Sunday at The Masters is a Banquet

By Brian HewittApril 7, 2007, 4:00 pm
The table is set. With Dresden china. Sterling Silver. And your grandmothers best linen napkins.
The Masters has been marinating in its own Georgia juices for three days now and it is time for a Sunday golf feast that almost always turns out to be delicious and charming, in large measure because it is not moveable.
The competitive appetites are properly whetted.
Nothing wrong with breakfast at Wimbledon. Or lunch at Wrigley Field in the midday Chicago sunshine. But they are nothing like the traditional dinner hour climax of The Masters.
The final pairing of Stuart Appleby and Tiger Woods will tee off at 2:15 p.m. A sudden death playoff, if needed, will begin on the 18th hole and alternate between the 10th and the 18th until a winner is determined. In the last 16 Masters the eventual champion has come from the last twosome.
Draw your own conclusions.
Woods, a four-time champion at Augusta National, is one shot back of Appleby. Applebys leading total of 2 over par is the highest in the history of the event.
After indifferent first two rounds of 73 and 74 that left him five shots back of the leaders at the halfway mark, Woods clawed back into contention with birdies on three and eight on a chilly, windy day that exalted par and turned birdies into a cause for full celebration. If he hadnt bogeyed 17 and 18 for the second time in three days, he would be leading.
Appleby had given us a hint of what was to come from him when he made seven birdies during a Friday 70 that had drawn him to within three of the lead. He took up where he left off Saturday with birdies on the second, third and fourth, a hole named Flowering Crab Apple by the Lords of The Masters.
There was nothing crabby about Applebys disposition after a wonderful par save from the left woods at the eighth that helped produce an outgoing nine hole score of 33.
This is the same Appleby who handed the Shell Houston Open to countryman Adam Scott on the final hole last Sunday when he pulled his approach into the water. Meanwhile he told people he wasnt especially looking forward to Augusta because, he said, he never played well there. In 10 previous Masters his best finish was a T-19 last year. In five of his first seven tries at Augusta National he failed to make the cut.
Now Appleby is gunning to become the first Australian ever to win the Masters. A victory by him would also help to erase the burning and painful memory of Aussie Greg Normans inglorious fourth round collapse and loss to Englands Nick Faldo in 1996 when The Shark started the final 18 six shots clear of Faldo.
The other early foot Saturday came from Retief Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open champion who arrived with his game in disarray. Goosen is still looking for his first top 10 in the U.S. this year and he made the 36-hole cut right on the number at 8 over par.
Then he whisked around to a 2-under 70 and suddenly stood at 6 over par, four back. Right about then the cognoscenti were forced to remind themselves that, of yeah, Goosen finished tied for third here in 2006 and 2005.
As for Phil Mickelson, the defending champion, he shot 73 and is tied with Goosen. Tied with Woods, one back of Appleby at 3 over, is first round leader Justin Rose.
One of the hardest rounds I think weve ever played here, Woods said of Saturdays crucible.
Sunday at The Masters is nigh. Somebody say grace.
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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.