Woosnam Enjoys a Bubbly Week

By Associated PressSeptember 24, 2006, 4:00 pm
36th Ryder Cup MatchesSTRAFFAN, Ireland -- Standing on the balcony, the celebration in full swing, Ian Woosnam took a big swig of champagne. Way too big, in fact. It came spewing out of his mouth and bubbling through his nose.
 
That was, to be frank, the most adversity the winning Ryder Cup captain faced all week.
 
Ian Woosnam
European captain Ian Woosnam raises the Ryder Cup chalice.
His European team wrapped up an 18 1/2 -9 1/2 victory over the Americans on Sunday. Well before that, most golf experts were calling this the best European team ever.
 
After watching it come together, the only question was: Who couldn't have led this team to victory?
 
'The proudest moment of my life,' Woosnam called it. 'When you've got 12 fantastic players and a back-room staff I've got, it made my job very easy.'
 
For the record, though, Woosnam's captaincy wasn't all smooth sailing.
 
He took criticism from the European press for not being as accessible or amiable or interesting or organized as his American counterpart, the losing Tom Lehman.
 
Woosie's biggest pre-event news came earlier this month, when he made a splash by choosing Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood as his wildcard players, then hamhandedly telling Thomas Bjorn, one of the players he passed over, about the choice rather casually at a pub.
 
Although Woosie's delivery might not have been ideal, the choices he made certainly were.
 
Westwood teamed with Clarke to win both their fourball matches. Westwood got half points with Colin Montgomerie in both foursomes games, while Clarke stood on the sideline and smoked cigars. On Sunday, Clarke and Westwood won in singles.
 
Nearly all of Woosnam's decisions looked like winners. It's what happens when you're coaching the better players.
 
'I think you look at the scoreboard, and that says everything about Woosie as a captain,' Clarke said.
 
But it's probably not fair to let the scoreboard be the final judge of Lehman.
 
He came in with what NBC commentator Johnny Miller said were '12 guys -- three of them are firing a 50-millimeter cannon and nine guys are shooting BB guns.'
 
To his credit, Lehman stayed away from any disruptive decisions, like in 2004 when Hal Sutton paired Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson together, saying, 'I felt like history needed it. I felt like the fans needed it. And most of all, I felt like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods needed it.'
 
That pairing went 0-2 on the first day, and the whole idea was widely credited for leading to the avalanche that resulted in an 18 1/2 -9 1/2 loss.
 
The score this time was the same. Lehman's critics will contend the captain didn't put his top three in the best position to win.
 
He kept Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods together for all four team matches, and they won only two. He put Phil Mickelson with Chris DiMarco three times, which produced no wins. But when he paired Mickelson with David Toms, Lefty lost there, too.
 
Lehman benched rookie J.J. Henry twice even though Henry was playing well. He also used a captain's choice on Scott Verplank but only used him in one of the two-man matches. Verplank complained Saturday, and Lehman appeased him by making him the last player to go out in the Sunday singles.
 
Those on the American side dreamed Verplank's match against Padraig Harrington might be very important. It wasn't. Verplank won it anyway to finish the week 2-0.
 
'Second-guessing is a waste of time,' Lehman said. 'I do know that everything we did, we did for a reason, and with the best possible intention. But at end of day, you've still got to put the ball in the hole, and we didn't do that.'
 
The Europeans did. And Woosnam looks like a genius.
 
'I've had some criticism over the last few months, but that's gone and past,' he said. 'We got the victory we wanted. I had 12 terrific guys to help me through 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.