Playoff to Take Break Before Ryder Cup in 2008

By Associated PressNovember 13, 2007, 5:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR Playoffs will take a two-week break next year to give players a chance to be fresh for the Ryder Cup, addressing a concern that American players would be worn out before one of the most tiresome weeks of the year.
 
The change was approved by the PGA TOUR policy board.
 
'It probably helps us because our Ryder Cup team tends to have more players in the Tour Championship,' U.S. captain Paul Azinger said Tuesday. 'Their guys (Europe) could be over at Valhalla for a week while our guys are grinding for a fifth week in a row. It's not going to hurt us.'
 
The first three playoff events for the FedExCup -- The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship -- will be played consecutive weeks starting Aug. 21.
 
After the BMW Championship in St. Louis, the TOUR will have a week off from golf -- a rarity for September -- before the Ryder Cup is played Sept. 19-21 at Valhalla in Kentucky.
 
The TOUR Championship at East Lake in Atlanta will be held the following week.
 
'We felt it was important to give those members of both the U.S. and European teams who will be competing in the playoffs the ability to prepare for the Ryder Cup while also focusing on the Tour Championship the following week,' PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem said.
 
The premise behind the four-week playoffs was to get the biggest stars competing four straight weeks concluding with the TOUR Championship, where the winner of the points-based FedExCup received a $10 million bonus.
 
The plan didn't entirely deliver this year, however, when Tiger Woods skipped the opening playoff event and still won the FedExCup by a big margin. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington also missed one playoff event.
 
The bigger concern was the Ryder Cup because 2008 was the only year in the television contract that there was not a week off between the TOUR Championship and either the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. The TOUR feared some players might skip playoff events, perhaps even in the TOUR Championship, to keep fresh for its biennial match against Europe.
 
'You would see a majority take at least one week off -- I guarantee it,' Jim Furyk said last month.
 
The solution was pushing the TOUR Championship behind the Ryder Cup. That means a two-week break in the playoffs for those who don't make the Ryder Cup teams, and chance for those who do make the team to be fresh.
 
'It's a shame they didn't think of this before,' Azinger said. 'They wouldn't have had to go through the headache of getting it right.'
 
The rest of the FedExCup remains relatively unchanged for now.
 
The field size for the playoff events again will be 144 players at The Barclays, 120 players at the Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 players at the BMW Championship and 30 players qualifying for the TOUR Championship.
 
Several players lobbied to make the playoffs more volatile, giving more players a chance at winning the $10 million prize. There was little movement at the top of the standings, and those toward the bottom had little chance to move up barring a victory.
 
But there was strong sentiment in Monday's board meeting that for the first year of a revamped system, it worked well enough not to rush into massive changes. Finchem said the board would continue to look at ways to tweak the playoff points, although the regular season would not change.
 
One change was how to pay bonus money.
 
Woods and Mickelson were among those who wanted to be paid up front, instead of having the bonus money put into a deferred account that players could access at age 45. Starting next year, the top 10 players in the FedExCup standings will get most of their money in cash, and some of it deferred.
 
The winner, for example, will get $9 million in cash and $1 million placed into his retirement fund. The bonus money will all be deferred for those finishing out of the top 10.
 
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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.