Woods Considered Beatable at Buick

By Associated PressJuly 28, 2004, 4:00 pm
GRAND BLANC, Mich. -- When Tiger Woods used to show up at a golf tournament, he was considered the player to beat. Now, he's simply regarded as beatable.
 
'Until he gets on top of his game, and everybody realizes he's playing his best, players are just worrying about their own game,' Steve Flesch said Wednesday, a day before the start of the Buick Open. 'It's no secret that he's not playing as good as we all know he can.
 
'Everybody realizes now that he is beatable, more than he was four years ago. If he showed up, everybody knew he was the guy to beat.'
 
Despite the subtle shots some are taking at Woods and his game, he still is the top ranked golfer in the world.
 
In 13 tournaments this year, he has been in the top 10 nine times, including a victory five months ago and two third-place finishes.
 
Woods has won 40 PGA Tour events, including the 2002 Buick Open, since turning pro in 1996. He held all four majors at the same time and won eight major championships before he turned 27.
 
But he hasn't won a major since the 2002 U.S. Open and has failed to hold onto a 36-hole lead twice this year after winning tournaments in the same situation the previous five years.
 
And if Woods does not win the PGA Championship in two weeks at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, he will match his career-long streak without a major at 10.
 
Does the word 'slump' cross his mind?
 
'The only reason why I might think about it is someone just might say it,' he said.
 
Woods shrugs off the scrutiny he's receiving because frankly, he's used to it.
 
'Back in 2000 when I was winning a lot, I remember getting criticism for it. I was bad for the Tour because I was winning too much,' Woods said. 'Now, I'm not winning quite as much. So, there's always something.
 
'That's just part of being ranked No. 1. When you're on top, people are always going to criticize you and praise you. I don't have a problem with it, as long as it's fair.'
 
Jim Furyk is back at Warwick Hills, about 60 miles north of Detroit, to defend his Buick Open title. Vijay Singh, Stephen Ames, John Daly and Flesch, who is 12th on money list, also are in the 156-player field.
 
It will be Furyk's second competitive outing since surgery on his left wrist in March.
 
'My wrist is very healthy,' said Furyk, who proved it by shooting a 65 Wednesday in the pro-am.
 
Furyk won last year at 21-under 267 - two shots ahead of Woods and three others - about two months after winning the U.S. Open.
 
He will have a shot at being the tournament's first back-to-back winner since Tony Lema in 1964-65.
 
'I keep hearing that,' Furyk said with a grin.
 
He said the depth of the PGA Tour makes it difficult to repeat at any tournament, and the Buick Open is no exception because the course is relatively easy.
 
'There's a lot of 18 unders, 20 unders,' Furyk said. 'It's a shootout.'
 
Woods is second on the Buick Open's all-time money list, trailing only Furyk. Besides his tie for second last year and victory in 2002, he has finished tied for fourth, eighth and 11th in five appearances.
 
'I think coming to a golf course and a venue you have played well always brings a little bit of confidence,' he said. 'Especially, one that I've won before.'
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Buick Open
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
     
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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.