Pressel leads Wegmans LPGA to 36-hole Sunday

By Associated PressJune 9, 2013, 12:42 am

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Morgan Pressel slogged through rain and muck to take the lead Saturday after two rounds in the LPGA Championship. Next up is a 36-hole marathon Sunday.

''I run a lot,'' Pressel said, laughing. ''I'm in plenty good of enough shape to get through 36 holes tomorrow.''

She shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday at Locust Hill to reach 6-under 138 – two shots ahead of the top-ranked Park and Chella Choi in the second LPGA major of the season.

Park had a 68 to give herself an opportunity to add to her three wins already this season, including the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April. Choi struggled with a 73 to relinquish her first-round lead.

Jiyai Shin, Amy Yang and Sarah Jane Smith were tied for fourth at 3 under. And there were seven more players at 1 under or better after two rounds, which should make for a long and topsy-turvy final day.


Highlights: Pressel looking for second major at Wegmans LPGA

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The change in schedule came after nearly five inches of rain fell Thursday, forcing officials to postpone the first round.

''It's going to be very tough physically, I mean, especially walking on these wet fairways,'' Park said. ''There's going to be many holes, but yeah, just try not to lose my focus.''

The forecast for Sunday is promising, calling for sunny conditions and temperatures in the high 70s.

A light and intermittent drizzle fell through most of Saturday morning further drenching the 6,500-yard course. Then there were two brief but heavy downpours in the mid-afternoon before the rain finally relented after about 2:30 p.m.

That led to soppy fairways. It made the slick, overgrown rough even more difficult to hit out of. And even hitting the greens didn't guarantee relief.

Pressel's tee shot on the par-3 seventh plugged 20 feet below the hole, from where she two-putted. That was actually fine with her. With a laugh, she was thankful the ball stuck where it did because it was a better place than above the hole.

From Boca Raton, Fla., Pressel is attempting to end a string of eight straight majors won by Asian-born players.

Pressel also hasn't won since claiming the Kapalua LPGA Classic in 2008. A year earlier, at the age of 18, she won the Kraft Nabisco to become the youngest LPGA player to win a major.

''It was a long time ago. I've been through a lot since then,'' Pressel said. ''A lot has happened in golf and life. But that being said, I've done it before. So I just need to go out there and remember that I can do it, and just get it done.''

Last year, Pressel struggled in dealing with injuries to her thumb and left wrist. This year, she has missed three of the past four cuts of tournaments entered. Her best finish of the season is a tie for 10th at in Singapore in March.

Starting on No. 9 Saturday, Pressel birdied three of her first six holes to get to 7 under, before faltering. She bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18. Pressel nearly gave up another stroke on the short par-4 second, but saved par by sinking a 10-foot putt.

Pressel then padded her lead with a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth.

''The tournament is only halfway finished, but I feel good about my approach to playing,'' Pressel said. ''It'll be a long day, but I need to stay mentally focused.''

Park joined Michelle Wie in shooting the second-round's lowest score in carding five birdies and a bogey-5 on No. 14.

With three wins already this season, including a major, the 25 year old is carrying plenty of confidence into Sunday.

''I would be less nervous than at the Kraft,'' she said. ''That kind of experience really helps going into major championships like this where you get the situation and you've experienced it before. You feel a lot more comfortable.''

Wie put herself back in the hunt. She was at even par after a 68 to match not only her best round of the season, but best in six appearances at Locust Hill.

She credited her five-birdie, one-bogey round to being more patient and laying off her driver, which Wie blamed on costing most of her strokes a day earlier.

''I'm starting to understand this golf course a little more every year,'' said Wie, who missed the cut last year at Locust Hill with a two-round total of 12-over 156.

I've tried a lot of different things on this golf course over the past couple of years. And in some conditions, if you're feeling great, (hitting driver) does work. But sometimes it will nip you in the butt if you get a little greedy here.''

At the very least, Wie is hoping she's found a groove while attempting to build off last week, when she had a season-best ninth-place tie at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

''Shooting 68 today, really gives me the confidence,'' she said.

Defending champion Shanshan Feng also was even after a 70.

This marks the second of the tour's past three majors to feature a 36-round final day. The second round of the Women's British Open was postponed due to rain last September.

Shin rallied to win that event, beating Park by a whopping nine strokes.

Only three shots back after a second-round 73, Shin intends to pace herself through the morning, before taking a more aggressive approach if necessary in the afternoon's fourth round.

''This course is really tough,'' Shin said. ''So I just try to keep focused and be patient tomorrow.''

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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.