Woods, Furyk, Stricker named Ryder Cup assistants

By Rex HoggardNovember 18, 2015, 8:05 pm

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Although his team for next year’s Ryder Cup is still evolving, U.S. captain Davis Love III added three vice captains on Wednesday.

Love, who already tabbed Tom Lehman to be one of his assistants, named Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker vice captains for next year’s matches at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

“They'll be my eyes and ears out there every week on Tour, even though I'm going to be out there, I hope, a lot with them,” Love said. “It’s going to make an incredible statement to our players that, 'Hey, these guys are ready to go. We're excited about it. We have a game plan.'”

Love said Woods stressed to him as early as last December at the initial meetings of the Ryder Cup task force that he wanted to be a part of the U.S. team, even if that means serving as a vice captain.

“Once I’m fully healthy, I’d like to try to make the team too, but either way, I’m very excited to work with Davis, the other vice captains and the players to get a U.S. victory,” Woods said in a statement.

Woods, who has a 13-17-3 record in seven Ryder Cup appearances, had a follow-up procedure in October following a second back surgery on Sept. 16. There is no timetable for his return to the PGA Tour.

Still, Woods told Love that he wanted to play on next year’s U.S. team and be a vice captain.



“He wants to play and be a vice captain. He wants to be the leader of his group, whoever that is, of guys that he's going to probably play with,” Love said. “Tiger is very capable of doing that. If I made the team, I would want to just play. I would want to focus on playing. I would think my mind would be too many other places.”

Unlike Woods, Stricker and Furyk, the latter of whom is currently No. 10 on the U.S. point list, both expressed a desire to focus exclusively on playing if they made the U.S. team and not serve the dual role of a playing vice captain. 

Love has not named his fifth and final vice captain, and if any of his current vice captains make the U.S. team, either through automatic qualifying or via a captain’s pick, he will have the option to name a replacement.

Furyk, 45, has played nine consecutive Ryder Cups and has a 10-20-4 record in the matches. Stricker, who also served as a vice captain at the 2014 matches and earlier this year at the Presidents Cup, has played in the biennial event three times, going 3-7-1.

“The Ryder Cup is in my DNA and I love everything about this event, the enormity of the stage, the passion, the competition, and the pressure,” Furyk said.

Love, Lehman, Stricker, Furyk and Woods served on last year’s Ryder Cup task force, which was formed in the wake of the U.S. loss at Gleneagles in 2014 to create a blueprint for future captains and encourage more dialogue between potential captains and players.

“These guys signed up and engaged, and you cannot believe the conversations that I've had with all of those guys on the task force,” Love said. “We've whittled it down to Tom and Tiger and Jim and Steve and I. We're off and running. We've got our group and we're going to get to work.”

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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.