Power Rankings: 2015 BMW Championship

By Will GraySeptember 16, 2015, 3:38 pm

The 46th event of the season - and the third event of the postseason - is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to Illinois for the BMW Championship. A field of 70 will tackle Conway Farms Golf Club, with the top 30 in the standings advancing to the Tour Championship next week.

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Billy Horschel won this event a year ago at Cherry Hills. Here are 10 players to watch outside Chicago:

1. Jim Furyk: Furyk enters with some form and now returns to a course where two years ago he shot 59. While he let the trophy slip away in 2013, he has a great chance to make amends on a course that clearly suits his game and following his T-4 finish at TPC Boston.

2. Henrik Stenson: An appropriate spot for the man who has finished second at each of the first two playoff events. Stenson was never really close at The Barclays, but he probably should have won two weeks ago in Massachusetts. Clearly in form, he'll look to improve on a T-33 finish here two years ago when he faded in the final round en route to a FedEx Cup win.

3. Jason Day: The struggles at TPC Boston were simply a blip for the man who is still the hottest player on Tour. Day had a strong showing at Conway Farms two years ago, finishing T-4 behind a final-round 66, and should again be on the leaderboard as he sets his sights on the world No. 1 ranking.

4. Rickie Fowler: Fresh off his victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, Fowler again has renewed confidence at just the right time. Outside of a missed cut at The Barclays, Fowler has been playing well for the last six weeks and will get to walk stride-for-stride with Spieth and Day in the first two rounds.

5. Jordan Spieth: Spieth has officially hit a postseason funk, entering off of back-to-back missed cuts, but he should break out of that mini-slump with ease this week. Spieth finished T-16 at Conway Farms in 2013, highlighted by a second-round 65, and is unlikely to post a third straight dud.

6. Zach Johnson: Johnson rallied to victory at Conway in 2013, and he returns after opening the postseason with back-to-back top-25 finishes. Johnson finished T-4 at The Barclays and now has five top-10 finishes over his last nine starts.

7. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy again has the top spot in the world ranking, but he'll need to play well this week to keep it. Still mending his ankle, he was mired in the middle of the pack two weeks ago at TPC Boston. McIlroy struggled to get his footing at Conway two years ago, but did shoot a pair of 68s over the final two rounds.

8. Sergio Garcia: Beware the rested golfer. Garcia will be making his postseason debut after skipping the first two events, but he tends to play well at this leg of the playoffs regardless of venue. The Spaniard has never finished worse than T-24 in seven BMW starts, including a T-18 finish at Conway Farms two years ago.

9. Kevin Kisner: Already the best player this season without a win, Kisner has a great chance this week to break through after opening the playoffs with back-to-back top-20 results. While he is making his BMW debut, Kisner should thrive amidst the cozy confines of Conway Farms.

10. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar has been somewhat lurking in the background this season, but he certainly has the game for this course as evidenced by his 61 in the third round two years ago. After a T-9 finish in Boston, Kuchar has three top-10s in his last five starts.

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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.