Thorpe Shoots for Third Title

By Associated PressJuly 7, 2004, 4:00 pm
DEARBORN, Mich. -- Jim Thorpe is one of four two-time winners on the Champions Tour this year.
 
He hopes to becom the only three-time winner this week at the Ford Senior Players Championship, the second of the tour's five major championships.
 
Thorpe, defending champion Craig Stadler, Bruce Fleisher and Hale Irwin, the top-ranked player on the Champions Tour, have all won twice this year. Nine others have won tournaments.
 
Thanks to a hot putter, Thorpe won last week in New York and last month in Michigan.
 
'I would be really happy to be the first three-time winner this year,' Thorpe said Wednesday. 'And I think I've got a shot because I've played well here the last two years with a couple second-place finishes.'
 
Thorpe only wished it was as easy to beat the 50-and-over set now as it was when he joined the Champions Tour in 1999.
 
'When I first came out here, you could hand pick about eight guys that were the ones to beat,' he said. 'Now, all 78 guys out here can win.'
 
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem likes that.
 
'The PGA Tour now attracts the best players in the world, and the Champions Tour has attracted all the best players in the world over 50,' Finchem said.
 
The Senior Players is the first of three straight majors on the schedule. In two weeks, the Senior British Open starts, followed by the U.S. Senior Open the next week near St. Louis.
 
Irwin will not go to Northern Ireland in part to avoid the long flights, and what they might do to his back.
 
'I don't think any of us like this back-to-back-to-back stuff,' Irwin said. 'Hopefully, it's just a quirky thing.'
 
It's not.
 
Finchem said Wednesday the current, cramped schedule for three of the majors on the Champions Tour will be in place through 2006.
 
'We would obviously like to get more spacing with the majors on this tour, but there are a number of obstacles,' said Finchem, referring to television commitments and the limited number of warm-weather months.
 
With wide fairways and receptive and true greens, birdies are common at the TPC of Michigan, just outside of Detroit.
 
'The low scoring at this tournament has always been surprising to me because visually, it looks a lot more difficult,' Irwin said.
 
The average winning score the past six years has been more than 17 under at the course ranked 10th out of 31 Champion Tour venues last year, in terms of scoring average.
 
'I think the golf course could be tougher because this is a major,' Thorpe said. 'But we're all playing the same course, so nobody has the advantage.
 
'We all know you're going to have to be close to 20 under to have a chance to win here.'
 
The field is without two familiar faces.
 
Tom Watson, the runner-up here last year, withdrew with a triceps injury and Chi Chi Rodriguez withdrew due to illness.
 
Of course, Dana Quigley will be teeing it up -- again.
 
The event will be the 250th consecutive Champions Tour event Quigley has been eligible for and played in since 1997, and his 235th in a row overall.
 
'I think that's a record that will never be broken, on any tour,' Thorpe said. 'It's incredible.'
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Ford Senior Players Championship
     
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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.