Take That Media

By Associated PressMay 12, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 THE PLAYERSPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Sergio Garcia could have mentioned 1.71 million reasons why it meant so much to win THE PLAYERS Championship, but he is not motivated by money.
 
Or he could have mentioned 53 reasons, one for every PGA TOUR event he had played since his last victory three years ago.
 
But when asked Sunday evening the best part about his playoff victory in golfs richest event against as strong a field as can be assembled without the worlds No. 1 player, Garcia revealed the depth of frustration at going so long without winning.
 
Not having to listen to you guys, Garcia said.
 
Laughter came from everyone in the press center except the guy doing the talking.
 
Seriously?
 
Yeah, Garcia said. I was dead serious.
 
The trouble with Garcia is that when anyone asks him about a weakness, especially putting, he takes that as criticism. He said he doesnt read stories about himself, rather he judges the media by the questions they ask.
 
You heard yesterday, didnt you? he said.
 
That was a reference to NBCs Jimmy Roberts asking Garcia three questions after the third round, all related to his putting'whether it was frustrating to hit the ball so well and not make many putts; if he would go straight to the putting green; and if he could identify the problem with his putting.
 
Garcia supporters, including some PGA TOUR officials, thought the interview was over the line. Then again, Garcia had just taken 34 putts in the third round ' thats a lot'to fall three shots behind.
 
And with something to celebrate Sunday'a crystal trophy with his name engraved'Garcia conceded that it is frustrating to play so well and get so little in return.
 
I know when Im putting badly and when Im putting well, he said. So nobody else needs to tell me.
 
There is no denying that the shortest club in the bag has been his biggest problem, which explains why someone who hits the ball so pure and with so much control can go three years without winning.
 
The bigger issue for the 28-year-old Spaniard is his emotion.
 
Few play with so much passion. Thats what sent Garcia sprinting and skipping up the 16th fairway at Medinah in the 99 PGA Championship, and what made him celebrate as if he had won a major when he beat Tiger Woods in a Battle at Bighorn exhibition a year later, the start of a relationship that turned sour.
 
The emotions that deliver dynamic golf are the same ones that make Garcia sound like a sore loser, whether he blames a rules official (Australia), the weather (U.S. Open) or the golf gods (British Open) when someone else wins.
 
Through both ends of the spectrum is a young Spaniard who is ultra sensitive.
 
Winning THE PLAYERS brought some perspective.
 
Youre going to criticize probably the best player in the history of golf, so how are you not going to criticize somebody else who is much smaller than that? Garcia said. I guess its part of your job. The only thing I can do is try to keep getting better so I make your job harder to be able to criticize me.
 
This time he was smiling. But then, he had just done what he pledged to keep doing.
 
How can anyone find fault with someone who poured in par putts from 7 and 10 feet on the front nine when he could have tumbled out of contention, and who made a do-or-die par putt from 7 feet on the 18th hole that eventually forced a playoff?
 
Paul Goydos, who lost in a playoff when his wedge didnt reach the island green at No. 17, was raving about Garcia after the first round, and the compliments didnt stop even in defeat. He referred to the second round and four crucial numbers'in 25 mph wind, Garcia hit 16 greens and had to settle for a 73 because he took 34 putts.
 
By virtue of being such a good ball-striker, hes going to have a lot more 20- and 30-footers, and therefore, its not going to look like hes putting as well as a guy who is hitting eight greens and chipping it to 5 feet and making them, Goydos said. When you say he struggles with his putting, you need to put it in the context with the rest of his game.
 
Earlier in the week, Goydos put it into context perfectly.
 
Once he gets his putter going, hes going to win a lot, Goydos said Thursday after Garcia opened with a 66, the best score of the tournament. This guy is going to win 80s times. Hes going to win the British Open.
 
The 80 victories is Goydos-speak for someone who is really good, and no one disputes that. The reference to a British Open is that Garcia will win majors, and it would be foolish to bet against that.
 
The key for Garcia is that as much as he burned inside when someone dared to question his putting, he knew it himself.
 
Thats one reason Garcia turned to someone other than his father'putting guru Stan Utley. Asked to rate his progress with the putter on a scale of 1 to 10, Garcia gave himself a 7 1/2 , leaning toward 8.
 
Theres still room for improvement, which is good, he said.
 
The great ones are never satisfied.
 
Garcia moved up to No. 10 in the world ranking on Monday, and while he is still a galaxy away from No. 1, he is among the few players good enough to win even if hes not making a lot of putts.
 
It is a little bit frustrating, but the game of golf is not only about hitting the ball, Garcia said in another concession to what holds him back. Thats the beauty of it. Youve just got to work on every single aspect of your game.
 
Putting remains a work in progress. So does control of his emotions.
 
Once he gets the latter sorted out, Garcia could become the threat to Woods everyone expected from him all along.
 
Related Links:
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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.