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Saunders leads at; Mahan misses cut

By Associated PressSeptember 29, 2017, 11:26 pm

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Sam Saunders followed his opening 12-under 59 with a 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend in the Tour Championship.

Arnold Palmer's grandson, Saunders closed with a double bogey on his home Atlantic Beach Country Club course a day after shooting the seventh sub-60 round in Tour history.

''It's the fact that you start feeling disappointed with pars,'' Saunders said. ''You make good pars on holes that you know are pars, and you have to tell yourself you're fine. It feels like you're playing so bad compared to yesterday. I parred the first three holes today and I felt like, 'OK, I'm still playing good golf. It's not time to panic.'''

Saunders is trying to regain his PGA Tour card in the four-event Web .com Tour Finals after finishing 129th in the FedEx Cup standings. He entered the week 24th in the race for 25 PGA Tour cards with $27,900 - the winner Sunday will get $180,000 - in the first three events.

Full-field scores from the Tour Championship

On the par-5 18th, he blocked his second shot right of the green, and hit third into a plugged lie in a greenside bunker. He needed two shots to get out of the bunker and missed a 10-foot bogey putt.

''I'm not going to let making a bogey out there, or a couple of loose shots that got away (bother me),'' Saunders said. ''That happens. Golf is hard. You can't shoot 59 and expect to shoot 62. ... What's important is the final score after two days, and I would have taken that my whole life.''

Argentina's Julian Etulain was second at 15 under after a 63. He was 46th in the money chase with $11,348 after finishing 161st in the FedEx Cup standings.

Bronson Burgoon (63), Jonathan Byrd (65) and Roberto Castro (64) were four strokes back at 13 under. Steve Wheatcroft, like Saunders an Atlantic Beach member, had a 68 to top the group at 12 under.

Burgoon, in the series field on a special medical extension, entered the week 15th with $42,812 - enough to secure a card. Byrd and Castro need strong finishes to regain their cards. Castro, 172nd in the FedEx Cup, is 54th at $8,526. Byrd, 170th in FedEx Cup, is 66th at $5,480.

Wheatcroft is 23rd with $29,025 after finishing 179th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Hunter Mahan missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 70 and 68, costing the six-time PGA Tour winner a chance to regain his card in the series. He entered the week 33rd with $21,320 after finishing 182nd in the FedEx Cup standings.

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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.