Power Rankings: 2015 WGC-Cadillac Championship

By Will GrayMarch 4, 2015, 12:35 am

The PGA Tour continues the Florida swing with the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the 15th event of the wraparound season. A field of 74 players will tackle Trump National Doral this week, which last year provided a stern test amid windy conditions.

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Patrick Reed won this event a year ago in a playoff over Bubba Watson and Jamie Donaldson. Here are 10 players to watch in Miami:

1. Bubba Watson: Twice a runner-up in the last three years at Doral, Watson won the season's first WGC event in China and hasn't finished worse than T-14 in four starts this season. Expect that trend to continue as the southpaw gets his game primed for a title defense at Augusta next month.

2. Rory McIlroy: Still clearly the No. 1 player in the world, even if he is coming off a surprising missed cut at PGA National. Before last year's T-25 finish, McIlroy had posted three straight top-10 results on the Blue Monster, highlighted by a third-place showing in 2012.

3. Dustin Johnson: Like McIlroy, Johnson enters off a missed cut at the Honda but he otherwise appears to be firing on all cylinders. A T-4 finish at Pebble Beach was followed by a playoff loss at Riviera, and DJ has three top-12 finishes in the last four years, including a runner-up in 2011.

4. Jason Day: The Aussie chased his playoff win at Torrey Pines with a T-4 finish at Pebble Beach in his most recent start. Outside of a pair of withdrawals last season, Day hasn't finished outside the top 20 since the Open Championship.

5. Patrick Reed: Reed will look to successfully defend his title after nearly capturing the Honda Classic Monday. His final-round 73 snapped a streak of 21 consecutive rounds of par or better, but Reed will likely begin a new streak on a course he tamed a year ago.

6. Adam Scott: The former world No. 1 is making his first start of the year on a course where he cracked the top 10 in both 2011 and 2013. The Aussie may need to shake off some rust, but there likely won't be much to shed for a player familiar with a light schedule.

7. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar had back-to-back top three finishes earlier this season, and he hasn't played since a T-30 finish in Phoenix. He had three straight top-10 finishes at this event from 2010-2012, then added a T-13 here last year.

8. Jordan Spieth: Spieth managed a T-34 result in his Doral debut last year, but he should fare better this time around. He has three top-10 finishes in his last four starts overall, including a T-4 finish at Riviera earlier this month when he missed a playoff by one shot.

9. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard nearly won two weeks ago at Riviera, then had a solid week at PGA National where he finished T-31 while several big names faltered. He has come close before at Doral, notably a T-3 finish in 2013.

10. Hideki Matsuyama: The Japanese phenom has three top-five finishes in five starts this season, highlighted by a runner-up finish in Phoenix. He narrowly missed out on playoffs at both Kapalua and Riviera, and he now ranks second on Tour in total strokes gained.

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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.