Power Rankings: CIMB Classic

By Will GrayOctober 22, 2013, 6:58 pm

This week marks the third week of the PGA Tour's new 2013-14 wraparound season, as the Tour heads to Asia for the first time this season with the CIMB Classic. After three years at The Mines Resort, the event will be played this year at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club for the first time.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including defending champion Charlie Rymer.

Nick Watney returns to defend the title he won last year by one shot over Robert Garrigus and Bo Van Pelt. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Malaysia:

1. Phil Mickelson: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, Mickelson is making his season debut in Malaysia, his first action since the Presidents Cup. Having led the PGA Tour in birdie average during the 2013 season, Mickelson should have plenty of success on a course that will yield low scores all week long.

2. Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard played well across the world in the early part of 2013, then after a summer swoon experienced a resurgence during the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Though he's making his first start since East Lake, expect Garcia to contend this week in Asia.

3. Keegan Bradley: After a successful Presidents Cup paired with Mickelson, Bradley makes his 2013-14 season debut in Malaysia this week. Bradley was 10th on Tour in scoring average last season and recorded top-20 finishes in six of his last seven stroke-play starts to end the season.

4. Nick Watney: A winner at The Mines a year ago, Watney now defends his title in Kuala Lumpur. A pair of 66s in Vegas were bookended by two 73s, but Watney also notched three top-15 finishes during the FedEx Cup Playoffs and last year showed that he can thrive in the heat of Malaysia.

5. Hideki Matsuyama: The Japanese sensation notched a career-high finish at the Frys.com Open but was then forced to withdraw in Las Vegas due to illness. Now back in Asia, will look to continue the torrid stretch that has seen him crack the top 30 in the world ranking after turning pro in April.

6. Bill Haas: A win at the AT&T National in June highlighted another solid season for Haas, who once again made the Tour Championship field while ranking in the top 25 on Tour in scoring average (18th) and GIR percentage (21st). He's also had a moderate amount of success and experience in Malaysia, having tied for 16th in this event a year ago.

7. Kiradech Aphibarnrat: The Thai acquitted himself well in a series of starts in the U.S. in 2013 and now returns to a venue where he won the rain-shortened Maybank Malaysian Open last year. More recently, the 24-year-old tied for fourth two weeks ago at an Asian Tour event in South Korea.

8. Brendon de Jonge: The Zimbabwean missed the cut in Las Vegas after topping last week's rankings, but there's still reason to believe he'll succeed in Malaysia where the emphasis will be on creating birdie opportunities early and often. De Jonge was 10th on Tour last season in GIR percentage and 15th in the all-around ranking.

9. Bo Van Pelt: A winner of this event at The Mines in 2011, Van Pelt was also runner-up in this event a year ago. Though the venue has shifted, Van Pelt may get a boost from the friendly confines of Malaysia as he looks to rebound from a disappointing 2013 campaign.

10. Nicholas Thompson: If any player should have a good game plan for success at Kuala Lumpur GC this week, it's Thompson. Just two weeks ago, the course hosted the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, where Thompson's younger sister, Lexi, cruised to victory. Hopefully she's offered a tip or two to her brother, who missed the cut at the Frys.com Open earlier this month.

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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.