After Further Review: What's Wie's future?

By Randall MellApril 25, 2016, 2:28 am

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

On another injury-related WD by Michelle Wie ...

At year’s start, swing coach David Leadbetter delivered a tough-love message to Michelle Wie. “I love her like a daughter, and we can say things to each other,” Leadbetter told GolfChannel.com. “I said, `Now is the time, young lady, when you need to show what you’re capable of.’”

That’s what makes her continuing struggle so frustrating for everyone who believes she still has more potential to lift the women’s game to new heights than anyone else playing today, that she has more of the charisma and intangibles required to draw new fans from beyond the sport’s niche than anyone else. Wie started this year finally healthy again, but it’s just not happening for her, and Sunday’s withdrawal just adds to the uncertainty over whether it ever will. Her WD comes on the heels of her missed cut at the Lotte Championship in her Hawaiian home. It marks her fourth MC or WD in seven starts in full field events this year.

Wie’s body looked like it was finally strong enough this year to allow her to build on that great return of promise she flashed two years ago winning the Lotte Championship and U.S. Women’s Open, but we don’t know now if her body’s going to hold up this year or even if her body’s the real problem. She withdrew from the Swinging Skirts Classic after 15 holes Sunday with neck spasms. She was 11 over for the day when she walked of the course.

Is the body giving away again, or is it something even more troubling? We don’t know, and maybe she doesn’t, either, but the timing’s troublesome because we’re on the verge of a historically important run of big events in the women’s game. Now is the time, as Leadbetter said. There’s never been a better time for Wie to show the world what she’s really capable of. – Randall Mell


On players snubbing the Olympics ...

First it was Vijay Singh citing a need to focus on the PGA Tour. Then it was Adam Scott who said his decision was based on a condensed schedule, followed by Louis Oosthuizen. Overall, the three high-profile no-shows from this year’s Olympics are concerning, but not unexpected nor ruinous.

Golf’s return to the Games was never about the impact it would have on the developed nations, like Australia and South Africa. The real measure of success will be on how the Games will influence the growth of golf in undeveloped countries.

“If I’m going to finish third [at the Masters], I’d prefer a bronze medal. For Paraguay, it’s going to be much bigger than a third at the Masters,” said Fabrizio Zanotti, who is currently qualified to play for Paraguay. “For Paraguay, for sure. I think Paraguay only has one [Olympic] medal in the history, in soccer. It’s going to be huge.” – Rex Hoggard


On a refreshing #SB2K16 ...

I’m not afraid to admit it, I loved the hell out of #SB2K16. I could not get enough.

Watching Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman all be unafraid to share their fun Bahamas vacation on social media was refreshing on so many levels. It even made me create a Snapchat account for the first time. I checked it about 50 times each day.

Now, their respective agents may not have been too pleased that they were each so forthcoming, but there was nothing wrong with anything that anyone did. Four millionaires living the dream in paradise, playing golf shirtless and shoeless, dancing, pulling pranks, doing impressions of various golf announcers, etc., is all good, clean fun. The Rory McIlroy twist was a hoot too.

For my money, Kaufman was #SB2K16’s leading man, which is what Thomas wrote his postmortem. Spieth was the top dog and Fowler was a close second, but we got a great glimpse of Kaufman’s personality. He’ll shine with media for years to come if he can win from time to time.

I was most pleased that I didn’t see anyone hammering them for their antics or accusing them of being elitist. Boys will be boys and we were fortunate to catch a sliver of the action. I’ve already set a notice on my calendar for #SB2K17.  Jay Coffin


What he said ...

Too often we rail against the stars in any sport for being too guarded. Too corporate, too hesitant to show their true colors or any semblance of personality.

Well, thanks to the greatest bro-cation in the history of Snapchat, that claim can't be leveled against the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman. The quartet used social media this week to offer a glimpse into their epic getaway, a far cry from the pressure-cooker they experienced at Augusta National just a couple weeks ago.

There was song, dance, drink - even a found dog. But most of all, there was a lighter side to show that these ultra-talented 20-somethings don't take themselves too seriously once they step outside the ropes.

It was a refreshing and enjoyable window into their lives, as they partied it up in the Bahamas as you'd expect most others would do (or would like to have done) at their age. Expect the media credentialing line for Baker's Bay in 2017 to rival anything we'll see later this summer at Oakmont.  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.