Sorenstam Wie to Play Pro-Am
In these cases, the tournament asks other pros to fill in.
This year, they turned to Olin Browne, Fred Funk, Billy Andrade - and Annika Sorenstam.
Sorenstam, the first woman in 58 years on the PGA Tour when she play at the Colonial last year, has said she won't play on the tour again, except for special events, such as the Skins Game.
'I've heard more excitement about a Wednesday pro-am than I have in a long time,' Davis Love III said.
Michelle Wie also is playing as an amateur. She also played in the pro-am last year.
NEW LOOK:@ Charles Howell III will be sporting a new look this year - on his rail-thin body, and maybe in his bag.
Howell ended his two-year relationship with Swedish designer J. Lindeberg, and signed a multiyear clothing deal with Japanese-based Sanei over the weekend.
The clothes are said to be a little more classic in style, although Howell won't exactly blend in with the crowd.
As for the clubs?
Callaway Golf, the new owners of Hogan by way of its Top-Flite Golf Co. acquisition, recently sent Howell a few sets of the Hogan irons. He makes his '04 debut next week in the Sony Open, and might put the blades in his bag, or possibly a combination of blades (for the shorter irons) and the offset Callaways (longer irons).
RECOVERY WORK:@ The maintenance staff at Kapalua gets an early nominee for comeback of the year.
Kapalua received 13 inches of rain over the first three days of the New Year, turning the Plantation course into a river just five days before the start of the season-opening Mercedes Championships.
Sand that washed out of some bunkers left an 80-yard trail of silt down the fairways. Officials canceled an amateur tournament Sunday.
'If this was any other golf course, we'd be looking for alternative dates to play this tournament,' PGA Tour rules official Jon Brendle said.
By Tuesday, everything was almost back to normal. The severe elevation changes on the Plantation course helped allow the course to drain remarkably fast, and the maintenance staff went to work on the bunkers.
'It's gone from a bleak outlook to a very promising outlook,' tournament chairman Gary Planos said.
Sunshine was in the forecast the rest of the week, and Brendle said preferred lies was not even a consideration.
One thing became clear: The course won't play nearly has firm and fast as it did last year.
Ernie Els won at a record 31-under par, and the shot that had everyone talking was his 400-yard drive on the par-5 15th, which he hit to the bottom of the hill, which left him with only an 8-iron into the green.
During a practice round Tuesday, that wasn't the case.
'I didn't come close to where I was last year,' he said. 'This year, it's a lot softer. You're not going to see 390-, 400-yard drives this week.'
NEW FATHER, EMPTY NEST:@ Jim Furyk has plenty of room this week at his house on the Plantation course at Kapalua, for good reason: His wife, Tabitha, is home in Florida with their newborn.
Tanner James Furyk was born Dec. 12, their first son and second child.
His wife wanted to come to Maui, but their child was too young to travel so far. Furyk will play next week in the Sony Open, then likely take as much as a month off. That means missing Pebble Beach, one of his favorite events.
DIVOTS:@ Steve Flesch was looking at the pairings for the first round of the Mercedes Championships and rolled his eyes when he saw his name with Kenny Perry. 'Awwww, I don't want to play with Kenny,' Flesch moaned. 'I played with him last week and he was hitting it 50 yards by me.' Flesch and Perry are the only two players at Kapalua from Kentucky. ... Fresh off his first PGA Tour money title, Vijay Singh was seen practicing Monday and Tuesday with a regular putter. He won four times and $7.5 million last year using the belly putter. ... Scott Hoch will have to find another caddie after the Hawaii swing. His regular man on the bag, Damon Green, is leaving to caddie for Zach Johnson, the Nationwide Tour player of the year.
STAT OF THE WEEK:@ The U.S. Open at Olympia Fields had only one hole - No. 12 - that ranked among the 50 toughest holes on the PGA Tour last year. The British Open (Royal St. George's) and PGA Championship (Oak Hill) each had four holes in the top 10.
FINAL WORD:@ 'We get beat up for being honest, but he's the guy to beat. No argument.' - Davis Love III on Tiger Woods.
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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.
Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026
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.
“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.