U.S. jumps out to 4-1 Presidents Cup lead

By Doug FergusonOctober 8, 2015, 7:02 am

INCHEON, South Korea - Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson won the only match that reached the 18th hole Thursday, the final touch on another dominant day for the Americans in the Presidents Cup.

The rest of the foursomes matches were not much of a contest as the Americans built a 4-1 lead after the opening session.

It was the fifth straight time the Americans have taken the lead in the opening round of this one-sided contest, and the three-point lead was their largest margin since they had a four-point lead in 2007 in Canada.

The Americans are going for their sixth straight victory, and after one day at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, there was a familiar feel to the event.

The South African duo of Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace won the only match for the International side, taking advantage of a few poor shots by Matt Kuchar to seize control on the back nine for a 3-and-2 win over Kuchar and Patrick Reed.

It was the first point for Grace, who went 0-4 two years ago at Muirfield Village in Ohio.

''I know we're behind,'' Grace said. ''But one point is better than none.''

Even so, this was another strong display by the U.S., which never trailed in the other four matches and has lost only one time in the Presidents Cup since it began in 1994.

Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker, who halved all three of their team matches at the Ryder Cup last year, finally got their first full point in the shortest match of a short day. They ran off three straight birdies early and had three more on the back nine to win, 5 and 4, over Anirban Lahiri of India and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 player in the world, and Dustin Johnson proved as formidable as advertised in a 4-and-3 win over New Zealand's Danny Lee and Marc Leishman of Australia.

Perhaps the most pivotal match was the first one. Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes, two of the longest hitters in golf, never trailed after a birdie on the second hole, though it was tight on the back nine against Australia's Adam Scott and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

By then, the Americans were ahead in three other matches, and the International team could have used a win to at least keep it close. The Americans were 1 up when Scott missed a putt to win the hole, and the U.S. pulled ahead 2 up when Matsuyama left a downhill birdie attempt short and Holmes rolled in an 8-foot birdie on No. 15. Holmes rolled in a birdie on the 16th from about 15 feet to close out a 3-and-2 win.

Jason Day tried to give the International side at least a little momentum going into Friday. Day and Australian compatriot Steven Bowditch were 2 down to Mickelson and Johnson with two holes to play when Day poured in a 40-foot birdie putt to send the match to the 18th. Bowditch hit a long iron to about 18 feet for an eagle chance, though Mickelson pounded his tee shot so far that Johnson was able to stick his approach to 10 feet. Day narrowly missed the eagle putt, and conceded the eagle to the Americans for a 2-up win.

Mickelson, who has never missed a Presidents Cup, tied a tournament record with his 11th foursomes victory. Tiger Woods also has 11 foursomes wins.

The format was changed this year to eliminate one match a day and reduce the total points from 34 to 30. That didn't help the International side. The way Thursday went, it might have kept the score from being worse.

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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.