A Different Tiger Slam

By Brian HewittMarch 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
Winning will never get old for Tiger Woods. Nor will the people who follow his every move and root for his every shot ever get bored with the cascade of PGA TOUR victories that now No. 64, which ties him with Ben Hogan for third on the all-time TOUR list.
 
Thats why hes Tiger Woods, said runner-up Bart Bryant, who pushed Woods to the limit and beat the mere mortals in the field. Hes done it before and hell do it again.
 
What else, Arnold Palmer whispered into the ear of Tiger Woods, is new?
 
But even Woods is starting to be challenged by his own soaring achievements. Im talking about the moments that immediately followed the sinking of the 31-foot putt on the 72nd hole that snatched the playoff hopes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational from a waiting Bryant and procured for Woods his fifth straight TOUR win and his seventh in his last eight starts.
 
Yes, Im talking about the celebratory slamming of the hat into the ground nanoseconds after the winning stroke. To be sure, a trademark fist pump followed. But milliners worldwide had to be thinking: Hat abuse. At least Bay Hills host, Palmer himself, had the good grace to fling his chapeau skyward after holing out the winning putt at the 1960 U.S. Open.
 
What I was thinking Sunday was Tiger needs some new moves. Weve seen this particular hat slam before. And it came from Fred Funk on the 72nd green of the 2005 PLAYERS after Funk sunk the winning putt at Sawgrass.
 
So, its come to that, folks. Tiger is now stealing style from Fred Funk.
 
He and his instructor, Hank Haney, are going to have to work on that. Because from my angle, it appears theyve figured everything else out. Replicating Funk is the only flaw I can see at the moment.
 
And speaking of angles, GOLF CHANNEL will give you Tiger Woods from 360 degrees tonight at 9 p.m. ET. The new show is entitled 360. And it promises a different kind of access to Woods.
 
Meanwhile, back at the golf tournament ...
 
Short of, maybe, Tiger vs. Phil in the final round, the best head-to-head match-up Sunday was Woods vs. Singh. And early on at Bay Hill it turned into almost that as two of the other three 54-hole co-leaders, Sean OHair and Bubba Watson, fired and fell back on the front nine Sunday. The third, Bryant, who lives minutes from Bay Hill in nearby Ocoee, was hanging around. He wouldnt go away.
 
Singh, who has always played well in Palmers event, left several birdie putts on the edges but still found himself just one back of Woods after seven holes. Woods, playing in the final pairing with OHair, two groups behind Singh and Hunter Mahan, birdied the difficult par-3 second and led by one over Singh after five.
 
It was a brave comeback by defending champion Singh who had suffered a mid-round meltdown on Saturday when he went bogey-double bogey-bogey-bogey starting at the fifth hole to surrender five shots and solo first in four-hole stretch.
 
But in the end, he needed 31 putts Sunday. And he wound up tied for third at 7-under.
 
Bryant closed with three pars to stay at 9 under and set the table and the stage for Woods who responded, he said, with his best swing of the week. It was a 5-iron into the final green and into a freshening wind. And it stopped in the middle of the green. The winning putt got him to 10 under.
 
The rest was more golf history. And it was capped off by a very different kind of Tiger Slam that was, among other things, a little bit funky.
 
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Related Links:
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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.