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After Further Review: New rules needed - and fast

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 18, 2017, 12:32 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On Sergio Garcia's seemingly interminable rules consultation Sunday:

The six-month input period for the USGA and R&A’s modernization of the Rules of Golf recently ended, but after watching Sunday’s action at the BMW Championship, there was just a single message that needed to be sent to the rule-makers.

Hurry.

Nothing served as a better example of everything that’s wrong with the Rules of Golf than the ruling Sergio Garcia needed on the 72nd hole after hitting his second shot into a hazard.

It took nearly 20 minutes for the Spaniard to receive a ruling that was both overly complicated and wildly confusing. Whatever the rule-makers decide, they better do it fast. - Rex Hoggard


On the LPGA's major season of major controversy:

Mike Whan has accomplished many great things since taking over as LPGA commissioner in 2009, but this week he took one of his first major losses.

On Thursday, Whan and Co. decided not only to scrub first-round scores at the Evian but also to turn the final major of the year into a 54-hole affair. Remember, this move was made on Thursday, and it was made, in part, because of a poor Sunday forecast. At the time, it seemed woefully premature. (Let’s just see how the rest of the week goes, no?) By Sunday afternoon, it was indeed horribly miscalculated. Weather was not an issue Sunday, at least not until the raindrops (and hail) began to fall as the final group made its way up 18.

Here's what I would have done: Play until dark Friday and Saturday. And then play as many holes as possible on Sunday and, if necessary, Monday or Tuesday, since there is no tournament this week. It would have been messy, yes, but at least it'd be a 72-hole tournament.

Instead, Whan, three days too early, decided to make an LPGA major 54 holes for the just the second time in 20 years, diminishing the credibility of the event.

A major season that began with a rules controversy ended with poor decision-making from its top officials. Shame. – Ryan Lavner


On the rapid re-emergence of Patrick Cantlay:

We have spent much time this season lauding the accomplishments of Jon Rahm and his ability to adjust on the fly to life on Tour while seeing courses and playing against the toughest fields for the first time. That praise was all certainly legitimate, but it shouldn’t cause us to lose sight of the similarly impressive season compiled by Patrick Cantlay.

It was only seven months ago that Cantlay returned from more than two years away from the game. He was armed with a major medical extension and unsure as to whether he could even make it out on Tour. He cobbled together a schedule aimed at simply earning full-time status for 2018 and beyond.

Fast forward a few months, and Cantlay still has not missed a cut this year. He salted away his card with a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship, challenged again at the RBC Heritage, and thanks to a T-9 finish this week at the BMW Championship, he’s headed to East Lake. There will be no scheduling concerns for Cantlay next year, when he’ll return to the Masters for the first time since 2012.

Each player creates a unique path, and some need more time to adjust than others. But Cantlay belongs in the same class as Rahm among rising stars who have demolished any notion of a learning curve – and will likely stick around for years to come. - Will Gray

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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.