Power Rankings: 2015 Wells Fargo Championship

By Will GrayMay 12, 2015, 8:02 pm

The 27th event of the wraparound season is upon us, as the PGA Tour heads to North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship. A field of 156 will tackle Quail Hollow Club, where the winner must navigate the daunting "Green Mile."

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J.B. Holmes won this event a year ago by one shot over Jim Furyk. Here are 10 players to watch in Charlotte:

1. Rory McIlroy: The world No. 1 is a deserved favorite this week, and by a wide margin. McIlroy followed his match-play win with a top-10 at the Players despite front-nine struggles, and his record at Quail Hollow is impeccable: three straight top-10 finishes to go along with his breakthrough win in 2010.

2. Phil Mickelson: Lefty hasn't been consistent this season, but he plays some of his best golf in Charlotte. Mickelson hasn't finished worse than T-26 at this event since 2007, notching a trio of top-three finishes across that span. He has broken par in 33 of his 44 career rounds on the difficult layout.

3. Jim Furyk: Furyk has a pair of runner-up finishes (2005, 2014) to go along with his victory here in 2006. He has finished outside the top 30 just once since 2005 at this event, and he is still brimming with momentum after his win at Harbour Town and strong showing at TPC Harding Park.

4. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama quietly finished T-17 last week at TPC Sawgrass, his sixth consecutive top-25 finish dating back to February. He finished T-38 last year in his Quail Hollow debut and ranks third on Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green, eighth in GIR percentage and 10th in scoring average.

5. J.B. Holmes: The defending champ has cooled somewhat since his win last month at Houston, but he's clearly still a threat on this course after leaving with the trophy a year ago. Holmes also finished T-9 in 2011 and has a pair of runner-up results this year at Torrey Pines and Trump National Doral.

6. Justin Thomas: It's not if, but when, this rookie will win an event. Thomas stumbled down the stretch at TPC Sawgrass but still recorded his third straight top-25 finish, his ninth such result in 18 starts this season. The 21-year-old hits it far enough off the tee to contend at Quail Hollow and ranks eighth on Tour in birdie average.

7. Bill Haas: The Charlotte native barely missed out on the playoff at the Players, but he heads home to an event where he finished fourth in both 2006 and 2011. Haas has seven top-25 finishes this season, highlighted by his win in Palm Springs in January.

8. Henrik Stenson: The Swede would be higher up on this list were it not for his poor history at Quail Hollow. Stenson missed three straight cuts from 2011-2013, with only one of those six rounds better than 74. His top-20 finishes at the Masters and the Players show that he has the game to turn that trend around.

9. Nick Watney: Remember him? Watney has faded from the Tour's upper echelon in recent years, but his season includes six top-25 finishes in 15 starts. He's also had some success at Quail Hollow, with seven top-25 finishes since 2005. That stretch includes back-to-back top-10s in 2012 and 2013.

10. Louis Oosthuizen: Oosthuizen faded over the weekend at TPC Sawgrass, but his form this season shows he could nab another win soon. The South African boasts a trio of top-10 finishes in his last six starts, including a T-7 finish at the RBC Heritage and a trip to the quarterfinals at TPC Harding Park.

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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.