Pettersen Wins LPGA Playoff

By Associated PressMay 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 Michelob Ultra Open at KingsmillWILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Not until the very end did Suzann Pettersen think she had a chance, and even then, it took seeing her winning 1 1/2 -foot par putt disappear.
'I was like, `Wow! It happened,'' she said of her first victory, which came Sunday when Jee Young Lee missed a 2-foot par putt on the third extra hole in the Michelob Ultra Open and Pettersen calmly made hers.
The win came in Pettersen's 82nd LPGA Tour event, and made her the first Norwegian ever to win on the premier women's tour.
When Pettersen's putt fell, she pumped her right fist in celebration, then doubled over trying to create a private moment to savor before she was doused with beer.
'It feels special, I must say,' she said. 'Well, I didn't expect to win.'
Four stokes behind Lee to start the day, Pettersen shot a 3-under 68 to match Lee (72) at 10-under 274, avoiding the bogeys that plagued Lee and most everyone else as a stiff wind changed the course.
'The wind was good for me,' Pettersen said, because she felt she was striking the ball so purely, it didn't matter. 'It made it a little difficult for the other ones.'
Also good was Pettersen's recent history of near misses, including two this year. One came despite her best effort, the other was as demoralizing as the way Lee lost.
Second twice in her first seven events this year, the 26-year-old closed with a bogey-free 66 in the Safeway International in March, but lost when top-ranked Lorena Ochoa birdied four of the last five holes. Pettersen then blew a three-shot lead with a bogey-double bogey-bogey-par finish at the Kraft Nabisco -- a major -- the next week.
Those experiences, she said, helped her get through Sunday's tension.
'Even the playoff, I don't think my heart rate was much more than when I played the regular 18 holes,' Pettersen said. 'It could possible be the experience I had a month ago.'
This time, she let the opponent flinch.
Both players parred the par-4 18th on the first two extra holes, and Lee seemed to have the upper hand the third time around when she hit her approach to about 12 feet while Pettersen's ball rested against the high grass at the edge of the fringe.
'I told my caddy, `She's going to make this,'' Pettersen said.
Lee was thinking the same thing.
'Unless Pettersen makes the putt, I think I have a chance to win,' a still distraught Lee recalled thinking when they reached the green for the 75th hole.
Pettersen's putt rolled just past the cup on the right side, leaving 1 1/2 feet, and Lee's attempt at the victory missed to the right, leaving a short putt for the tie.
Lee, seeking her second career victory, quickly went to knock hers in, seemed to rush and it skated by on the right as the crowd gasped and she looked up, astonished.
'I just wanted to putt it and not have to wait,' she explained through an interpreter between calming deep breaths and disbelieving sighs. 'Frankly speaking, I think I played well enough (to win), but I think I gave it away.'
She did, at the end, but Pettersen made it possible with a sterling round.
The swirling, gusting wind played havoc with most players, often causing them to rethink their club selection. Pettersen was the only player of the 77 in the field to go through Sunday's round without a bogey, and only one player scored better.
It all only added to the thrill of finally breaking through.
'I mean, you've been dreaming of this since you're a kid,' she said. 'This is the league you want to play in, against the best players and on a course like this.
'You can't get much better.'
Not so for Lee, who was flawless in a course record-tying 63 on Saturday, but had four bogeys and three birdies in her closing 72. The last birdie came following a sand save immediately after a bogey at No. 14 briefly gave Pettersen a one-shot lead.
It was the only time she led all day until the final putt.
Lee also missed putts from inside 5 feet on the 10th and 14th greens.
Sarah Lee, who started the day one shot off the pace, finished three strokes back after a 74. Stacy Prammanasudh, who matched Pettersen's 68, and crowd favorite Paula Creamer (72) shared fourth. Angela Stanford had the day's best round, a 67.
The victory, worth $330,000 from the purse of $2.2 million, guaranteed Pettersen a spot in the November ADT Championship as the winner of one of 10 $2 million events.
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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.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.