Tiger Loose After Emotional Open

By Associated PressAugust 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
2005 Buick OpenGRAND BLANC, Mich. -- Tiger Woods smiled and joked with pro-am partner Jerome Bettis as they walked off the ninth hole.
 
Woods later walked across a green when he spotted a friend from junior golf, Gilberto Morales. After a warm embrace they spent the next 15 minutes catching up between shots. Woods also posed for pictures, signed autographs and did a TV interview Wednesday, the day before the start of the Buick Open.
 
The last time he was in the public eye, the scene was dramatically different.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is vying for his fourth PGA TOUR victory of the season.
He was sobbing uncontrollably in the arms of caddie Steve Williams and wife Elin two weeks ago at the British Open after winning for the first time since his father's death in May. The touching moment was replayed on TV and captured by photographers, but Woods said he hasn't seen it.
 
'I remember being in Stevie's arms and crying like a baby and him pushing me away into my wife and just bawling there. I've never done that,' he said. 'It was the first time I've been in a golf tournament without Dad, either seeing me or being around physically, where I could call him.
 
'Those days are over. I'll never have that again.'
 
Woods said the timing of one of his regular stops - two weeks before the PGA Championship - couldn't be better.
 
'It works out perfect,' said Woods, playing the Buick Open for the eighth time. 'I got a chance to unwind for a few days, and then get back up and ready for this event.
 
'I have all next week to go home - well, maybe go home, hurricane might be blasting through again. I get to go somewhere and practice and get ready. I always find it nice to get ready in solitude and have my game where I want it when I go into a major championship.'
 
But before Woods heads for Medinah in suburban Chicago, where he won the 1999 PGA championship, he'd like to win his second Buick Open.
 
Buick, one of Woods' sponsors, announced it signed a four-year contract extension with Warwick Hills to keep the Buick Open here through 2010. The tournament will end July 1 next year, placing it between the U.S. and British Opens, instead of early August.
 
'I think it's still a good place on the schedule because guys will want to get a tournament in between those two majors,' Woods said before being whisked away in a Buick.
 
Vijay Singh will attempt to be the first to win three straight Buick Opens and four overall in a field that includes four of the top five players on the money list, with only Phil Mickelson missing.
 
'I have never won a tournament three times in a row,' said Singh, who has won once this year after claiming 13 victories the previous two years. 'So, the best incentive I have is my personal ego.'
 
Singh and Woods will be joined by Jim Furyk, U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, British Open runner-up Chris DiMarco and crowd favorite John Daly. Woods won the Buick Open in 2002 and Furyk did the next year.
 
After playing crusty and brown Royal Liverpool, lush fairways and greens at Warwick Hills welcome Woods and Co.
 
The players have to consistently birdie the four par 5s and the par-4 12th and 14th - just 340 and 322 yards long, respectively - to have a shot at winning. Singh has won the past two tournaments at 24 and 23 under.
 
'It's not a tricked-up golf course,' Woods said. 'It's right in front of you. Every year, the greens are always perfect. You hit good shots around the hole, you know the putts are going in. It's always a treat to play on greens that are this good.'
 
Woods only used his driver once at Hoylake, but will break it out regularly this week about 60 miles north of Detroit. On Nos. 13-14 in the pro-am, he sent tee shots long and straight down the fairway as Bettis shook his head in amazement.
 
Bettis, who retired after leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit, said he never saw anything on a football field that impressed him as much as Woods did during their round.
 
'There's no equivalent,' said Bettis, a 16 handicap. 'It's a treat for me to watch him up close, to be honest with you, especially because he's also a great guy.'
 
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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.