Teens Setting Pace at Futures Tour Q-School
Amateur Angela Park, a 17-year-old senior at Torrance High School, fired the day's low round of 65 at Schalamar Creek Golf Club on a day that featured a seven-birdie, bogey-free round. The teen from Torrance, Calif., moved into a three-way tie for the lead at 137 (-7) with amateur Song-Hee Kim, 17, of Seoul, Korea, and UCLA collegian Amie Cochran, 19, also of Torrance, Calif.
'The scores were kind of low in the first round and I shot even par,' said Park, who hopes to play on the 2006 FUTURES Tour as an amateur until she can turn professional on her 18th birthday in August. 'I was like, 'Wow! I'd better get going.''
So the teen, who lost to top-ranked Morgan Pressel in the semifinals of this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, focused on hitting her approach shots to a 'birdieable range' in today's second round. For her effort, Park's longest birdie putt was 15 feet and her putter produced 25 putts and a giant smile from the nation's fourth-ranked amateur girl.
'It's been my goal to turn pro since I was 9, so I came out here this week to try my best,' said Park, who won an American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) event in Alabama last month. 'If I get FUTURES Tour status, I'll play as an amateur until I can turn pro. I can already sense a difference out here from AJGA events. Most of these players are older than me, but I can learn a lot from them.'
Playing in her first tournament in the United States, Kim said she felt 'more comfortable than yesterday' in today's round at Huntington Hills Golf & Country Club -- one of the three courses used in this week's qualifier. The Korean teen said she learned about the FUTURES Tour through one of her friends, Sun Young Yoo, who earned 2006 exempt LPGA Tour status by finishing in the top five during the 2005 season. Kim described her experience this week as 'no stress, just having fun.'
And fun it was for the trio of teens. But others, including FUTURES Tour veteran Cherie Zaun of Glendale, Calif., weren't so sure about the 'fun' aspect of 'Q-School.' Walking to the scoring tables, Zaun was overheard declaring, 'Childbirth is easier than this.'
First-round leaders Nikki Garrett of New South Wales, Australia, and Lynn Valentine of East Lyme, Conn., again posted sub-par rounds today. Garrett and Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas, are tied one shot back at 138 (-6), while Valentine is alone at 139 (-5). Lang added a second consecutive round of three-under 69 today at Cleveland Heights Golf Course, while Garrett carded a 2-under-par 70 at Huntington Hills.
'The weather conditions were ideal for scoring today,' said Lang, 20, who tied for runner-up honors this summer at the U.S. Women's Open Championship. 'My game feels great. I've just been trying to work up to this and get back into competition.'
Sukjin Lee Wuesthoff, 19, of Toms River, N.J., carded an even-par 72 at Huntington Hills (141), while Salimah Mussani of Burlington, Ontario posted a 69, and Lee-Anne Pace of Mosselbay, South Africa carded a 4-under-par 68 to tie Mussani at 142 (-2).
Six players are tied at 1-under 143, while six others are tied at even-par 144.
Third-round play begins Thursday at 8 a.m. off the first and tenth tees at all three golf courses. The field will be cut after 54 holes to the low 100 players and ties, with the final round staged Friday at Cleveland Heights.
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.