Kang Holds Slim Lead in Tampa

By Futures Tour MediaMarch 27, 2004, 5:00 pm
Futures TourOLDSMAR, Fla. -- By her own admission, Jimin Kang thought winning on the professional level would be a lot easier than it has been since she won her pro debut at the 2002 M&T Bank Loretto Futures Golf Classic.
 
Since then, it went downhill and I lost my confidence, said Kang, 24, of Seoul, Korea, the leader of Tampa Bays Next Generation Futures Golf Classic. Maybe I thought it would be easy. Well, its not.
 
But Kang made her second round look like a Saturday stroll with a 5-under-par 67 on the 6,366-yard South Course at East Lake Woodlands Golf & Country Club. She birded two holes on the front, chipped in for birdie on the 13th and rammed in an 11-footer on the 18th hole for a one-shot lead of 138 over compatriot Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea and Meredith Ward of Crystal Lake, Ill. Lee and Ward are tied for second at 139, firing 67 and 69, respectively. First-round leader Emily Bastel of Upper Sandusky, Ohio is one shot back at 140.
 
I would say my game is still under construction, said Kang, who played collegiately at Arizona State University. I like my touch, but my ball doesnt know how to find the hole.
 
Her putter connected for 28 putts, however, as the long-hitting second-year pro scrambled on the greens. She sunk three of 11 makeable birdie putts within 13 feet and clawed her way into the lead with her last stroke of the day to stay one ahead of Lee, who finished second at the Lakeland Futures Classic two weeks ago, and Ward, who tied for fifth in Lakeland.
 
Im more comfortable this week, said Lee, 18, a Futures Tour rookie who has won twice on the Korean LPGA Tour. I was just having fun.
 
Lee converted her good time at East Lake Woodlands into 29 putts and 16 greens in regulation. Her irons were accurate and her putter found its target from 20 feet twice in a day that included seven birdie putts. She posted a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine and birdied three of the last four holes.
 
I am ready to win, said Lee, of her chances at this weeks $65,000 event. I watched the leader board and it made me play better.
 
Lee and Kang are both sponsored by powerful Korean business conglomerate CJ Corporation and will battle for honors as the events top Korean player. But Ward, a second-year pro seeking her first professional win, says she is ready to become the seasons first American winner.
 
She spent the off-season analyzing bank reports and working as a teller. She also visited sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella, who helped her with a different numbers game and to see the logical progression of her short professional golf career.
 
He helped me see things on a whole new level and to think like a champion, said Ward, who carded four birdies and one bogey in her second round. I have prepared myself properly, so winning seems like the next logical thing.
 
Of course, Kang also is hoping for the logical progression of her career and an end to her winless drought. And Lee wants to make her mark in America for the first time. That chance will come for all three in Sundays final round.
 
Seventy-three players in the 144-player field made the 36-hole cut at 153 (+9).
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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.