Badds Luck

By Brian HewittApril 9, 2003, 4:00 pm
Aaron Baddeley wishes he were there in the worst way. The reason he isnt in the 67th Masters that begins Thursday is because he didnt have a chance.
Specifically, the chance he didnt have was to play in The Players Championship two weeks ago and improve his world ranking or standing on the money list in a last-ditch attempt to qualify for a precious Masters bid.
Baddeley, arguably the best player not in the Masters field this week, was the last alternate at the Players. But the young Aussie didnt get into the event. Many caddies and players arched their eyebrows when Michael Campbell, clearly hurting from a shoulder injury, shot 89 in the first round at the TPC at Sawgrass, signed for an 87 and was quickly disqualified.
The cognoscenti around the caddie barn contended Campbell never should have entered. The spot he took, they said, should have gone to Baddeley.
To his credit, Baddeley was making no excuses when I reached him by phone at his Scottsdale digs Tuesday. He refused to second-guess Campbells decision to play. And he said not playing in this weeks Masters just fires me up even more to make sure I qualify next year.
Baddeley said he will watch with interest on television. And, he said, the bad weather at Augusta wouldnt have bothered him. But he barely suppressed a chuckle when I asked him about the weather in Arizona this week.
Its perfect, he said.
The weather has been anything but perfect at Augusta National this week. It has been cold and rainy. And cold and rainy. Chad Campbell finally made it out onto the course Tuesday and hit a good drive followed by a 2-iron to get to the 18th hole that was lengthened before last years Masters. Two years ago Tiger Woods was hitting driver, sand wedge to this green.
But Campbell, playing in his first Masters, isnt about to let a little precipitation spoil his experience. It was awesome, he said of his first round at Augusta National. It was pretty cool getting to hit all the shots I saw on television while I was growing up.
The veterans were a little more sober about this weeks prospects. Tiger Woods, attempting to be the first player in history to win three straight Masters, did a wonderful job trying to disguise the fact that he knows the softened condition of the golf course gives him an even bigger advantage over the rest of the field.
I do like playing in tough conditions, he said Tuesday. Woods also said he hit a lot of drivers in his practice round because he anticipates the course will remain wet. Drive your pill, he said.
Ernie Els said the wrist he injured while working on a heavy bag prior to Bay Hill was healed. But, he added, he hadnt been able to begin serious preparations for this Masters until late last week. It was a frustrating wait, he said.
Phil Mickelson said he had no idea what kind of form he was in. Before missing the cut last week at the BellSouth Classic, he hadnt played since the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in late February. The time he took off from golf was to be with his wife, who gave birth to their first son.
Mickelson did admit that being under radar made it easier to prepare. You dont have as many distractions.'
Aaron Baddeley, for one, would love to have a few distractions this week.
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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.

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“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. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.