Berger leads Mickelson, Stricker, Points by three

By Nick MentaJune 11, 2016, 9:53 pm

Thanks to a round of 1-under 69, Daniel Berger will take a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and D.A. Points into the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Here's where things stand through 54 holes in Memphis:

Leaderboard: Berger (-10), Points (-7), Stricker (-7), Mickelson (-7), Seung-Yul Noh (-6), Colt Knost (-6), Brooks Koepka (-6)

What it means: Berger, the 2015 PGA Tour rookie of the year, is in pursuit of his first victory. Up three to start the day, Berger found himself one over through 15 holes before back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 helped him maintain his three-shot advantage. The 23-year-old was a two-time runner-up last season and has finished in the top 25 in 21 of his 49 career starts. Giving chase will be three PGA Tour veterans in Points, Stricker and Mickelson; the last two have both been on Tour longer than Berger has been alive. Mickelson is in pursuit of his first victory since the 2013 Open Championship and is looking to build momentum for yet another shot at the U.S. Open and the career grand slam. Mickelson will play with Stricker, and Points will join Berger in the final pairing.

Round of the day: Points raced up the leaderboard into a tie for second with a bogey-free 6-under 64, making three birdies on each side. In addition to his third Tour victory, Points is chasing an invite to Royal Troon.

Best of the rest: Stricker, Boo Weekley and Alex Prugh shot 4-under 66. Like Points, the part-time Stricker was bogey-free and is now in line for an Open invite. The 49-year-old last won the 2012 Tournament of Champions.

Biggest disappointment: Tied for third at 5 under for the week through 36 holes, Dustin Johnson fell out of contention with a 3-over 73, making two birdies, three bogeys and a double. Separately, Tom Hoge, who played with Berger in the final group, shot 39 on the back and fell all the way back to 2 under with Johnson.

Shot of the day: Berger followed up a two-putt birdie from the fringe at the par-5 16th with this chip-in for birdie at 17.

Storyline to watch Sunday: The FedEx St. Jude Classic is part of the Open Qualifying Series, which awards invitations to this year’s Open Championship at Royal Troon. The leading four players who finish in the top 12 in Memphis and who are not already qualified will earn invites. Players set to earn those invitations through three rounds are Points, Stricker, Noh and Knost.

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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.