Punch Shot: Who plays way to next round of playoffs?

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 27, 2014, 5:15 pm

The top 70 players on the FedEx Cup playoff points list following this week's Deutsche Bank Championship will qualify for Round 3 at the BMW Championship. GolfChannel.com writers pick one player currently outside the cut line most likely to break through. (Click here for FedEx Cup playoff points list)


There's a lot riding on this week for Brandt Snedeker, and I expect him to perform well under the pressure.

He's in the mix to become one of Tom Watson's three U.S. Ryder Cup captain's picks. Snedeker hasn't hidden the fact that he grew up idolizing Watson and would desperately love to play on his team.

He also needs a decent performance to climb into the top 70 on the FedEx Cup points list and qualify for the BMW Championship. At No. 71 on the list, a made cut might be enough to do the trick.

Despite missing the cut last week, Snedeker has been maintaining that after some struggles this season, his game is starting to peak at the right time. I'd be surprised if that doesn't continue this week.


At No. 73 in the points race, Bo Van Pelt doesn’t have much work to do this week but expect him to play well enough to earn a spot in the field at Cherry Hills.

Van Pelt missed five consecutive cuts at one point this spring, but that stretch is well behind him. He has three top-15 finishes in his last four starts, including a T-13 last week at Ridgewood in the first playoff event. He’s shown a penchant for going low as well, with at least one round of 66 or better in each of his last four starts, so he should feel right at home this week at TPC Boston where the winning score often exceeds 20 under.

A top-50 finish will likely be enough for Van Pelt to punch his ticket to Denver, but he should finish much higher than that on a course where he was seventh as recently as 2011.


Brendon de Jonge has been in this position before, feet square to the challenge with nowhere to go but forward on a TPC Boston layout that is on the racier side of most playoff stops.

It was at the Deutsche Bank Championship last year when the Zimbabwean made his final push to a Presidents Cup pick, closing with a 66 on Monday to tie for ninth and convince captain Nick Price he was deserving of a spot on the International team.

This time de Jonge is fighting for his post-season fortunes. At 79th on the FedEx Cup point list he is in danger of failing to advance to the third playoff event for the first time since 2009.

The margins, however, are on de Jonge’s side. He trails No. 70 Scott Brown by just 59 points. To put that in context, he could, in theory, secure his spot inside the top 70, and a tee time at next week’s BMW Championship, with a 59th-place finish in Boston. But he will likely need to finish much better than that.

In what has largely been a consistent season, de Jonge must avoid his one “off day,” like his third-round 72 at the PGA Championship or his closing 75 last week at The Barclays.

The good news for de Jonge is that he’s done it before.


No-brainer here: Brandt Snedeker. 

It’s not just because he’s in good form – last week’s missed cut at The Barclays was only his second time outside the top 25 in his last nine starts. It’s not just because he has the least amount of work to do – at No. 71 in the FedEx Cup standings, he needs only to make the cut at TPC Boston and finish 53rd or better.

Those are good reasons, of course, but Sneds is the best bet to move on to Cherry Hills because of what’s at stake this week in Beantown. The Ryder Cup hangs over the head of every Team USA hopeful this week, and Snedeker is squarely in the mix for one of the three wild-card spots. He seemed in good shape after a top 5 at the Wyndham, but now the decision is a bit difficult. If Keegan Bradley was long ago considered a “lock,” and Hunter Mahan “locked” up his spot with a Barclays W, well, there can be only three “locks,” and Snedeker, one of the world’s best putters, is no longer one. In Boston he’ll be going head-to-head against the Ryan Moores and Webb Simpsons of the PGA Tour in a last-ditch effort to impress Tom Watson.

Every player in the Deutsche Bank field has $10 million reasons to finishstrong. Sneds has even more to play for. 

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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.