Furyk cruising at WGC-Bridgestone with 63-66

By Doug FergusonAugust 3, 2012, 8:25 pm

AKRON, Ohio – Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods each carried momentum into the second round of the Bridgestone Invitational. That meant the best 36-hole score for Furyk in his PGA Tour career, and the worst start for Woods in nearly fourth months.

Furyk had another good day with the putter, making a few birdies early and saving par from the bunker four times on the back nine at Firestone for a 4-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain.

It helped that Furyk opened with a 63 on Thursday afternoon, allowing him to turn around Friday morning and try to resume his good play. That's what he did, starting with a tricky birdie putt on the second hole and following his lone bogey with a 20-foot birdie on the ninth.

''Just probably a little easier to keep the momentum going that way than having an early time on Thursday, having a good round and having to sit on it until Friday afternoon,'' he said. ''I thought it was key to get off to a nice start and see some putts go in. Made a good birdie putt at 2, and saw some birdies go in on the front nine, good putt at 9, and off to the races.''

He was at 11-under 129, two shots clear of Cabrera-Bello, who had a 65. Louis Oosthuizen used his putter from just off the ninth green to finish with a birdie and a 65, leaving him three shots behind going into the weekend of this World Golf Championship. Jason Dufner had a 66 in the afternoon and was four shots behind.

Woods, a seven-time winner at Firestone, can't seem to get anything going.

He threw away three shots on the back nine Thursday, the last one a three-putt on the 18th hole for a 70. He started his second round by driving into a bunker and making a bogey on the 10th hole, and it never got much better. For the second straight day, he had to lay up with his third shot on the par-5 16th. And the low point of his putting woes came on the seventh hole, when he stuffed his tee shot inside 5 feet and three-putted for bogey.

''I hit it good, made nothing,'' Woods said.

He said he finally figured out something was wrong with his putting stroke on his 17th hole, and it had to do with the path of the club.

''I'm sure it helped on that little one-and-a-half footer on the last hole,'' he said.

Woods had a 72 and was at 2-over 142, leaving him 13 shots behind on the course where he had never finished worse than fifth the first 11 times he played. It was his highest 36-hole score to par since his 3-over 145 start at the Masters.

''I get in these little spells where it's hot or cold,'' Woods said about his putting. ''Generally, I was a decent putter over the years, but lately it's been very streaky. I'm making everything or I make nothing.''

Phil Mickelson switched putters and found moderate success. He had a 69, and while that left him 11 shots behind, he ended a streak of 10 consecutive rounds without breaking par on the PGA Tour. Mickelson did have rounds of 64-65 at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Open.

''I'm piecing it together,'' Mickelson said.

Furyk has taken 11 fewer putts than Woods, a big turnaround from his game a year ago when his putter kept him without a win and out of the Tour Championship for only the third time in his career. He seems to do better on fast greens - remember, Furyk went 5-0 in the Presidents late last year on the slick greens of Royal Melbourne - and that's what he is facing at Firestone.

In steamy conditions, even in the morning, the greens were pure and the fairways also were running fast. Furyk got so much carry through the hot air and so much bounce on the carpet-like fairways that his drive on the 18th hole went 371 yards, leaving him between a sand wedge and a lob wedge for his second shot. It went long into the back bunker, leading to another par save, and Furyk was asked if he ever had to decide between two wedges on the 464-yard closing hole at Firestone.

''For my third shot, quite a few times, yes,'' he said.

David Toms, playing for the first time since the U.S. Open, quickly got back in stride with a 67 that put him at 5-under 135, along with Luke Donald (69). Steve Stricker appears to finally be getting his putting stroke back. He had another 68 and was in the group at 4-under 136.

Furyk's lone bogey came on the eighth hole, when he hit a tree with his tee shot and had to hit 3-wood to get near the green. Some might think that long clubs into par 4s on Firestone are typical for players who don't routinely smash tee shots.

Furyk never understood that. Everyone is long this week because of the fast conditions and hot weather. Even in normal conditions, Furyk always looked at the South Course as keeping the ball in play off the tee because of the trees and typically thick rough.

''I've never really stepped up on a tee here and felt like I struggle to compete because of a lack of length at this golf course,'' Furyk said. ''I don't know what it says the distance is on the card. It's just not playing that long, to be honest with you.

''If it rains three, four inches tonight, that might change my opinion.''

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.