Spittle takes lead at Dick's Sporting Goods Open

By Associated PressAugust 30, 2015, 1:33 am

ENDICOTT, N.Y. - For Canadian Rod Spittle, just playing on the Champions Tour at age 60 is old hat that never gets old. Now, he finds himself in a most unusual place - alone in the lead for the first time heading to Sunday.

Spittle shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over tour newcomer Scott McCarron (64) and John Huston (68) after the second round of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. Spittle was at 10-under 134.

Huston, the 2011 champion, is trying to become the first two-time winner in the event that started in 2007.

Jeff Maggert (68), Stephen Ames (64), Ian Woosnam (69) and first-round co-leader Paul Goydos (70) were tied for fourth at 8 under, with Corey Pavin (66) and Willie Wood (69) another shot behind.

Spittle, a star at Ohio State in the late 1970s with Joey Sindelar and John Cook, turned pro at age 49 after working as a corporate insurance executive for 25 years. He won the 2010 AT&T Championship, 106 starts ago.

''I was home being a husband and a dad,'' said Spittle, who wanted to watch his three children grow up instead of traveling and living out of a suitcase. ''We've won all of one time out here. It's very fun to have a chance to win. The reason I still play is I think I can win again.''

Spittle, who had a 68 on the opening round, had four birdies and a bogey on the front nine, barely missing a fifth birdie when his putt at the par-3 seventh hole stopped at the lip and didn't drop. He had two more birdies and another bogey over the first five holes on the back side, then vaulted into the lead with an eagle at the par-4 No. 16, his chip from 65 yards bouncing twice on the green before hitting the flag and dropping in the hole.

''Folks started jumping up and down, so we guessed right,'' Spittle said with a chuckle. ''I've played very solid this summer, been very consistent the last five or six weeks. We'll see if we can have some more fun tomorrow.''

Right behind was McCarron, playing just his fourth event on the Champions Tour since turning 50 in July. He made up considerable ground on the leaderboard as he chases his first victory and said playing in the final group with Schwab Cup points leader Colin Montgomerie at the Shaw Charity Classic at Calgary, Alberta in early August did wonders for his game.

''It's been a long time,'' said McCarron, who had three PGA Tour victories, the last at the 2001 BellSouth Classic. ''I learned a lot just being in the final group with Colin on Saturday. When you don't get in tournaments on the PGA Tour, you play once a month, once every two months, and you miss every cut by a shot, that's not a lot of fun.

''Being out here, knowing there's no cut, I'm having fun playing golf again,'' said McCarron, who has overcome surgery for a bone spur and torn ligaments in his left thumb in 2012 and right elbow surgery in 2006. ''I'm healthy, I'm happy and I'm in better shape now than I've ever been.''

Montgomerie is not playing for a second straight week because of commitments in Europe, giving Maggert and Bernhard Langer a chance to take over the top spot. Montgomerie has 2,873 points, Maggert 2,707 and Langer 2,604 in what has become a three-way competition with four more events until the Schwab Cup Championship in November.

Langer, who won here last year, plummeted with three bogeys in the last six holes Saturday to finish with his second straight 71 and at 2 under is likely out of contention for a top-10 finish and a chance to gain in the points race.

Maggert isn't

''I need to be a little more aggressive on the front nine tomorrow, make four or five birdies if I can, and set myself up for a good finish,'' said Maggert, who birdied the three par-5s on the front side but also had a pair of bogeys.

A bogey on his final hole after seven birdies put a frown on Pavin's face. Still, he was just three shots behind and playing well.

''Tomorrow, I've got to go out and probably shoot another score like that to have a chance,'' said the 55-year-old Pavin, who has 15 PGA Tour wins but just one on the senior tour, three years ago. ''We'll just see. I'm in a position where I can make a run, hopefully.''

Just like the opening round, conditions on the narrow, tree-lined 6,974-yard En-Joie Golf Club course were ideal, with partly cloudy skies, temperatures around 80, and just the hint of a breeze.

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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.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“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.