities after opening with a 66. The two-time PGA Tour winner had four straight birdies on the front nine, and added two more on Nos. 10 and 12.

However, his approach shot on the par-4 14th buried in the bank of a hazard in front of the green. After a drop in the fairway, his next shot landed about 40 feet short of the hole. Likely facing a double bogey at best, Pernice instead curled in the long putt.

''You're not really thinking about making it. I just hit a good putt and it rolled right in perfectly,'' he said.

With the momentum, he then birdied Nos. 15 and 18.


Highlights: Pernice leads 3M Champiosnhip


Playing in the tournament for the first time, the 53-year-old Pernice will likely need to shoot a similar score Sunday to win his first tour event since the 2009 SAS Championship. He has been close this year, with two second-place finishes and three thirds in his 14 previous starts.

''I really feel like my ball striking has come around,'' said Pernice, who worked on ''a couple of things'' with his instructor, E.J. Pfister, before last week's Senior British Open.

''My putting's been pretty good all year, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity I've got myself tomorrow. ... It's going to take another good score, that's for sure.''

The 63-year-old Kite, trying to become the oldest winner in the history of the 50-and-over tour, also shot 65 - his lowest score at the course in five years. He birdied No. 2 and finished his front nine by going eagle-birdie-birdie to get to 9 under, and birdied Nos. 11 and 18, missing a 25-foot eagle putt on the finishing hole by less than a foot.

''I got off to a great start yesterday - I was 5-under par through seven and then I kind of sat on it the rest of the round and made a couple bogeys,'' he said. ''Today, was just the opposite of that. I got off to kind of a slow start. I birdied No. 2, but had birdie putts on Nos. 1 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6. ... They moved the tees up on No. 7 making that a drivable par 4. I hit driver to the front edge of the green and made about a 25-footer for eagle and that kind of jump-started my round today.''

Kite, who won the event in 2004, is winless on tour since the 2008 Boeing Classic - 114 starts ago.

''I'm looking forward to being nervous tomorrow,'' he said. ''I'm anxious for that. It means you're doing something.''

Kite has battled swing issues all year, resulting in just four top-16 finishes in 15 events. However, he tied for 14th in the Senior British Open.

''I played terrific over there last week, but I did not putt particularly well,'' he said. ''Last week was very encouraging.''

Jay Don Blake, Rod Spittle and Corey Pavin were three strokes back at 10 under. Blake and Rod Spittle shot 66, and Pavin had a 69.

''The scoreboard is bleeding out there, you see a lot of red,'' Kite said. Fifty-nine of the 81 players are under par.

First-round leader Mark Wiebe, the Senior British Open winner Monday in a playoff, followed his opening 64 with a 71 to fall into a tie for sixth at 9 under. Kirk Triplett, who shot the day's low round of 64, also was 9 under along with John Riegger (69) and Bart Bryant (69).

Kenny Perry, coming off consecutive major victories in the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open, had a 71 to join Gene Sauers (66), Colin Montgomerie (69) and Jeff Brehaut (70) at 8 under.

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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.