Price in Tucson Thinking About Champions

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2006, 5:00 pm
2005 Chrysler Classic at TucsonTUCSON, Ariz. -- Nick Price will start his 23rd PGA season at this week's Chrysler Classic of Tucson. With 11 months until his 50th birthday, he's also getting excited about the Champions Tour.
'I'm hoping I'm going to find a little inspiration out there,' Price said Wednesday. 'My last year and a half, I haven't had as much fun as I would have liked.'
Price played in just 16 PGA events last season, finishing with $626,736 to rank 125th on the money list and retain his tour card. His best finish came when he closed with a 67 and tied for sixth at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Winner of the PGA Championship in 1992 and 1994, as well as the 1994 British Open champion, his name is among the most respected in golf. He's an 18-time PGA Tour winner with another 24 international victories.
But the game has changed considerably since Price's heyday, with longer courses and high-tech equipment putting a premium on distance.
Price has always been a shot-maker, and the 7,312-yard layout at Tucson National doesn't exactly suit his strengths. He'd prefer courses, he said, offering more of a challenge in the rough and requiring precise approaches.
No surprise, then, that he paused when asked if he can win in Tucson.
'Ahhh, I don't know,' Price said. 'In the back of my mind I feel like I can win, but I haven't really practiced much. I haven't played that hard. I've had a little bit of a problem getting motivated.'
With many of the tour's bigger names at the Match Play Championships in California, Price will carry one of the higher profiles in Tucson, where the purse is $3 million and the winner receives $540,000.
This year's field features eight of the past nine Tucson winners, including Heath Slocum, Frank Lickliter II, Ian Leggatt, Garrett Willis, Jim Carter, Gabriel Hjerstedt, David Duval, Jeff Sluman and Larry Mize.
Price usually starts his season at the Nissan Open but missed last week's event with a nasty flu that has hit several tour golfers. Tiger Woods dropped out after two rounds last weekend and several others complained of the illness.
'A bad bug. Everybody had it. It was awful,' Price said. 'I was supposed to fly out on Tuesday morning but I got sick on Monday and didn't get out of bed until Friday. ... That was as sick as I've been in quite a while.'
So he'll begin the year instead in Arizona, where this tournament still meets the criteria Price likes to see early in the season.
'You just want a place where the course is in good shape and the weather is nice,' he said.
He's also keeping an eye on the Champions Tour, looking forward to the slower pace of those more easygoing 54-hole events. He hopes to play several senior events next year, provided he doesn't find himself grinding on every hole.
'From all I've heard, it's a lot of fun,' Price said. 'That's what I want to do, just go out and enjoy myself. I don't want to go out and beat thousands of balls and spend hours and hours on the putting green.'
He's encouraged by the recent success of a buddy, Loren Roberts, the first player to win the first three Champions Tour events of the season.
'Yeah, a good sign. The courses can't be all that long if he's winning,' Price joked. 'There's a good example of a guy who's stayed in form through his late 40s and played well. All kudos to him. I'm very happy for him.'
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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.