Woods Mickelson Scott Paired at US Open

By Associated PressJune 5, 2008, 4:00 pm
2008 U.S. OpenTiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play together the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, a decision by the USGA to create equal footing for the highest-ranked players, but one that could turn Torrey Pines into one big traffic jam.
 
Woods and Mickelson, Nos. 1 and 2 in the world, will be joined by No. 3 Adam Scott.
 
The USGA will release the pairings Thursday.
 
Mike Davis, the senior director of rules and competition for the USGA, said the top 12 players will be grouped together and spread over the four various time slots -- starting on the first tee or 10th tee in the morning, and first tee or 10th tee in the
afternoon.
 
The biggest stars usually are dispersed among the morning and afternoon times, largely at the behest of television. Davis said the USGA has been thinking about a major change over the past few months and decided to give it a try.
 
Why not put them in the same wave?' Davis said in a telephone interview from San Diego. 'The heck with what TV wants. Let's do what we want for the championship.'
 
The last time Woods and Mickelson played together in the early rounds of a major was the 2006 PGA Championship, which traditionally groups the three major champions of that year -- Mickelson won the Masters, Geoff Ogilvy the U.S. Open and Woods the British Open.
 
But that was at Medinah outside Chicago.
 
The U.S. Open will be held at Torrey Pines, where Mickelson and Woods have perhaps their strongest fan base. Woods is a six-time winner at the Buick Invitational and grew up 90 miles up the road in Orange County. Mickelson is the local favorite, a San Diego native who played high school matches at Torrey Pines and won the Buick Invitational three times.
 
Not to be ignored is Scott, a 27-year-old Australian with model good looks who often draws plenty of women in his gallery.
 
'This year we got to thinking, 'Isn't it kind of crummy that we've never had the two guys ranked 1 and 2 in the world in the same wave?'' Davis said. 'Weather can affect outcomes in the U.S. Open. It could be windy in the morning, or firm in the afternoon.'
 
The original thought was to keep Woods and Mickelson near the same time, but as Davis spoke to USGA executive director David Fay and other executives, they decided to go a step further.
 
'What's wrong with putting 1 and 2 together, given their background at Torrey Pines?' Davis said.
 
From there, they decided to involve the top 12. That means Ernie Els, Ogilvy and Justin Rose would be in the same group, while Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and K.J. Choi would comprise another, and Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Stewart Cink would be the other.
 
The U.S. Open traditionally groups the defending champion, the British Open champion and the U.S. Amateur champion. That would not be affected with Angel Cabrera at No. 22 in the ranking, Padraig Harrington at No. 14 and U.S. Amateur champion Colt Knost not in the field because he turned pro.
 
'If there was a right year to do it, this was it,' Davis said, alluding to Woods' and Mickelson's history at Torrey Pines.
 
Woods and Mickelson played in the final group at Torrey Pines in the 2003 Buick Invitational, when Woods was coming off a two-month layoff from knee surgery. Brad Faxon also was in that group -- he was known as 'Switzerland' that day -- and Woods closed with a 68 for a three-shot victory.
 
Adding to the hype is that Woods has not played since surgery on his left knee two days after the Masters.
 
But the super pairing has its risks.
 
Woods and Mickelson are the biggest draws, and Davis said traffic to the course and on the course could be a problem. There also is the possibility that everyone leaves when the stars are done.
 
'We all know how traffic can be in San Diego,' Davis said. 'That was a huge part of the equation. We all talked long and hard about it. And the end of the day, we felt we could make that work.'
 
Davis said there was some trepidation among USGA officials that the idea would create havoc, but he felt it was worth a shot.
 
'In absolute honestly, it was never done for promotional reasons,' he said. 'It was done because these guys never get to play together. They always want them separate because of TV. We hope it's positive.'
 
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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.