Monday finish on tap for four-man RSM playoff

By Rex HoggardNovember 20, 2016, 11:42 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – The 2016 PGA Tour season refuses to end.

After a frenzied round of lead changes and two extra holes, play was suspended for the day as darkness settled in over Sea Island Resort to force a Monday finish at the RSM Classic.

Mackenzie Hughes, who was trying to become the first player since Camilo Villegas in 2008 to win his first Tour title with a wire-to-wire victory, missed a 10-footer for birdie in darkness on the second extra hole (No. 18) that would have ended the playoff, and the official ’16 Tour season.

“It was quite a fight out there, and I didn't have my best stuff by any means, but found a way to dig deep and just get in that playoff,” Hughes said. “I thought I made that putt there at the end, but try again tomorrow.”

Instead, Hughes, Villegas, Henrik Norlander and Blayne Barber will return to the Seaside Course at 8 a.m. (ET) on Monday to complete the event.

After three days of near-flawless play, Mackenzie struggled on Sunday with his first three bogeys of the week (he made a triple bogey-7 on No. 11 on Saturday). He retook a share of the lead with a birdie at the 14th hole and finished with a 69 and 17-under total.

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Playing on a sponsor exemption, Norlander made the day’s biggest move, posting a bogey-free 65 that included a 5 footer for birdie at the 72nd hole to secure his spot in the playoff.

“I knew I had to birdie the last to have a chance,” said Norlander, who finished 179th on the FedEx Cup points list and lost his Tour card last season.

It was the only birdie made by the five players who finished tied at 17 under despite having 14 looks at the par 4. In the fivesome’s defense, there were only 12 birdies made at the final hole all day by the entire field.

Villegas, who hasn’t won on Tour since the 2014 Wyndham Championship, had the best look at birdie on No. 18 - the site of both extra holes - in the first overtime frame, but his 15-footer came up short.

“People on TV have no clue how dark it is right now,” Villegas said. “I was just telling those guys, that last putt I was just like hit it in the middle of the hole, hit it a little firm. I had no clue which way it was going.”

Horschel had a chance to separate himself in regulation but his 27-footer for birdie on the 18th slipped just past the hole, and he three-putted in fading light from 19 feet for bogey at the first playoff hole.

“I just missed that putt,” said Horschel after he was eliminated. “But you know what, it's golf, it happens. I played really well today.”

There have been three five-man playoffs in the last 15 seasons on Tour, the last coming at the 2015 Puerto Rico Open.

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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.