Power Rankings: 2015 The Barclays

By Will GrayAugust 25, 2015, 1:50 pm

The 44th event of the season - and the first event of the postseason - is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to New Jersey for The Barclays. A field of 120 will tackle Plainfield Country Club, with the top 100 in the standings advancing to next week's Deutsche Bank Championship.

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Hunter Mahan won this event a year ago at Ridgewood Country Club. Here are 10 players to watch in the Garden State:

1. Jason Day: The Aussie makes his first start as a major champion, and there is no reason to suspect a letdown. Day's last five starts include a pair of wins and nothing worse than a T-12 finish, while his record in this event includes a runner-up finish last year at Ridgewood and a T-13 result at Plainfield in 2011.

2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth was beaten only by Day at Whistling Straits, and that trend continues with this week's preview. The world No. 1 hasn't played Plainfield before, but he cracked the top 25 each of the last two years at this event and he hasn't finished outside the top 10 since the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.

3. Justin Rose: Rose ran into a buzzsaw at a major for the second time this year, as both the Masters and PGA Championship eluded him despite strong play. The Englishman finished T-6 at Plainfield in 2011 and has finished sixth or better in five of his last six starts dating back to the Memorial. 

4. Brooks Koepka: The list of names who are playing better than Koepka right now is seriously short. His T-6 finish at Sedgefield came thanks to a Sunday 65, and Koepka now has three straight top-6 finishes and seven straight top-18 finishes. With a possible Presidents Cup bid in sight, he'll likely remain hot.

5. Dustin Johnson: Johnson won this event the last time it was held at Plainfield, when Superstorm Sandy reduced play to 54 holes. While he has struggled with closing the deal on the weekends at majors this summer, he did win a WGC event earlier this year and boasts eight top-10 finishes this season.

6. Paul Casey: The Englishman had a great week in Greensboro, finishing T-3 after three straight rounds of 66. It was his fourth top-3 since February, and his stat line remains impressive: fifth this season in GIR percentage, eighth in scoring average and 10th in strokes gained tee-to-green.

7. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar was a runner-up at Plainfield in 2011 to go along with his win in 2010 and T-5 finish a year ago, both at Ridgewood. After a slow summer, he is finally showing signs of form, with a T-7 finish at the PGA among four top-25 finishes across his last five starts.

8. Bubba Watson: Watson never really contended at Whistling Straits, but his T-21 finish was still his fifth top-25 in his last six starts. That streak includes a win and a pair of runner-ups, and Watson leads the Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green and ranks second in both driving distance and scoring average.

9. Robert Streb: He may be unassuming, but his results speak volumes. Streb now has a string of eight top-20 finishes across his last nine starts, a run that dates back to the Wells Fargo in May and includes his playoff loss at The Greenbrier. He finished T-10 at Whistling Straits after a solo-fifth place finish at Firestone.

10. Tony Finau: The long-hitting rookie has found his stride this summer. Finau's run up the leaderboard in Wisconsin gave many a first glimpse, but he has been solid since May with nine top-25 finishes in his last 11 starts. That includes top-15 finishes at both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship. 

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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.