Tigers FedExCup Runneth Over

By Associated PressSeptember 16, 2007, 4:00 pm
2006 The TOUR Championship presented by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- The FedExCup didn't change anything but Tiger Woods' bank account.
 
The PGA TOUR's 'new era in golf' came to a familiar conclusion Sunday when Woods captured the TOUR Championship in record-setting fashion, closing with a 4-under 66 for an eight-shot victory at East Lake and his seventh title of the season.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods hoists the FedExCup trophy. (WireImage)
The only difference?
 
This was the first time Woods walked away from one tournament with two trophies.
 
Along with winning the TOUR Championship and its $1.26 million prize, Woods was a runaway winner of the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes into his retirement account.
 
If this was supposed to be the 'Super Bowl' of golf, Woods spent most of the final round running out the clock.
 
He stretched his three-shot lead to four at the turn, and the only drama was whether he would break the 72-hole scoring record on the PGA TOUR. He had to settle for a 23-under 257, his career low on tour and breaking the Tour Championship record by six shots.
 
'I hit it good this week,' Woods said. 'It's been a phenomenal week'
 
Masters champion Zach Johnson closed with a 68 and tied for second with Mark Calcavecchia, who shot a 71.
 
Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson were the only players with a realistic chance of capturing the FedExCup, and their hopes were gone by the weekend. Stricker closed with a 67 and wrapped up second place in the PGA TOUR Playoffs, giving him a $3 million retirement boost.
 
The FedExCup was a points race that began in January, with the points reset after the majors for a four-week stretch of the PGA TOUR Playoffs. Woods skipped the first playoff event in New York, tied for second outside Boston, then won the last two tournaments to win by an overwhelming margin.
 
PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem first presented Woods with the crystal trophy from the TOUR Championship. Before handing him the FedEx Cup trophy, Finchem alluded to the TOUR's promotion of the FedExCup by noting it had never been kissed.
 
And it still hasn't.
 
Woods simply held it aloft as the thousands around 18th green cheered.
 
'Once you got into the playoffs, you're playing against the best guys and the hottest players. You have to play well,' Woods said. 'We had some great drama. In the end, it was a lot of fun for all of us.'
 
There was no drama at East Lake, not with Woods hitting on all cylinders to wrap up another phenomenal season. He won seven times in 16 starts on the PGA TOUR, and was close to unbeatable the last two months of the season. Woods was 75-under par in his last five tournaments, four of them victories.
 
Woods' primary objective is winning majors, and he already has 13 of those. The World Golf Championships were created in 1999, and he has won 14 of 25. And now the FedExCup.
 
'It just makes it harder for the rest of us,' Johnson said. 'Why give him another thing to try to achieve. He's a very driven man. When you add another element to that drive, what are you going to do?'
 
It was the 61st career victory for Woods, which makes him at 31 the youngest player to reach that mark. Jack Nicklaus was 35 when he captured his 61st TOUR victory.
 
And while he has to wait at least until he's 45 to tap into the $10 million from the FedExCup, the $1.26 million in cash he earned Sunday pushing his season total to $10,876,052, the second-highest mark in PGA TOUR history. Woods came up $29,114 short of the record set by Vijay Singh in 2004, although Singh earned that in 29 tournaments. Woods played in only 16 this year.
 
Woods' previous low for 72 holes was a 21-under 259 at Firestone in 2000, when he won by 11 shots. This was the eighth time in his career that Woods has won by at least eight shots, and the margin set the record at the TOUR Championship.
 
Woods has never lost any tournament as a pro when leading by more than one shot going into the final round. The only historical hope for anyone Sunday was that Woods twice failed to win with a share of the 54-hole lead, both times at East Lake.
 
But that hope didn't last long.
 
Calcavecchia birdied the first hole to get within two shots, and while that was as close as anyone got to him all day, there were a few nervous moments.
 
Woods took bogey on No. 2 when his short par spun out of the cup, then his wedge to the third flew over the green and into a bed of pine straw. It looked like a sure bogey, which would cut his margin to one, but he hit a beautiful flop shot 8 feet and the putt caught just enough of the lip to drop in for par.
 
The pivotal shot, if there was one, came on the par-3 sixth hole. The tee was all the way back, a 200-yard carry over the lake, and Woods hit his tee shot to 3 feet for birdie. He slapped hands with caddie Steve Williams walking off the tee, and the rest became a formality with a few peculiar twists.
 
Johnson, who flirted with a 59 on Saturday to get back in the mix, made three straight birdies and was standing over a 30-foot eagle putt on the ninth that would have pulled him within two shots of the lead. But he was interrupted by the thud of a ball landing on the front of the green, and Johnson's caddie looked back toward the fairway waving his hand.
 
It was Woods' second shot from the left rough, from 286 yards away. Johnson ran his putt 4 feet by the hole and three-putted for par, and Woods got up-and-down for birdie to stretch his lead to five.
 
Woods hustled to the green to apologize, and everyone left with smiles.
 
The only drama remaining was how low Woods could go, a record that likely will never be broken at East Lake given the unusual circumstances. The greens were nearly died a few weeks ago from record heat and a drought, and while the tour staff did an admirable job getting them playable for the TOUR Championship, they were soft and slow, and the pins were kept away from the barren spots around the edges of the greens.
 
It was target practice from the opening shot, reflected it in the record scoring.
 
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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.