After Further Review: Closer look at fatigue, RC picks

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the timing of Ryder Cup captain's picks in the wake of Billy Horschel's two-stroke win at the BMW Championship and the fatigue that comes with playing in four straight weeks of FedEx Cup playoffs.

Four consecutive weeks of playoff golf, particularly postseason play that is just two week’s removed from a World Golf Championship and a major, is too much. First Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose who bypassed the second postseason stop at TPC Boston for various reasons, then Phil Mickelson opted for rest over a late-season attempt to qualify for the Tour Championship on Saturday at the BMW Championship. Although the traditional post-Deutsche Bank Championship “off” week returns next year, that doesn’t change the growing perception among players that four consecutive weeks, or even four of five weeks, is not conducive to good golf. – Rex Hoggard

There is a major procedural problem with the timing of the Ryder Cup captain's picks.

While I understand the rationale behind the PGA Championship as the automatic qualifier list cutoff point (offering an additional plotline to the PGA of America's other crown jewel), there's no rhyme or reason to picks being announced after just two FedEx Cup events.

This might sound like Monday morning quarterbacking, but on a week where Billy Horschel won and players like Ryan Palmer, Morgan Hoffmann and Brooks Koepka contended for titles, it only exacerbated Tom Watson's claim that he wanted hot hands on his roster.

How should it be fixed? Two suggestions: Either move back the captain's picks to after the Tour Championship or release one name each week for three weeks in a row – a move which would certainly maximize fan interest and heighten the impending drama.  Jason Sobel

FedEx Cup fatigue has set in. Rory McIlroy four-putted two days in a row. Sergio Garcia bladed a chip into a pond. Ryan Palmer shanked a wedge into a hazard. Hey, at least they were still in Denver on Sunday – Phil Mickelson bailed after two rounds. Multimillionaires won’t get much sympathy for being forced to play four events in a row with tens of millions of dollars at stake, but it’s clear that the quality of play in these playoffs has been sacrificed with the nonstop schedule. When trying to handicap the field for this week’s Tour Championship, don’t just consider who is playing well or has a strong history at East Lake. Also ask: At this point, who still cares? – Ryan Lavner

We’re seeing evidence of something akin to postseason traumatic stress disorder in these FedEx Cup playoffs. Phil Mickelson talked a couple weeks ago about keeping his “sanity” in his long, frustrating season, and then he withdrew this week from the BMW Championship, citing the need to get himself ready for the Ryder Cup. He looked like he was out of gas. There was a heated exchange between Adam Scott and his caddie, Steve Williams, in full view of media behind the clubhouse after Saturday’s round. We can’t be sure that the fatigue of a hard late-season push had anything to do with that, but we wouldn’t be surprised. We heard Martin Kaymer talk this week about how all the time he’s spending in hotel rooms in his long run takes a toll. And we heard Sergio Garcia explain Sunday that he might have avoided the triple-bogey 8 he made late in the round if he were more rested and mentally sharp. I imagine golf fans aren’t getting tired of seeing the best players going this hard at each other, but I suspect they're going to get real tired hearing these players talk about how tired they are becoming in pursuit of a $10 million jackpot. - Randall Mell


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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.