Wie Struggles Mightily at John Deere

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 John Deere ClassicSILVIS, Ill. -- After yet another errant shot, Michelle Wie groaned and tugged her baseball hat down over her eyes.
 
Nice try. There was no escaping the ugliness on her scorecard, though.
 
Trying for a fifth time to become the first woman since 1945 to make a cut in a PGA TOUR event, the 16-year-old instead found trouble virtually everywhere she turned Thursday in the first round of the John Deere Classic. In the sand. In the water. In the weeds. And in the woods -- several times.
 
'It was very uncharacteristic,' she said. 'Considering that I had the water hazard penalties, considering that I had to call unplayable, considering that I hit my driver like 50 yards right, I felt like I played really well.
 
'... I have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow.'
 
With a 6-over 77, Wie was 13 strokes off the lead and appears headed for another early trip home. The low 70 and ties will make the cut after the second round Friday and 70 players were at 2 under or better, with three still on the course when play was suspended because of darkness. Wie was tied for 149th in the 153-player field, with only Bob May and Mike Springer behind her.
 
'I didn't make the cut shooting 1 under on the first (day), so maybe shooting 6 over might do it,' said Wie, who missed the cut at last year's Deere Classic despite shooting 1 under the first day.
 
J.P. Hayes, John Senden, Daniel Chopra and local favorite Zach Johnson were tied for the lead at 7-under 64. Joe Ogilvie and Kris Cox were one stroke back at 65. Six players, including one of Wie's playing partners, Daisuke Maruyama, were at 66.
 
Jeff Gove, the third player in Wie's group, was at 3-over 74. Defending champion Sean O'Hair was five shots off the lead after a 69.
 
This is Wie's fifth visit to the PGA TOUR, where she is trying to become the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to make the cut. And if ever there was a time the teen phenom was going to do it, this appeared to be it.
 
She missed the cut at last year's Deere Classic by two strokes, blowing her chance at history with two bad holes late in the second round. A year older and wiser, she arrived playing the best golf of he career. In the first three LPGA Tour majors, she's finished a combined five shots out of the lead.
 
She'd already made the cut at one men's event, too, finishing 12 shots off the lead in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open.
 
But Wie got off to a rough start Thursday and never quite got back on track. She hit seven of 14 fairways and made six of 18 greens, only one in the first nine. She took four drops, three in the first five holes.
 
'When I was like, 12, maybe,' Wie said when asked the last time she took four penalty strokes.
 
Heavy fog delayed the start of the first round by 2 hours and 10 minutes, and about 2,000 fans were lining the 10th hole -- her first -- by the time Wie and her partners arrived. She was greeted with loud applause, and she responded with an easy smile and wave.
 
She wasn't smiling on the 11th tee, when bugs hovered as she addressed her ball. She stepped back five times, throwing her head back in frustration the final time.
 
'I would like to say it didn't, but it bothered me a little bit,' she said. 'Bugs on me, I hate bugs, and I was starting to get a little aggravated like the fifth time I stepped out. I was a little aggravated, but I felt like I shook it off.'
 
Maybe. But she pushed her tee shot so far right it was lost in a thicket of trees and she had to take a drop. She wound up with a double-bogey after her 20-foot uphill putt stopped at the edge of the cup.
 
Next up was the par-3 12th, another easy birdie hole. But once again, her tee shot sailed to the right, prompting Wie to yell, 'Oh, no! You've got to be kidding me!'
 
Nope. That ball disappeared into trees, too, forcing her to take another drop from about 90 yards out. But she saved a bogey, running that shot 4 feet past the hole and making the putt.
 
She rebounded with a 12-footer for birdie on 13, and smiled when 16-year-old Spencer Conlin yelled, 'Michelle, you're my hero!' as she walked off the green.
 
'Dude, look at her,' Conlin said. 'She's out here playing with men in a PGA tournament. And she's half the age of them.'
 
But her recovery was short-lived. Another bad drive on 14 landed in deep weeds, and she had to take another drop, her third.
 
Wie finally got a break on the par-3 16th, chipping in from a valley about 20 yards behind and to the right of the pin. The crowd whooped and cheered, and a relieved-looking Wie exchanged a fist bump with her caddie.
 
'That's why I play, to have those moments,' Wie said. 'It's so wonderful, you can't really put it in words. You just feel really good. That's why I'm doing this, to feel those moments.'
 
Those moments were short-lived Thursday, though. Her tee shot on the par-5 17th hit one tree and then another, landing in deep rough about 10 yards into the gallery. She tried to punch out, but the ball only moved about 40 yards. When she finally did get on the green, she left a 15-foot par putt short.
 
After a bogey on No. 1 and another drop on No. 2, Wie had a chance to make up ground. One birdie putt hit the edge of the cup and banged out. Another rolled 3 feet by, and she left yet another 4 feet short.
 
'I feel like I have a really good round in me,' she said. 'I feel like if I hit the fairways more, if I was in the fairway I could have a shot a lot under par. I felt like my irons are really good. My putting feels really good and I really feel like I can do it.'
 
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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.