Expert Picks: Waste Management Phoenix Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 30, 2013, 3:25 am

Note: This week the Experts are proud to announce they have been joined by Norm MacDonald. The former 'Saturday Night Live' star has already gotten his fantasy golf season off to a hot start in 2013, and will continue to provide his picks for Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge participants throughout the year.

This week the focus of the fantasy world is split. Our experts share their picks for the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic here, while their picks for the Waste Management Phoenix Open are below. Each week, a panel of experts will offer up their picks from four groups of players based on Golf Channel's new fantasy game, Fantasy Challenge. We will also keep track of their scores and standings. The panel includes: senior writers Rex Hoggard, Randall Mell and Jason Sobel; contributors John Hawkins and Win McMurry; editorial director Jay Coffin; 'Morning Drive' host Gary Williams, staff writer Ryan Lavner and former 'Saturday Night Live' star Norm MacDonald.

Win McMurry

Group 1: Jason Dufner: He tied for ninth twice in the desert coming into this week over on the European Tour. Add to that his playoff loss to Mark Wilson in 2011 and that he ranked fourth in proximity to the hole last year and fifth in GIR percentage from 100+ yards. On a course where distance control on approach shots is going to be key, he's my guy.

Group 2: Scott Piercy: I was going to take Vijay until the news came out about the banned substance abuse. Piercy missed the cut last week, but had back-to-back top-15 finishes to start the 2013 season. He finished T-8 here in 2010 and T-6 in 2009.

Group 3: Charles Howell III: He's finished inside the top 10 in all three starts this year and has a track record of stringing together strong finishes, especially during the West Coast swing. He doesn't have all that many dazzling finishes here, but he tied for fourth in 2010 which is enough evidence for me to give him another start on my fantasy roster.

Group 4: Brian Gay: After his win at the Humana Challenge, he took last week off to soak it in and is back out this week in the desert, where he has finished inside the top 25 in four of his last six starts.

Jason Sobel

Group 1: Rickie Fowler: From last place after Round 1 to a top-10 at Torrey, Fowler found a groove and should be confident entering this week.

Group 2: Robert Garrigus: Big hitters have been known to overpower TPC Scottsdale over the years, and Garrigus is among the biggest hitters around.

Group 3: Jimmy Walker: Keeping with the hot hand, as Walker owns three top-30 finishes this year and a top-five this past week.

Group 4: Josh Teater: Sensing a theme? Another carryover from the Torrey Pines leaderboard, as Teater pulled a career-best T-2 finish last week.


Rex Hoggard

Group 1: Jason Dufner: Perhaps it's not the best way to start a season (Hawaii-Abu Dhabi-Qatar-Scottsdale), but the results speak for themselves. Dufner hasn't finished outside the top 20 since September, and he was runner-up at the Phoenix Open in 2011.

Group 2: Nicolas Colsaerts: The 'Muscles from Brussels' got off to a slow start in his first Tour start as a member (T-44 at Torrey Pines), but the Belgian has the game to become a household name in the United States.

Group 3: Y.E. Yang: After a difficult 2012 on Tour, the South Korean found some form late last year playing in Asia and tied for 20th in his 2013 season debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Group 4: Trevor Immelman: The South African finished tied for 12th at TPC Scottsdale last year for his best finish, and has played solid in Arizona in the past (third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in 2007, just down the road in Tucson).



Norm MacDonald

Group 1: Keegan Bradley

Group 2: Jason Day

Group 3: Charles Howell III

Group 4: Brian Gay

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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.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“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 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.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“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, 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.