Snedeker crushes Bjorn with loaner clubs at Match Play

By Associated PressMay 17, 2012, 4:50 pm

CASARES, Spain – Brandt Snedeker worked wonders with a loaned set of clubs to begin the World Match Play Championship, crushing Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, 5 and 4, on Thursday.

The lone American in the 24-man field teed off with only 10 clubs in his replacement bag – including a putter bought from the pro shop and a driver borrowed from Australian rival John Senden – while his normal set was being couriered from the airport following a delay in the arrival of his luggage in Spain.

Volvo Match Play Championship scoring

Highlights of the first-round action

By the time his clubs arrived at the Finca Cortesin course – allowing him to fill his bag to the maximum 14 – Snedeker was 3 up after three holes. Such was his form with his newly purchased putter, he continued with it rather than use his own and holed from off the green on No. 14 to clinch victory.

'I didn't like my chances on the first tee,' Snedeker said. 'I just thought, 'Go out there and see if I could try to beat him, try to do what I could with what I was playing with.''

There were opening-day wins for Ian Poulter of England, who started his title defense by beating Senden, 3 and 2, and Justin Rose, who battered Robert Rock, 7 and 6, in an all-English contest. Also, 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie rallied to defeat Peter Hanson of Sweden, 2 and 1.

But there was no doubting the standout story, which continued Snedeker's remarkable few days since missing the cut at The Players Championship last week.

His flight from Miami to Madrid on Monday ahead of a first visit to Spain was interrupted when a fellow passenger suffered a heart attack, forcing his plane to make an emergency landing in the Azores. He played Wednesday's pro-am deprived of sleep and with some borrowed clubs and only discovered on Thursday morning that his own set wouldn't be arriving until after he had teed off against Bjorn.

Rose offered Snedeker his putter but the American went with the one he bought, plus Senden's driver and a set of irons.

Snedeker had to be granted permission from tour officials to add four of his own clubs – a 3-wood, hybrid, lob wedge and putter.

'Kind of a weird day to say the least,' Snedeker said. 'They haven't charged me for the putter yet. I'm sure it will be a hundred bucks but it will be well worth it.'

Snedeker, who made six birdies in total and can guarantee a place in the last 16 with a win over Branden Grace on Friday, believes winning the tournament would help his attempts to earn a spot in United States' Ryder Cup team for the September series against Europe in Medinah.

'It would be pretty tough for (captain) Davis (Love III) to find an excuse to leave me off the team,' he said.

Poulter is many people's favorite this week owing to his strong match-play record, and he held on against Senden after birdies on Nos. 3 and 9. He added another with a 30-foot putt on No. 15.

'It's refreshing to get back to match-play golf,' said Poulter, who has won eight of a possible 11 points in Ryder Cup matches and is the only player to have captured match-play titles on both sides of the Atlantic.

If Senden loses to Tom Lewis in Friday's early matches, Poulter will qualify for the last 16 before playing his second and last match in the round-robin stage.

Rose birdied the first five holes on his way to overwhelming Rock, while Sergio Garcia won three of his final five holes to beat fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, 2 and 1, in increasingly overcast conditions.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.