Power Rankings: Wegmans LPGA Championship

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 4, 2013, 7:06 pm

The LPGA heads to Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., this week for its second major of the season. Shanshan Feng, fresh off a runner-up finish at last week's ShopRite LPGA Classic, will defend her title at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Last year, Feng's two-shot victory made her the first player from China to win an LPGA major.

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Feng will have to fend off the world's best to defend her title. Here are 10 players to watch this week:

1. Inbee Park: It's hard not to put Park in the top position. She's ranked No. 1 in the Rolex world rankings and took home the hardware in April at the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She leads the money list as well and already has three wins and five top-10s on tour this season.

2. Stacy Lewis: Lewis, who is second on the money list, has been rolling along nicely and returns to Locust Hill, where she tied for second last year. She had back-to-back wins earlier this year and has finished in the top 10 eight times. The world No. 2's consistency is evident as she leads the tour in scoring average, rounds under par and birdies.

3. Suzann Pettersen: Although she missed the cut last week in New Jersey, Pettersen has been solid this year, winning the Lotte Championship in April and recording four top-10s this season. She is third on the money list and first in greens in regulation. If she can reign in her putting struggles, she should be in line for a big week. She obviously likes the venue, having won here in 2007 and finishing in a tie for second last year.

4. Cristie Kerr: Kerr won the Kingsmill Championship earlier this year and is sixth on the money list. Her driving has held her back this season, but she's still managed three top-10s and returns to a place where she took home the trophy in 2010.

5. Karrie Webb: The Hall of Famer and 2001 LPGA champion is serving notice that she's not done yet. Webb notched her 39th career victory last week in New Jersey and has been in the top 10 four times this season. She has been consistent, ranking fifth on the money list and fifth in scoring average. She returns after a tie for sixth last season.

6. Shanshan Feng: Feng has four top-10 finishes and is coming off her second-place finish last week at the ShopRite. Although she hasn't won this season, you can't count out the defending champion.

7. Beatriz Recari: Recari has had a breakout season, capturing her second career LPGA title at the Kia Classic in March. She has finished in the top five three times and is fourth on the money list.

8. Paula Creamer: Although Creamer has only two top-10s this season, she has been extremely consistent. She hasn't finished outside the top 20 in her last nine events and ranks second on tour in rounds under par and rounds in the 60s. She finished in the top 10 here last year.

9. Lizette Salas: Salas continues her ascent on the LPGA with four top-10 finishes this season. In just her second year on tour, she has proven to be one of the best young players, climbing into the top 10 on the money list. She is fifth in scoring average and fourth in birdies.

10. Na Yeon Choi: Although Choi hasn't won this year, she has notched four top-10s and is 11th on the money list. She proved she could handle major championship pressure last year when she closed out the field at the U.S. Women's Open.

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.