Prez Cup much different feel than Ryder Cup for U.S.

By Doug FergusonOctober 7, 2015, 3:45 pm

INCHEON, South Korea – Comparing the Presidents Cup to the Ryder Cup is like listening to a conversation between a Scot and an American.

The biggest difference with the Presidents Cup is an American team that is filled with smiles, not stress. And there's a reason for that. The Americans haven't lost in these matches since 1998, and the last four have not been particularly close.

They walk taller. They worry less.

Jordan Spieth has played in one of each in his short but already stellar career, and it was hard not to notice the contrast between the two cups.

''It seems there is a bit of a difference in the two teams rooms in the Presidents Cup experience I've had and the Ryder Cup last year,'' Spieth said Wednesday. ''Almost like we put too much emphasis on the Ryder Cup instead of just freeing up to play our own game.''

Ryder Cup practice rounds felt like dress rehearsals. Presidents Cup practice rounds feel like a Tuesday money game on tour.

''We feel like the favorites,'' Spieth said. ''We're walking around with cockiness in our step, and often that can bite you if you're not careful, but we're aware of that. But the point is, we're out there smiling because we believe whatever matchup we want to put together, we believe we can beat the other team.''



The Americans, who have won the Ryder Cup only one time in the last 16 years, go after their sixth straight victory in the Presidents Cup when the matches get started Thursday at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.

Adam Scott, who has yet to play on a winning Presidents Cup team in six previous tries, and Hideki Matsuyama lead off the foursomes session against J.B. Holmes and Bubba Watson, two of the longest hitters in golf.

Spieth and Dustin Johnson are in the anchor match against Marc Leishman and Danny Lee.

A lively opening ceremony Wednesday night, which featured South Korean president Park Geun-hye and former U.S. president George W. Bush, began with great suspense when a secret box was carried onto the stage. It was carefully opened to reveal the shiny gold Presidents Cup trophy.

But there really hasn't been much suspense at all.

The last time it was close was in 2003 at South Africa when it ended in a tie after Ernie Els and Tiger Woods matched pars in three sudden-death playoff holes before it was too dark to continue. Jack Nicklaus was the captain that year, and he mentioned that Presidents Cup in a speech Wednesday night. Nicklaus referred to it as the greatest sporting event in which he had ever taken part.

''We have that opportunity again this week,'' Nicklaus said.

The Presidents Cup has lacked the rancor of the Ryder Cup, which is inevitable when it's a competition between two tours (PGA and Europe) instead of the Americans against an International team in which all but one player – Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand – is or will be a PGA Tour member.

''They're all Americans, they were just born in a different country,'' U.S. assistant captain Fred Couples said.

This is the first Presidents Cup without Woods since 1996 when he was a 20-year-old playing on sponsor exemptions to avoid going to Q-School. Els didn't qualify and didn't feel worthy of a pick, so he is out for the first time since 2005.

Price has an International team that is the youngest ever despite the 45-year-old Thongchai. The captain is worried that if the Presidents Cup is another blowout, even some of the players might start losing interest.

What might give these matches a little edge is a debate over the number of matches, which were reduced from 34 to 30 this year in a decision that left neither team happy. The International team wanted it lowered to 28, like the Ryder Cup. The Americans wanted it to stay at 34.

Price believes the fewer the matches, the more likely it is to come down to the last day.

Whether that makes a difference depends largely on the one aspect that doesn't change no matter what kind of cup is involved. It's about making putts, winning holes and piling up points.

''We don't have a crystal ball, and anything can happen in this game,'' Scott said. ''But I believe we're moving closer to a great competition.''

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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. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.


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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.