Woods Has Chance to be No 1 Again

By Associated PressFebruary 16, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Nissan OpenPACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- Knocked off his perch for the last 24 weeks, Tiger Woods can return to No. 1 in the world this week at the Nissan Open, and it would appear the odds are in his favor.
After all, he only has to finish fourth against a field that is missing Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh, and Woods has won three times and tied for third in his last four stroke-play tournaments.
It all seems simple enough -- except for where the Nissan Open is played.
Riviera Country Club, a classic design off Sunset Boulevard, is a course Woods knows as well as any on the PGA Tour. It's the closest one to his hometown, and he first played here as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992.
But it also is the one place he can't seem to win.
``No doubt about it, I'd like to win,'' Woods said Wednesday. ``Hopefully, this will be the year.''
Riviera is the only PGA Tour course Woods has played at least four times as a pro without winning, and he has only come close one year. That was in 1999, when he finished two shots behind Ernie Els
His record will show top-10 finishes the last two years, but only because he closed with rounds of 64 and 65 after he was no longer a factor in the Nissan Open.
Sam Snead never won the U.S. Open. Arnold Palmer never won a PGA Championship. Jack Nicklaus never won the Canadian Open despite seven runner-up finishes.
And then there's Woods and his hometown tournament.
``I have some great memories, some nervous memories,'' Woods said. ``It's just been great over the years to see the same people out here. It's basically my hometown. So to see my friends out here, it's a very special event.''
Maybe this will be the year he gives them something to cheer about.
Woods is coming off a three-week break in which he went skiing and worked on his game, and managed to inch closer to No. 1 in the world with Singh missing the cut last week at Pebble Beach.
But that's not what drives him at Riviera.
``The No. 1 ranking is really not that important to me. It's winning,'' Woods said. ``Winning is how I get to No. 1 in the world, (how) Vijay got to be No. 1 in the world ... and the guys before us. You have to win. I have started to put together some wins here. It's been really cool, and hopefully I can continue that
Maybe he should seek out Mike Weir for advice.
The Canadian has a chance to make history this week as he tries to become the first player in the 79-year history of the Nissan Open to win three straight times.
Ben Hogan won three straight at Riviera, the last one of those at the 1948 U.S. Open. The other back-to-back winners at the Nissan Open were MacDonald Smith, Paul Harney, Palmer and Corey Pavin.
``Usually in the big scheme of things, I don't look at records too much,'' Weir said. ``But I thought about this one. This would be a pretty cool one. This course has a lot of history. I'd like to add a little piece of it if I could.''
The former Masters champion doesn't have a method for winning at Riviera.
Weir made up a seven-shot deficit in the final round two years ago by closing with a 5-under 66 to get into a playoff against Charles Howell, then beat him on the second extra hole.
Last year, Weir took a five-shot lead into the final round and threw it all away on the back thanks to a tremendous charge by Shigeki Maruyama. But just when the Canadian was headed for a collapse, he nearly chipped in from the side of the hill on the 18th green and won by a shot.
There's hope for Woods yet -- Weir missed the cut his four times at Riviera, and now can't seem to lose.
``Even from the first time I played Riviera, I loved the golf course,'' Weir said. ``The first couple of years, I never played well there, but I thought it was the type of course that set up well for my game. Just the way the course is shaped, you have to use your imagination out there.
``It took me a couple of years to get a handle on it, but I like the place.''
Woods and Weir are the only players among the top 10 in the world ranking. U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen was supposed to play, but he didn't get a wake-up call Wednesday morning and missed his pro-am time. Under the PGA Tour's policy, players cannot be in the tournament if they don't take part in the pro-am.
Singh is taking the week off for only the second time this year, while Mickelson is taking off this tournament during a stretch of playing six out of seven.
Even if Woods were to return to No. 1 this week, it might not last long. The two-year points system favors Singh over the next few months, and the only way for Woods to get to the top and stay there is to win.
Doing that at Riviera would make it that much sweeter.
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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.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.