Tiger Would Win Popularity Contest

By Brian HewittOctober 8, 2003, 4:00 pm
This torrid Player of the Year race that has become the focal point of the 2003 season would have turned into a great excuse for Tiger Woods to divert attention from the fact that he hasnt won a major championship this year.
Except Woods doesnt look for excuses. He doesnt operate that way.
What the Player of the Year race does give Woods is a legitimate reason to focus on the rest of a season. He has won five times but didnt play as well as he wanted in the tournaments that counted the most.
The Masters is still six months away, which means its a little early for Woods or anybody else to start getting their game faces on for Augusta. So Woods has set his late-season sights on Player of the Year, an award the rank and file of the PGA Tour didnt start voting on until 1990.
Woods has won the last four POY awards and five of the last six. But how many people other than Wayne Levi remember that the players voted Levi in over Greg Norman way back in 1990?
It was quite a year, Levi said of a campaign that produced four victories and helped him earn a Ryder Cup berth. Norman won three events that same year and beat Levi out for the No. 1 spot on the money list. Moreover, Levi missed the cut in six of his first nine events in 1990. Neither player won a major championship that year. Levi only had one other top 10 to go with his four wins.
When its close, Levi said of the POY, I dont think you have to win a major.
When its close, Levi added, it can boil down to a popularity contest.
Levi doesnt think thats the way it ought to be. Its just his opinion. The odd thing about 1990 is there are players who will tell you that Norman wasnt popular. There are others who will tell you Levi wasnt the friendliest guy on the range or in the clubhouse. So much for the popularity contest theory.
For his part, Levi finds it hard to believe that Norman, ranked No. 1 in the world for 332 weeks in the late '80s and '90s, only won Player of the Year once (1995). He really came out on the short end, Levi said of Norman.
Levi said if he had to vote today, he would cast his ballot for Woods. Winning, Levi said, is the main criterion. The next closest player in victory count after Woods is Davis Love III with four. Mike Weir, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh all have three. Weir and Furyk are the only players still in the running for POY to have captured a major championship in 2003.
Anyway, getting back to Tiger, he should be all right if it does, indeed, get down to a popularity contest. Early in his professional career Woods engendered a lot of jealousy from the other players. For the most part he has won them over on that score. Besides, his record in the years he won POY was clearly superior.
Meanwhile Levi, for his part, cant help but wonder how Norman didnt salt away more POYs. I cant believe he didnt win five or 10 tournaments a year, Levi said. He hit it so far and so straight.
Woods hits it farther, if not straighter, than Norman. Stuart Appleby called Woods a shoo-in for Player of the Year after Woods victory Sunday at the WGC-American Express Championship in Atlanta.
I cant say as I disagree.
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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.