Howell Still Recalls Disappointments of Last Year

By George WhiteOctober 16, 2001, 4:00 pm
Charles Howell III remembers last year what it was like on his way to becoming an overnight superstar.
He had dropped out of Oklahoma State to turn pro, having foregone the messy experience of attending the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. Maybe it was the third-place finish at the John Deere Classic, and the subsequent $176,000 check, that deluded him into thinking this would be an easy assignment. To get his card in the seven tournaments that were allowed to give him a sponsors exemption shouldnt be too tough. All he had to do was make as much enough money to get to No. 125 - slightly more than $390,000.
He was so wrong. It turned into a near-impossible task. Today he has recovered nicely, solidly inside No. 125, No. 49 in the World Rankings, going for a spot in the Tour Championship. But he will never forget last year.
Last year was so exciting, he recalls the boyish experience. It was like, Look whos out here on driving range, I just saw Davis Love, or, I saw Phil Mickelson eating a hamburger.
It went the whole gamut, from, Its going to be easy, to, Oh my goodness, now what are you going to do?
Howell didnt get his card. And when this year started, he didnt have any status again, having missed in qualifying school.
Suddenly, though, he remembered those days as an all-America at Oklahoma State, and he began to roll ' and roll and roll. He still isnt officially a member of the PGA Tour, but the rules have been re-written three times to make sure that when next season begins, he will be eligible for everything.
Im No. 126 on the number, detailing the manner in which the PGA Tour had dealt with his case. Because of a rules change, Ill be in the invitationals ' the Players Championship, Bay Hill, Memorial, Colonial and WorldCom. Ill get into those as an add-on to the field. The TPC, for example ' instead of 125, they will take 126. Ill be an add-on to the Tour Championship if I qualify ' itll be a 31-man field.
Before, it was such that I could have, for example, finished second at the International, second at the PGA, I could have qualified for the Ryder Cup team and finished second the rest of the year out, and I would still be a non-member next year and not gotten into any invitationals next year.
Howell showed up at the National Car Rental Classic at Disney Tuesday clad in Jesper Parnevik duds. His skinny build, 5-feet-11 and only 153 pounds, was covered with a closely cut gold-color shirt and slender, form-fitting black slacks. In fact, he says hes about to sign an endorsement contract with Parneviks clothesmaker.
I wont have the Jesper extreme look, but I will wear basically the same type of clothing, Howell said.
In the world of basketball, for example, if youre a Dennis Rodman look-alike, you have to pierce 15 different body parts and dye your hair 37 different colors. In golf, if you wear something like this, youre set apart a little bit and suddenly youre different. Im skinny enough where that I make even these pants look baggy. And I like the look.
Howell draws the line, however, at Jespers pink. You wont see me in pink, he said definitively. Youll see me in a lot of black and khaki and blue and gray. But pink ' no.
One goal puts him in an awfully large group, however. He, like every other golfer on the PGA Tour, is chasing Tiger Woods.
Oh yeah, Tiger is definitely the standard, he said. He is definitely the best, and hes the standard in every facet of the game. Hes the best golfer in the world, and hes someone I definitely look up to and want to pattern myself after.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.