TOUR Returns to Sunshine State

By Associated PressFebruary 28, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Robert Allenby and Boo Weekley couldnt wait to get back to PGA National, which is somewhat surprising.
A year ago, each was poised to win the Honda Classic.
That is, until they blew it down the stretch on Sunday.
Allenby came unglued with bogeys the 15th and 16th holes in the final round, part of the three-hole setup known as the Bear Trap, a nod to course redesigner Jack Nicklaus'and wound up falling one shot short of a four-man playoff. Weekley could have won the tournament with a 3-foot par putt on the 72nd hole, only to miss and eventually fall to Mark Wilson in that playoff.
Both are here this week, each eager to put those memories to rest forever.
Its always going to be hard to block it out, Weekley said. Youve got to think about it. That was my first chance of winning a PGA TOUR event. Its always going to be there. But at the same time, that was last year and Im just going to try to go out there and focus on what Ive got to do.
Weekleys collapse in 07 was sudden. He strode to the green at the par-5 18th as darkness began falling Sunday evening, the crowd serenading him with a long cry of Boo. They watched his birdie putt miss, and were stone silent as he stood over the crucial 3-footer.
Moments later, they let out a sound of anguish.
Aint nobody who wants to three-putt, Weekley said. But its just part of how I play golf. It just happens.
So do bogeys, especially at PGA National, most especially when the wind is ripping through the Bear Trap.
Allenby thought the title'and $990,000 winners check'were in his hands last year, until he got to the 15th hole Sunday. He made bogey at the short par 3, followed by a bogey at the ridiculously tough par-4 16th'where the wind forced most players to hit driver and 4-iron'and his chances were done.
Ever since tapping in for par to end his final round last year, hes looked forward to giving PGA National another try.
If it wasnt for 15 and 16, I probably would be holding that trophy and I would have been the defending champion, Allenby said.
Instead, that honor goes to Wilson, who made the 07 Honda his first TOUR win. Yet what people remember most isnt what he did on Sunday or Monday, but rather what he did on Friday.
Wilson was struggling just to make the cut and needed three routine shots to finish the par-3 fifth hole during his second round. Problem was, caddie Chris Jones told Camilo Villegas, who was playing alongside Wilson, what his boss hit on that hole.
Thats where Rule 8-1 came into play.
Giving other players advice during competition is prohibited, so Wilson paid dearly for the caddies mistake. He called a rules official on the sixth tee and docked himself two strokes, putting his chances of staying for the weekend in serious danger.
I thought we were done, Jones said.
By now, everyone knows Wilson wasnt done.
In a stirring turnaround, Wilson was 8 under in the next 49 holes, got into a four-man playoff and ultimately prevailed. Now hes seeking to become the first back-to-back Honda champion since Nicklaus, who won three straight from 1976-1978.
Wilson still hears about the penalty just about everywhere he goes. Its part of Honda lore.
I guess it shows that theres more to the game than just hitting the ball in the hole, Wilson said. You know, I think thats maybe why it snowballed.
Snowballs arent in Thursdays forecast. But for Florida, itll have a wintry feel.
Temperatures fell into the high 50s on Wednesday afternoon, well below normal, and forecasters said wind chills'a phrase not often uttered in South Florida'could be in the high 30s by the time players begin teeing off Thursday morning.
Ive got a 7:44 tee time, lamented Woody Austin. So thats not a good spot to be in.
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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.