Thursday Thumpings Abound

By George WhiteFebruary 27, 2003, 5:00 pm
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Tiger Woods lives yet another day. Thats not news to the golfing public, who expect him to win the WCG'Accenture Match Play Championships with ease. To Woods, though, winning ' and losing ' in match-play circumstances against players of this caliber is as common as picking up a putter.
 
He plays in the third round Friday against Australian Stephen Leaney after sending K.J. Choi packing Thursday. Tiger won by a tally of 5 and 3, and for the second straight day, he didnt make a bogey. He had three birdies Wednesday and two against Choi, and hasnt had a single smear on his scorecard in the tourney.
 
Tiger's triumph was just one of several Thursday thumpings. Darren Clarke started the day by trouncing Davis Love III, 7 and 6. Jim Furyk defeated Steve Lowery, 6 and 5. Leaney won the first four holes and eased to a 6-and-5 win over Justin Leonard.
 
Phil Tataurangi, who shocked Ernie Els in the opening round, fell victim to Peter Lonard in round two, 5 and 4.
 
Phil Mickelson was in a battle until he pulled away late. He was all square with Brad Faxon through 11 holes, before winning Nos. 12-14 en route to winning the match, 3 and 2.
 
He could face Woods in the final. But first, he'll have to get past Jerry Kelly, who beat Mike Weir, 2 and 1, in round three.
 
'That's a hurdle for me,' Mickelson said. 'I want to focus on that match and see if I can get past that.'
 
David Toms was struggling against Chris Riley until he holed a 90-foot chip for birdie on the 18th hole with a 3-wood to win 1-up.
 
Defending champion Kevin Sutherland is still alive. He bettered Justin Rose, 1-up.

Thursday was an awful day if you are playing golf, OK if you are a SCUBA diver. Woods was obliged to play golf, unfortunately, and he made the most of it.
 

It was windy, and all of a sudden became rainy, he said. The rain was hit-and-miss, which was even worse, because you had to take off your gear, put it back on, take it off, put it back on. It was just a day of patience out there.
 
Downpours continually raked the course off the nearby Pacific until noon, lining up to strafe the coast like so many F-18s. But because it was match play instead of stroke play, play continued unabated, officials concerned only that the conditions were the same for both players.
 
It also made for some bizarre shots. Woods remembers hitting one 8-iron from just 120 yards, a couple of 5-irons from 150. Those are distances that mortals hit them, but not a bazooka like Woods.
 
Woods, though, has been on the target this week. I hit two 5-irons back-to-back on 3 and 4, he said, and that got me going. I didnt mis-hit a shot from there on in. I may have put it in the wrong spot, but I hit them flush.
 
Tiger had two birdies and no bogeys in Thursdays match, which ended on the 15th hole. Pins have been, for the most part, unreachable, and it is quite possible to spin the ball back off the green trying to get to them. Woods has been a picture of concentration the past two days as he tried to take all spin off the ball. Its not a shot that many of the pros have. Its not a shot that Woods had his first year or two on tour.
 
I didnt have that shot, not for the swing plane I had, said Tiger. Playing my swing, there was no way you could have played that shot.
 
The reason ' the clubface isn't closed through impact. He changed his swing, he says, to change the angle that the face goes through the hitting area.
 
Thats one of the reasons why I evolved my swing plane to where it is now ' to hit different shots and be more consistent. To be able to keep the blade open longer through impact has definitely given me more variety of shots, especially in these conditions, he said.
 
So he lives to fight another day, another opponent awaits. Others are supremely confident for him, but Woods is counting for today only, just praying he avoids bogeys for one more match. And he knows that just avoiding bogeys wont necessarily get him another match win.
 
You dont know, thats the thing, he said with a sigh. You dont know. And I think thats the beauty of match play ' you just flip a coin.
 
You can still get in a boat race, someone can shoot 7- or 8-under, and not make a bogey, and someone can shoot 3- or 4-under, and youre packing your bags.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the Accenture Match Play Championship
  • 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.