Gifts for the Gifted

By Brian HewittDecember 15, 2003, 5:00 pm
Why, you might want to know, have I chosen to 'gift' the 16 players in Tiger Woods' Target World Challenge? The obvious reason is Christmas is bearing down on us like a runaway sleigh.
 
Why, you might want to know, have I chosen to suggest holiday presents for these guys when the worst of them earned was $180,000 for finishing in last place Sunday at Sherwood Country Club?
 
The reason is simple: These players earned their way here. Twelve of them made it through position in the world rankings, another four through much-coveted special exemptions. In golf these days it's a good thing to be wanted by Tiger. So without further ado, here are 16 holiday gifts that these players will be able to use in 2004, remembering for a moment that money isn't everything:
 
Robert Allenby: A Tie. Any tie. Allenby loves ties. He is 8-0 worldwide in playoffs that have followed tournaments in which he has been tied at the end of regulation.
 
Nick Price: Cessation of hostilities in his homeland of Zimbabwe. This is a very tall order and one that won't come soon. But all we are asking, Lennon said, is give peace a chance.
 
Davis Love III: 2004. That's all he needs. A new year. 2003 has been a trying one for Love with injuries on the course and personal tragedy (the suicide death of his brother-in-law, among other things) off the course. Love has handled all of this with grace and good sense. Somehow he even managed to win four tournaments.
 
K.J. Choi: Recognition. His game just keeps getting better. He has moved to the top of the list as the favorite to become the first Asian to win a major championship.
 
Tiger Woods: A date for his wedding with fiance Elin Nordegren that doesn't conflict with the four majors or the nine zillion other demands on his time.
 
Jay Haas: Another case of whatever it is he drinks at night that keeps him young and sharp. If he could bottle it and sell it as an elixir, Haas would become as rich as.........oh.......Tiger Woods.
 
Vijay Singh: A life-changing event of some kind that would remove the proclivity he has for being suspicious and feeling picked on. Lighten up, Veej, and the world will lighten up with you.
 
Darren Clarke: Enough good weather to practice a swing that feels new to him now that he has lost so much weight that the some of the positions of that swing have changed.
 
Padraig Harrington: A major championship. No Euro has won a major in this century. Harrington is my pick as the breakthrough guy.
 
Mike Weir: A fresh outlook. Carrying the burden of being a Player of the Year candidate all year took its toll. Weir was up to the task. But his batteries need a little re-charging. Make no mistake though, his game has arrived.
 
Justin Leonard: A bigger room at Royal Troon in July when he returns to try to win there again at The Open Championship. 'It was a closet,' Leonard said this week of his room at Troon in 1997. 'I could lie on my bed, stick my feet out the door, turn on the TV with one hand and the bathroom sink with another. All without moving.'
 
Kenny Perry: Another year like 2003. Don't be surprised if he wins at least twice again in 2004.
 
Ben Curtis: A second act. The jury is still out on whether Curtis is a one-hit wonder.
 
Fred Couples: Two dozen bottles of Jay Haas Elixir.
 
Shaun Micheel: More perfect distances for the perfect shot at the perfect moment.
 
Chris DiMarco: A Ryder Cup berth. This is a guy you want on your side in the team stuff.
 
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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.


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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.