US Open Qualifying Starting to Heat Up

By Associated PressMay 26, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 The Memorial TournamentDUBLIN, Ohio -- Arron Oberholser already has had a tough time this year with a hand injury. He was dealt another blow Monday when he was knocked out of the U.S. Open by the tiniest of margins based on tournaments held on three continents.
 
Oberholser was losing a spot or two each week in the world ranking while recovering from injuries to his left hand, falling to No. 45. But he dropped six spots to No. 51 at the worst time'the cutoff for the top 50 being exempt to the U.S. Open.
 
He wound up .004 points behind Soren Hansen, who already was eligible.
 
Its a goofy system'we all know that. But its the system we have, Oberholser said while waiting on lunch at Muirfield Village. I probably deserve it. I havent played but five events because of my hand. And when I have played, I havent played well.
 
The U.S. Open will be held June 12-15 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
 
Fourteen players were exempt from U.S. Open qualifying based on the world ranking and money lists on the PGA and European tour.
 
Rod Pampling received a small consolation from Colonial. Even though he lost a two-shot lead on the back nine to Phil Mickelson, his tie for second at the Crowne Plaza Invitational was enough to move Pampling from No. 69 to No. 47 and avoid a 36-hole qualifier Monday.
 
Also getting into the U.S. Open through the world ranking were Ian Poulter, Stuart Appleby, Robert Karlsson, Sean OHair, Martin Kaymer, Justin Leonard, Mike Weir and J.B. Holmes.
 
Ryuji Imada, Anthony Kim and Jeff Quinney earned spots by being in the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list. Miguel Angel Jimenez defeated Oliver Wilson in a playoff at the BMW Championship in England, and both qualified for the U.S. Open as Nos. 1 and 2 on the European tours Order of Merit.
 
Seventy-two players were exempt from qualifying, including defending champion Angel Cabrera and Tiger Woods, who was exempt in 10 categories. That leaves 84 spots available at 36-hole sectional qualifiers next Monday.
 
How did Oberholser fall six spots in one week?
 
He lost a few points when his tie for fourth at Colonial two years ago was wiped off the slate, but that wasnt enough on its own. It took good results from six players on three tours who were behind him in the ranking going into last week:
 
' Toru Taniguchi tied for fifth on the Japan PGA Tour.
 
' Tim Clark birdied two of the last three holes and tied for second at Colonial, along with Pampling.
 
' Wilson moved into the top 50 with his playoff loss at Wenworth, while Hansen birdied the 17th hole to tie for 34th earning enough points to hold down the 50th spot in the ranking.
 
' Quinney birdied the last hole at Colonial and tied for seventh, earning enough points to move from No. 52 to No. 49.
 
The perfect storm, Oberholser said. I kept looking at the ranking and was falling one spot, two spots. And then I fall six spots when I least needed that to happen. Its very disappointing.
 
Oberholser said he will not go to sectional qualifying Monday because he doesnt think his tender hand can take 36 holes in one day.
 
He had not played since a tie for 25th at the Masters, taking six weeks off for rest and therapy and returning last week at the Colonial, where he tied for 59th and received no points. It would not have mattered had he taken last week off because Oberholser has played fewer than 40 tournaments over the last two years while coping with various injuries.
 
And this might not be the last of his troubles.
 
He said the grip pressure in his left hand was 30 percent weaker than his right hand after the Masters, but therapy has reduced that gap to about 5 percent. But doctors also found a bone spur in the top of his left hand. If it gets too painful, he might face surgery.
 
Ive kind of written this year off, Oberholser said.
 
One thing was certain on Monday. He wont be playing the U.S. Open for the first time since 2004.
 

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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.