Am Tour National Championship returns to the east coast for 2016 event

By Brandon TuckerSeptember 13, 2016, 3:52 am

PALM HARBOUR, Fla. – The Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships are back on the east coast for the first time since 2013. This year, the 1,151 qualifiers will take on first-time nationals host Innisbrook Resort & Club in Tampa, Fla. 

After back-to-back events on the west coast in Scottsdale, Ariz. and La Quinta, Calif., the championship is back in Florida. This year's field is even larger than the last time the event was held on eastern time in 2013 at TPC Sawgrass. The event officially kicked off tonight with the customary welcome dinner and reception, hosted this year by Morning Drive's Gary Williams and Lauren Thompson. 

This week's qualifiers will tee it up at three of the four championship courses at Innisbrook, including PGA Tour's Valspar Championship host Copperhead Course. The Copperhead is well-regarded on tour as being a fine and fair test of golf. It's challenge climaxes with the infamous "Snake pit," which is a hazard-heavy stretch that we'll check up on later in the week to see how the golfers are doing. The 72-hole event is rounded out with the Island and North courses at the resort as well as nearby Fox Hollow Golf Club. 

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Some of these golfers will have the inside track thanks to strong results in the Winter Championship, a major championship held here at Innisbrook at the beginning of the year. The winner of the Championship flight, Timothy Gardner, from Cincinnati, Ohio is in the field this week. The win at the Winter Championship was the highlight of a busy campaign in which he competed in 27 events.

Also here is Terry Winfrey, from nearby Wesley Chapel, who won the Hogan flight. Meanwhile, Hogan flight winner Dave Davlin is coming from Texas to defend his Winter Championship. Sarazen winner Clint Payton, from Seymor, Ind., is here. And lastly, Danny Anderson will have a tall order ahead of him, as his victory in the Snead flight bumped him up to Jones (16.0-19.9), where he'll try to climb the ranks. 

A few more facts about this year's Am Tour National Championships: 

  • 33 past national champions are in the field this week hoping for a return to glory. 
  • Over $125,000 was raised for Feherty's Troops First Foundation during the course of the 2016 season at Am Tour majors and local events. That is up 9,000 compared to 2015. 
  • 10 women are in this week's field of 559. 
  • 52 golfers this week are under the age of 30, including six teenagers.  

And while Senior Nationals are next week, eight golfers above the age of 60 have chosen to compete with the pups this week. 

We'll have daily articles from the event, which you can find on our Golf Central event landing page. For those of you with friends and family competiting this week, you can view the daily leaderboard right here.  

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.