Stock Watch: Open top 2 elevate; Big 4 depreciate

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2016, 1:25 pm

Each week on, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


Henrik Stenson (+9%): His two-bogey 63 Sunday will be immortalized, but it was his second and third rounds – a best-of-the-day 65 and 68, respectively – that won him The Open. From start to finish, it was links perfection.  

Phil (+7%): Of the 11 career runners-up in majors, Troon might be the hardest for Mickelson to accept, for it was a loss without a mistake. The good news? He illustrated yet again that his window of opportunity is far from closing.  

Troon Open (+5%): Hope you enjoyed the show, because it’ll be decades before we witness another display of golf like that. It was the “Duel in the Sun,” only better.

Beef (+4%): One of the enduring images from the week will be eighth-place finisher Andrew Johnston, wearing a Scottish cap, guzzling a Heineken on the front lawn of the clubhouse, taking pictures and whooping it up with fans on Sunday evening. His cult-like following grew even larger after his breakthrough performance at The Open.

J.B. Holmes (+3): Only three players in the OWGR top 50 have a pair of major top-fives this season: Holmes, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia. The titanium-denting Holmes, now a lock for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, should be a trendy pick for next week’s PGA.

Steve Stricker (+2%): The 49-year-old usually skips the year’s third major because it conflicts with his wedding anniversary, but the missus green-lighted his trip overseas this year. Good thing, because Stricker finished fourth (his best result in a major since 1998) and punched his ticket to three majors, including the 2017 Masters.


Bill Haas (-1%): Sure, he deserves credit for notching his first major top-10 in 28 tries, but instead of applying pressure on the leaders he faded badly during a Sunday 75, the worst score of anyone in the top 45.

Billy Horschel (-2%): Speaking of bad finishes … his 67-85 line at Troon instantly belongs on the list of all-time skids.

Golf gods (-3%): It’s the only explanation, really, for how Mickelson was robbed twice on the greens: (1) His putt for 62, which somehow caught the right edge and spun out; and (2) his eagle putt on 16 Sunday, which crossed the front of the cup and would have lifted him into a share of the lead.

Big 4 Bust (-4%): Rory McIlroy (T-5) and Dustin Johnson (T-9) backdoored top-10s, but it was a collective, and rare, off-week for the game’s biggest stars. Here’s guessing that won’t be the case at Baltusrol.

Olympic cutoff (-8%): Are travel arrangements and uniform fittings really that complicated? Had the International Olympic Committee pushed back the deadline to announce the teams one more week, after The Open (a freakin’ major!), then Mickelson would be on the American squad, restoring some of the luster to the much-maligned event.

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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.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“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. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.