Wies birdie barrage good for share of lead

By Brian HewittDecember 4, 2008, 5:00 pm
LPGA Tour _newDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ' Who ever thought the Michelle Wie Traveling Circus could become the calm in the eye of the storm that suddenly surrounds golf?
 

Wie Watch ' LPGA Q-School

Round 2
 
Score:
33-32'65
 
Behind the scorecard: David Leadbetter has told Michelle to feel like shes swinging a 5-iron when she hits her driver.The swing thought is working. She hit 11 of 14 fairways.
 
Quotable: Its ball contact, said playing competitor Alison Walshe, when asked what impressed her most after playing in the same threesome as Wie two straight days.
 
Sights and sounds: Wies agent Jill Smoller saying she believes Michelle is heading to Orlando next week, then LA, then back to Hawaii. Which means she wont be returning to Stanford for final exams that begin next week. Smoller said she believes Wie turned all her final exam papers and project requirements in before arriving here.
 


Yes, its come to this:
 
In Australia, Adam Scotts falling off surfboards and out of tournaments.
 
In Scotland, Colin Montgomerie is driving his car much more wildly than he ever drove his golf ball.
 
And in California, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing an absurd 9 percent surtax on golf rounds and golf carts.
 
Memo:
 
To: The state capitol in Sacramento.
 
From: The sport of golf.
 
Message: Our Arnolds smarter than yours.
 
Meanwhile back at LPGA Q-School, Michelle Wie restored a certain sense of golfing order. She fired a 65 Thursday on the wide open Champions Course at LPGA International to gain a share of the lead after two rounds of the 90-hole marathon that will end Sunday with 20 women earning their tour cards for 2009.
 
Wie birdied four of her last five holes to forge a tie with Japans Shiho Oyama at 10-under par. And she made it look easy by hitting 11 of 14 greens, 13 of 18 greens and needing only 24 putts.
 
She made it look waaaayyy too easy. She looked preternaturally too calm. She made it look Wiesy.
 
Her parents, who didnt speak a word to each other during the round, were seen unobtrusively high-fiving when it was all over ' an emotional outburst way over the top by their protective standards.
 
For her part Michelle Wie chose not to talk to the media. This was her modus operandi at her previous stage of Q-School. And she has informed LPGA officials there will be no interviews from her here until Sunday.
 
So it was left to Alison Walshe, one of her two playing competitors the first two days, to assess this glimmer of greatness the golf world has been waiting so long to see: Its her ball contact, Walshe said. Its consistently sound. She rarely makes mistakes. Steady. It was what I expected.
 
Barring something entirely unforeseen, Wie will earn her card this week. In fact the emphasis will soon switch to whether or not she can actually finish first in the 140-player field.
 
First place money is a mere $5,000. But Wie hasnt won a golf tournament since 2003 when, as a 13-year-old, she captured the U.S. Womens Publinx at Ocean Hammock just 30 miles up the road in Palm Coast. Shes way overdue.
 
Expect Wies stiffest challenge to come from Stacy Lewis. Lewis added a second round 66 on the tougher Legends Course to her opening 69 and sits one shot off the lead at 8-under.
 
Lewis and Wie are polar opposites. Michelle is tall, Stacy is not. Michelle has dark hair, Stacys is blonde.
 
Michelle was a sensation in her early teens. Stacy suffered from scoliosis as a youngster and needed fusion surgery. She still wears a back brace most of every day.
 
But dont be surprised if these two end up dueling each other on the weekend here and for many years in womens golf.
 
Now, if we can just get our Arnold to talk some sense into the Left Coasts Arnold, there might be a chance to completely restore order to the game.
 

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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.