Stat attack!: CIMB Classic preview

By John AntoniniOctober 28, 2014, 2:52 pm

The CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur G&CC’s West course is unique among PGA Tour events. Co-sanctioned by the Asian Golf Tour, the field for this week is comprised of three distinct groups: top-echelon players looking to prepare for next week’s WGC event in China (Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, Jason Dufner); rank-and-file players taking the opportunity to go overseas (Brice Garnett, Luke Guthrie, Morgan Hoffmann); and the top players on the Asian Tour (Anirban Lahiri, David Lipsky).

ShotLink didn’t record measured data from this event a year ago and it was the first time the tournament was held at KLGCC West so we’re flying somewhat blind from a statistical analysis. Still a look at winner Ryan Moore (pictured) and playoff loser Gary Woodland gives us an idea of what it would take to succeed this week.

Moore finished in the top 12 in fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per GIR a year ago. Woodland was T-21, T-4 and T-6 in the three stats. Woodland, in fact, didn’t miss a green coming down the stretch in any round last year, going 20-for-20 in GIR on holes 14 to 18.

Tournament stats for CIMB Classic leaders in 2013

 Player Fairways hit Greens in regulation Putts per GIR
 Ryan Moore 39 (T-12) 54 (T-8) Second
 Gary Woodland 38 (T-21) 56 (T-4) T-6

Back for Moore

Moore, Woodland and third-place finisher Chris Stroud have returned to Southeast Asia for another crack at the CIMB Classic. None of them have made a cut in the three Fall Series events played so far in the 2014-15 season. In fact none of the returning players who finished in the top 12 at last year’s CIMB Classic have finished as high as 30th in any event in the fall. 

Given the location of the tournament and the small field –many players are making their season debut - maybe it doesn’t’ matter. However, Moore was coming off a T-9 finish in Las Vegas before heading overseas a year ago. If player well in previous events matters, look no further than Hideki Matsuyama, who had top-10s at the Frys.com and in Las Vegas before heading back to Asia.

How the CIMB Classic’s top returning players have fared in this fall

 Player 2013 CIMB Frys.com Shriners McGladrey
 Ryan Moore Won DNP MC DNP
 Gary Woodland 2 DNP DNP DNP
 Chris Stroud T-3 MC DNP DNP
 Graham DeLaet T-7 T-39 DNP DNP
 Billy Horschel T-11 DNP MC DNP
 Sergio Garcia T-11 DNP DNP DNP
 Stewart Cink T-11 DNP T-33 T-32

Players with top finishes in the 2014-15 season who are in the CIMB field

 Player 2015 FedEx rank Frys.com Shriners McGladrey 
 Sang-Moon Bae 3 Won MC DNP
 Brendon de Jonge 4 T-31 T-42 T-2
 Kevin Streelman 5 MC 2 DNP
 Steven Bowditch 6 2 MC DNP
 Will Mackenzie 7 DNP DMP T-2
 Hideki Matsuyama 11 T-3 T-10 DNP

De Jonge’s delight

Eleven players have made the cut in the first three events of the season on the PGA Tour, but of that group, only Brendon de Jonge is playing this week. The co-runner-up at last week’s McGladrey Classic, de Jonge is one of the PGA Tour’s most ubiquitous performers, having played 30 or more events in each of the last five seasons. He’s on his way to reaching that total again in 2014-15.

Brendon de Jonge: 2010-2014

 Year Starts Top-10 finishes Best FedEx rank
 2014 31 2 T-6 Wells Fargo 91
 2013 30 4 T-6 WM Phoenix 26
 2012 31 4 2, Las Vegas 57
 2011 20 3 T-4 Greenbrier 60
 2010 32 7 3, three times 51

De Jonge was tied for third in tournaments played in 2013-14, one back of leaders Brian Harman and Morgan Hoffmann, who made 32 starts each. But de Jonge is truly the PGA Tour’s ironman. Not only has he played 30 or more events for five straight years, he’s the only player to have done it two straight years. (And, by the way, de Jonge has played well at the CIMB Classic, with a T-4 in 2012 when the tournament was held at The Mines.

Malayan double dip

Lee Westwood is looking to do something unique at the CIMB Classic. The Englishman won the Maybank Malaysian Open at Kuala Lumpur G&CC on the European Tour in April and is looking to hoist the trophy at two different tournaments on two different tours on the same course in the same calendar year.

Westwood blistered the Maybank field, winning by seven strokes at 18-under 270. He hit 55 greens and 36 fairways (similar to Moore’s numbers of 54 and 39). Several Asian Tour players also had top finishes in the April tournament and are returning to Kuala Lumpur this week.

Top finishers in the Maybank Malaysian Open in the CIMB Classic field

 Player Finish Scores
 Lee Westwood Won 65-66-71-68—270
 Rikard Karlberg T-5 72-69-67-70—278
 Anirban Lahiri  T-10 72-72-66-70—280
 Jason Knutzon T-13 75-67-69-70—281

Asian stars

Speaking of Asian Tour players, here’s a look at the 10 players from that Tour’s money list who qualified for the CIMB Classic. As a whole, the group has played very little in the United States, but they should not be discounted this week. One of them might match Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who finished T-3 in last year’s CIMB Classic.

Top Asian Tour players in the CIMB Classic field

 Player Asian
money
rank

World
rank

Noteworthy
 David Lipsky 1 139 Beat Graham Storm in a playoff at the Omega European Masters
 Anirban Lahiri 2 69 Winner of the Indonesian Masters and last week’s Macau Open
 Prom Meesawat 4 166 T-2 at the Macau Open a week ago, he won earlier in 2014 for
the first time in eight years
 Antonio Lascuna 5 144 Former Philippine Amateur champ was third, second,
second in consecutive starts this fall
 Angelo Que 6 251 Lost a playoff to Scott Hend at the Hong Kong Open
 Jason Knutzon 7 481 An Iowa-bred friend of Zach Johnson has played
in Asia since 2003
 Rikard Karlberg 8 233 The Swede was 125th on the Euro money list and didn’t
qualify for their finals series
 Steve Lewton 9 301 Englishman won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters
earlier in October
 Seuk Hyun Baek 10 280 South Korean who lives in Thailand. He was T-77 a year ago
 Cameron Smith 13 289 A top amateur in Australia before turning pro in 2013

One final thought: Sergio Garcia was T-11 in 2013, but his success in Southeast Asia might make him someone to consider this week. He won the Iskandor Johor Open in Malaysia in 2012, the HSBC Champions in China in 2008 and the Thailand Golf Championship last December.

If you haven't already done so, please follow me on Twitter at @johnantoninigc

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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.

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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.