Power Rankings: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

By Will GrayOctober 15, 2013, 9:02 pm

This week marks the second week of the PGA Tour's new 2013-14 wraparound season, as a field of 132 players head to Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. TPC Summerlin plays host to the event, where the winning score routinely exceeds 20 under par.

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Ryan Moore returns to defend the title he won last year by one shot over Brendon De Jonge. Here are 10 players to watch this week in Las Vegas:

1. Brendon de Jonge: This event has a history of crowning first-time winners (Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk among them), so there may be no better place for the Zimbabwean to break through following his strong performance at the Presidents Cup. His runner-up finish last year should provide ample momentum for de Jonge, who led the Tour in total birdies last season.

2. Zach Johnson: The highest-ranked player in this week's field, Johnson is just four weeks removed from his triumph at the BMW Championship. The veteran is making just his second start in Las Vegas, though he managed a T-10 result in his debut in 2008. Since the John Deere Classic, Johnson has seven top-10 finishes in his last eight stroke-play starts.

3. Hideki Matsuyama: Matsuyama was among the names to watch last week at CordeValle and proved why, finishing in a tie for third to net his best career PGA Tour finish. The Japanese sensation has now made seven Tour starts since the U.S. Open, finishing no worse than T-21 each time while turning in a trio of top-10 finishes.

4. Webb Simpson: The former U.S. Open champ is making his first start in Vegas since 2010, when he tied for fourth. Simpson enters on the heels of his fourth-place showing at East Lake and, like Johnson, was a part of the victorious squad at the Presidents Cup earlier this month. Finished last season 13th on Tour in scoring average and 19th in birdie average. 

5. Martin Laird: A winner here in 2009, Laird followed that up with a tie for second in 2010 and clearly feels comfortable at TPC Summerlin. Though he struggled somewhat in the wake of his win at the Valero Texas Open in April, the Scot has carded 67 or lower in seven of his last 12 competitive rounds in this event.

6. Graham DeLaet: The Canadian is playing here for the first time since 2010, when he tied for 18th. Despite coming up short at Muirfield Village, DeLaet shined throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs and is among the players to watch for a breakthrough win this season – one that could come as quickly as this week.

7. Ryan Moore: The event's defending champion, Moore also tied for seventh in 2009 and finished T-16 in 2005. He quietly had a solid 2013 season, one that included seven top-25 finishes in 22 starts, and tied for 11th at the BMW Championship in his most recent action. A resident of Las Vegas, Moore will likely benefit from a hometown rooting section this week at TPC Summerlin.

8. Scott Piercy: Like Moore, Piercy calls Las Vegas home and should receive some extra support this week as a result. One of the longest hitters on Tour, Piercy notched a trio of top-five finishes last season, including a tie for fifth at the PGA Championship, and has finished inside the top 15 in this event three of the last four years.

9. George McNeill: A winner here in 2007, McNeill also tied for second in 2009 and finished T-14 in 2010. The veteran is clearly comfortable playing desert golf and enters with the momentum of a tie for seventh at CordeValle last week, where McNeill rose up the leaderboard with a Saturday 62. 

10. Spencer Levin: Having missed much of 2013 due to injury, Levin opened his 2013-14 season with a tie for 12th last week at the Frys.com Open, his first PGA Tour start in more than a year. If healthy, the 29-year-old could factor this week in Las Vegas, where he finished T-4 in 2010 and T-5 in 2011, breaking 70 in each of his eight competitive rounds across that two-year span.

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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.