Numb and Number

By Brian HewittOctober 18, 2004, 4:00 pm
Tiger Woods generates $80 million income in 2003. Vijay Singh wins more than $10 million in America in 2004. Ernie Els banks a check for more than $1.8 million in London over the weekend.
 
And we all become a little more numb.
 
It is harder than ever to identify with the sums of money being made in golf these days. Not that long ago it was unusual for a player to earn more than a million dollars in one season. In the not-so-distant future, it will not be unusual for a player to need to make a million dollars in a year to keep his card.
 
Which brings us, in a semi-roundabout way, to 45-year-old Michael Allen, who finished second all by himself at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro Sunday when he rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.
 
The money is precious to Michael Allen. He has ground out his playing privileges six times at Q-School, including last year when he finished third at professional golfs annual 108-hole crucible. When he returned home to Mesa, Ariz., his friends had tacked a sign on his locker that read: All-time money winner at Q-School.
 
Allen loves his friends but everybody knew, deep down, this was a dubious distinction. Michael Allen has never been able to afford to be numb about the money. Quite the contrary, his nerve endings have been raw for years now because of the suggestions that he didnt have the dollars or the sense to quit playing golf for a living.
 
He tried building homes for a while. He tried working in a shop. He tried medical sales. Only once before, until Sunday, did he make enough money on tour to regain his playing privileges for the next season.
 
So here he was Sunday in the press room at Greensboro answering questions about what it felt like to have won more money than he could count.
 
I sat in the trailer, signed my card and looked at the amount, he said. I couldnt believe they were going to give me a half million dollars for this and I was, like, geez, what a great time.
 
To be specific, Allen won $496,800 at Greensboro. It was enough to jump him from No. 153 on the money list to No. 84. The putt on the 72nd hole alone was worth almost $100,000. There will be no return to Q-School for Michael Allen this year. He will be fully exempt in 2005.
 
Half a million bucks. Thats like a career for me, pards, Michael Allen said.
 
Half a million bucks for Greg Norman is jet fuel.
 
None of which is to suggest that Norman, Woods, Singh or Els havent worked hard for their financial rewards. In fact it can be argued that all of them have made enough money now so that money doesnt matter any more and they are free to play to win and to play for the love of the game.
 
But there are a lot more Michael Allens in golf and in the real world. There are a lot more people who have to count every last loving, living penny.
 
On Saturday Michael Allen said nobody recognizes him in public and he understands that. Thats OK, he said. Why would anybody know me?
 
The answer to that question is easy. Just because people dont know Michael Allens face doesnt mean they dont recognize his life.
 
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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.