Juli Generation Still Has It

By George WhiteJuly 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
She turned 46 on June 24th last week, and she has two teen-age daughters who are almost as old as some of the young women who were her competitors at the U.S. Womens Open. And with just 10 holes to go, she was tied for the lead. With nine holes left, she was only one stroke back.
 
She would come home on only three cylinders, finishing three shots behind. But its difficult to find much that is different about Juli Inkster from the 24-year-old who became the first to win two major championships in her rookie season; the 39-year-old who won her first U.S. Womens Open in 1999; or the 42-year-old who won the Open for the second time.
 
Inkster is too polite to brag. But she did say that, I think my record kind of says I havent lost much. Ive got a family now. My priorities are different.
 
But as far as my golf game, when Im playing well, I feel like I can play with anybody.
 
Meg Mallon is from the Juli Generation. She saw Inkster when Inkster was a young hotshot on the tour, and she sees her now as she continues to play at a very high level. And Mallon doesnt think Inkster has lost anything. A certain 16-year-old, the 18- and 19-year-olds, the 20-somethings up through 35-year-old Annika Sorenstam ' Mallon doesnt think Juli takes a back seat to anybody.
 
Shes playing as good as she ever did, Mallon said after Inkster finally finished the tournament Sunday evening. You know, the 36 holes today? She was in as good a condition as anybody out here ' I never was worried about her doing that.
 
She has always worked hard. Age isnt a factor in golf ' which is fantastic. You can have a 46-year-old and an 18-year-old playing together, and its pretty neat stuff.
 
A fulltime mom, looking after the needs of two teen-agers and a husband first, then devoting what time is left over to pursue her golf ' Inkster doesnt have the luxury of thinking golf 24 hours a day. And it is pretty neat stuff, as Mallon says, that this part-timer is such an overwhelming success at the career she has had to subvert while she raises the family.
 
Husband Brian is a golf pro who met Juli when she was just a teen-age kid. He minded the two daughters Sunday while Inkster finished up with pars on 17 and 18. But he isnt so certain that the years didnt finally began to take their toll.
 
Ive got to think she just ran out of gas, he said. I dont know, its hard to say.
 
Inkster reluctantly agreed, though she certainly wasnt the only one who was whipped when it was at long last over. In fact, its doubtful if anyone was not affected by the long day which stretched out to almost 11 hours.
 
Well, you know, you get tired, especially when you do stuff like putt off the green on 9, she said. Its like, How can you do that?
 
But I felt good all day. I just never got the putter going.
 
Inkster was referring to a long putt to a hole cut near the edge on No. 9. The ball rolled oh-so-close to the hole, went by, and suddenly picked up speed as it went off the false front of the green. By the time it finally stopped, it was back in the fairway.
 
Inkster wound up making bogey there, then made bogey at 11. She was still only two shots out of the lead until she hit her approach on the par-5 16th fat and incurred another bogey.
 
But the Newport Country Club course beat up the contestants Sunday until Inkster wondered if the field would ever get finished.
 
This mornings round felt like it took forever, said Juli. It took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to play the front side. I thought, God, were never going to get finished.
 
But come early afternoon, she was still hanging around the lead. And it would stay that way until early evening, when the bogey at 16 took her out of it.
 
I played great this morning and kind of stumbled coming in, and then played good ' I felt like I was one of the ones to beat coming in there, she said.
 
So the Hall of Fame player will return to the U.S. Open next year to compete for the 28th time. She is one of only two Americans to have won a tournament this year. Juli isnt just getting older ' shes still getting better.
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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.