Four reasons the Ryder Cup should be four days

By Jason SobelSeptember 25, 2014, 10:32 am

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Major championships last four days. Regular tournaments last four days. And yet, here we are on Thursday at the Ryder Cup, waiting one more day before the five sessions are crammed into a three-day period.

All of which leads to one pressing question: Why?

The company line from the PGA of America and European Tour is that it’s all about tradition. That’s valid rationale, but if the event never matured because of tradition, the United States would still be competing against Great Britain & Ireland. No Seve, no Ollie, no Sergio. Much of the drama of the past 35 years would have been removed from the proceedings.

Not that the Ryder Cup deserves to be compared with its little cousin the Presidents Cup, but there are a few things it could steal from the other international affair which could help the excitement factor. The first is having captains produce matches back and forth, like your fantasy football draft, rather than a blind draw. You want Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson on Sunday afternoon? In the current format, you can only cross your fingers and hope; if the captains matched up opponents, though, they could make it happen.

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The other is going to a four-day format. It’s worked for the Presidents Cup and would work just as well for the Ryder Cup. Here are four reasons:

1. More time for weather delays: The last time the Ryder Cup was contested in Europe, lengthy suspensions of play led to a makeshift third session and a Monday finish. That doesn’t benefit the organizing bodies, the competitors or the fans. Stretching the event out for four days allows for some wiggle room in the case of weather.

2. Can’t hide any players: Since this is a dream scenario anyway, I’ll extend that dream to my ideal format: Thursday’s opening session will consist of six fourball matches; Friday’s session would have six foursomes matches; then Saturday and Sunday would remain as they’ve always been. The end result? Four more points available in team matches and an inability to hide any weak spots over the first two days. If you’re on the team, you can’t ride the pine.

3. Removes the boredom factor: On Thursday morning, Ian Poulter met with the assembled media. He was brilliant in speaking about what the Ryder Cup means to him, but he also looked as if he was ready to spring from his chair and sprint to the first tee. Nobody blames him, either. From the “thuggish jingoism” of Rickie Fowler’s haircut, as one European writer put it, to Phil Mickelson’s comment that caused Litigate-gate, we’re all prepared for the actual golf to get going.

4. Money, money, money, money: Let’s face it: This event is about pride and tradition and rivalry, sure, but it’s also all about the Benjamins. The Ryder Cup is a huge money-maker for all organizing bodies, so why wouldn’t they try to maximize the potential of a four-day event? That would mean 33 percent more television revenue and ticket sales. And you know the old saying – money talks. 

Frankly, I’d be surprised if this move doesn’t happen someday. It makes too much sense not to – especially because of that fourth reason on the list.

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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.