Kerr, Kim highlight International Crown roster battles

By Randall MellMarch 13, 2014, 4:35 pm

American Cristie Kerr and South Korean I.K. Kim are the two biggest names in the tightest battles to secure roster spots for their countries in the inaugural International Crown.

It’s down to the wire now, with just two events remaining on the LPGA schedule before teams are set for the Olympic-style competition later this summer.

While the eight nations that will play the International Crown July 24-27 at Caves Valley outside Baltimore, Md., were set late last year, the competition for spots on those national rosters remains ongoing. Rosters will be set at the conclusion of the Kia Classic in two weeks. That leaves just next week’s JTBC Founders Cup and the Kia as LPGA events where players can qualify. There’s competition ongoing on other world tours, too.

The top four players in the world rankings from each qualified country will make their national teams.

As of now, Kerr holds the final roster spot on the American team. She’s No. 14 in the Rolex world rankings. Angela Stanford is No. 16 with Lizette Salas No. 20. They’re all scheduled to tee it up at the Founders Cup next week with a load of world-ranking points up for grabs.

Kim holds the final roster spot for the South Korean team. She is No. 12 in the Rolex world rankings. Fellow countrywoman Ha Na Jang is No. 13. Kim hasn’t played an LPGA event yet this year but will make her debut at the Founders Cup. Jang plays the Korean LPGA Tour and led that tour’s Order of Merit last year. The KLPGA doesn’t begin its season until next month. Former world No. 1 Jiyai Shin, who resigned her LPGA membership this year, is active on the Japan LPGA Tour with a shot to make the team. She’s No. 17 in the world.

Here are the International Crown teams and how the roster races shape up based on world rankings:

South Korea – No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 5 So Yeon Ryu, No. 9 Na Yeon Choi, No. 12 I.K. Kim, No. 13 Ha Na Jang, No. 17 Jiyai Shin.

United States – No. 3 Stacy Lewis, No. 8 Paula Creamer, No. 10 Lexi Thompson, No. 14 Cristie Kerr, No. 16 Angela Stanford, No. 20 Lizette Salas.

Japan – No. 25 Mika Miyazato, No. 28 Ai Miyazato, No. 37 Sakura Yokomine, No. 39 Rikako Morita, No. 47 Mamiko Higa, No. 48 Shiho Oyama.

Thailand – No. 33 Pornanong Phatlum, No. 34 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 79 Moriya Jutanugarn, No. 93 Onnarin Sattayabanphot, No. 100 Thidapa Suwannapura.

Spain – No. 21 Beatriz Recari, No. 24 Azahara Munoz, No. 42 Carlota Ciganda, No. 166 Belen Mozo, No. 251 Mireia Prat.

Sweden – No. 15 Anna Nordqvist, No. 22 Caroline Hedwall, No. 113 Pernilla Lindberg, No. 154 Mikaela Parmlid, No. 179 Camilla Lennarth.

Chinese Taipei – No. 44 Yani Tseng, No. 51 Teresa Lu, No. 95 Candie Kung, No. 164 Hsuan-Yu Yao, No. 220 Yun-Jye Wei.

Australia – No. 6 Karrie Webb, No. 111 Katherine Kirk, No. 112 Minjee Lee, No. 129 Stacey Keating, No. 131 Lindsey Wright.

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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.