Day wins Farmers in four-way playoff

By Doug FergusonFebruary 9, 2015, 12:33 am

SAN DIEGO – Two feet away from chipping into the water, Jason Day turned a good break into a big win Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open when he won a four-man playoff with a par on the second extra hole at tough Torrey Pines.

Day's gamble in regulation looked as if it might backfire when he went long of the green on the par-5 18th, and his chip out of deep rough raced down the hill, over the front of the green and was headed for the water when it stopped at the hazard line. He got up-and-down for par and a 2-under 70.

Day and J.B. Holmes each made birdie on the 18th in the playoff, while Scott Stallings and Harris English were eliminated with pars. On the second extra hole at the par-3 16th, Holmes went over the green, chipped to 15 feet and missed the par putt. Day hit 5-iron to 15 feet and made par for his third PGA Tour victory.

Day moved to No. 4 in the world, just ahead of Adam Scott, and became the highest-ranked Australian for the first time.

''It's an amazing feeling,'' Day said. ''I've been working so hard for this. I was visualizing myself holding the trophy, just like I did at the Match Play. I'm really proud of myself to hang in there and grind it out.''


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Day's decision on the 18th in regulation wasn't the only choice that was second-guessed. Holmes, needing a birdie to win, laid up from 235 yards in the fairway and narrowly missed a 20-foot birdie attempt. He closed with a 72.

It was only the second stroke-play victory on the PGA Tour for the 27-year-old Day, who is in his eighth year. Loaded with talent, the Aussie has been hampered by more injuries than he cares to remember. Even when he won the Match Play Championship last year in Arizona, he was playing with an injured wrist that kept him out of every tournament but the Masters for the next three months.

His health was a big priority this year, and so was winning.

''It's a good start to the year,'' Day said. ''Hopefully, I can stay healthy.''

English and Stallings were eliminated on the first extra hole. Stallings had to lay up from the left rough, and his 15-foot birdie putt turned away. English drove well to the right, but his short iron back to the fairway was too strong and settled on the border of the first cut and 4-inch grass. He couldn't get any spin on the ball, and was left with a 60-foot birdie putt from the back of the green to stay alive. It stopped a few inches short.

The 16th was pivotal for Day twice on Sunday. In regulation, he holed a 50-foot birdie putt to get back in the game.

Day was among seven players who had at least a share of the lead on a Sunday that was more about survival than a shootout. It was the first time that a single-digit score under par - 9-under 279 - won on the PGA Tour since Justin Rose (4-under 276) at Congressional last summer.

Charles Howell III (68) and Alex Prugh (71) each missed birdie chances on the 18th and finished a shot out of the playoff.

Stallings missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th and closed with a 69. English got up-and-down from a bunker for birdie and a 72 to get into the playoff.

Day and Holmes, meanwhile, had different ideas about how to play the par-5 closing hole.

Day was in the first cut of rough and chose to hit 3-wood to clearly the water, taking his chances with trouble behind the green. It nearly cost him. Holmes, among the longest hitters in golf, was tied for the lead and could have won with a birdie. He laid up with an 8-iron, but his wedge was too deep and left him a downhill birdie putt from 20 feet that grazed the edge of the cup.

Jimmy Walker, in his first start since a nine-shot win at the Sony Open, had a brief share of the lead. He had two bogeys on the back nine for a 73 and finished two shots out of the playoff along with Martin Laird, Shane Lowry and Nick Watney.

DIVOTS: The tournament honored Billy Casper, who died Saturday night, with a picture of him on the first tee and flowers. Casper grew up in San Diego. Tributes continued to pour in, including one from Arnold Palmer, who lost a big lead and the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. ''He was a better player than most people gave him credit for being and is going to be sorely missed in the golf world,'' Palmer said. ... The final-round scoring average was 74.05.

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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.