After Further Review: Trump would rather shrink golf

By Nick MentaJuly 6, 2015, 1:40 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Donald Trump's troublesome comments, Tiger Woods' potential momentum heading into the Open Championship, Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas' disappointing finishes, and Jim Justice's efforts to make The Greenbrier Classic stand out in a crowded schedule.

Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants were outlandish for anyone, let alone someone ostensibly running for president.

Of course, Trump isn’t much interested in appealing to the masses - one of those key electoral traits. I’ve not been able to shake this interview from last year, where Trump said golf should be "aspirational,” that “it was always meant to be” an elitist activity, not "a game of the people."

This, of course, was after admitting he learned to play golf with gambling sandbaggers at Cobbs Creek, a public course in Philadelphia down the street from Merion that’s a far cry from Trump’s portfolio of high-class clubs. This was also amidst ripping the USGA’s efforts to lead the way in water conservation.

Four of the game's governing bodies, which are all involved with Trump in one way or another, released a joint statement this week stating that his remarks on immigration "do not reflect the views of our organizations." That's true on multiple fronts. Those bodies are trying to grow golf, not shrink it. - Nick Menta

Tiger Woods hit 12 of 14 fairways Sunday at The Greenbrier Classic. There were none of those giant misses with his driver, those wild shots that have been plaguing him for some time. That’s a big deal. He led the field for the week in proximity to the hole. That’s a big deal, too. His ball striking looked better than we’ve seen in some time. In his head, he has to believe a more cooperative putter is all that kept him from being in the mix in the end.

It’s all positive momentum for Tiger, something to build upon, something to get him closer to a chance to see if his nerves, confidence and swing will hold up when pressure’s ratcheted its highest. Because that’s when it’s the biggest deal of all. Momentum can be magical currency among the world’s best players.

At least Woods has some of the good kind to try to parlay into more meaningful momentum against deeper fields on courses that aren’t so soft. - Randall Mell

It’s easy to look at a PGA Tour leaderboard and say, “This guy is going to win soon.” It’s a sentiment that applies to red-hot players like Kevin Kisner, who fell short in a playoff Sunday for the third time this season. It even applies to can’t-miss prospects like Justin Thomas, a rising rookie who led The Greenbrier Classic through 62 holes before things went awry.

Players can appear on the cusp of a breakthrough victory, but at the end of the day there are a finite amount of victories to go around. This is the flaw in trying to project major hauls for various stars, where the titles available are even fewer and farther between. But even on a week-in, week-out basis, the number of players with the talent and ability to win far outnumber the trophies up for grabs.

Kisner said it best Sunday as he stomached yet another near-miss: "It’s tough to win out here, man." - Will Gray

In a 47-event schedule, they can’t all be A-list stops, and certainly this week’s Greenbrier Classic would appear to be on the wrong side of the PGA Tour train tracks.

Saddled with a less-than-ideal date on the Fourth of July weekend, wedged between the U.S. Open and next week’s Open Championship, the West Virginia tournament should be a competitive afterthought on a crowded schedule.

Yet thanks to the efforts of Jim Justice, who doled out thousands of dollars to fans last week every time a player recorded a hole-in-one, and a classic golf course, The Greenbrier Classic has made proverbial lemonade out of lemons. - Rex Hoggard

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.