Clemson Captures East Regional
AUBURN, Ala. -- Gregg Jones shot a season best 67 and D.J. Trahan added a 68 to lead Clemson to victory at the NCAA East Regional at the University Course at Auburn, Ala. Clemson finished with a team score of 839 for the three rounds, nine shots better than runner-up Georgia Tech. The 25-under score was the best in Clemson history for an NCAA Regional tournament.
It was the sixth NCAA East Regional title for the Tigers, all under Head Coach Larry Penley. Clemson has more regional championships than any other Division I school. Clemson and Georgia Tech were co-champions last year. The Tigers also won the East Regional in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 2000. It was the second major championship for the Tigers this spring, as Clemson also won the ACC Tournament in April. Clemson now has five tournament titles for the academic year, tying the record of five set by the 1986-87 team.
Clemson now will advance to the NCAA Championships at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., May 27-30. It will be Clemson's 22nd consecutive year in the national tournament, the second longest active streak in the nation behind Oklahoma State's streak of 58 consecutive appearances. Oklahoma State will be the host school for this year's championship.
In addition to Clemson and Georgia Tech, Florida (859), Tennessee (863), Duke (866), Wake Forest (868), Augusta State (873), South Carolina (873), Vanderbilt (875) and Auburn (877) also will advance from the East. North Carolina and NC State advanced from the Central Regional Tournament, giving the ACC six teams in the 30-team NCAA National Tournament field.
Jones finished tied for second at the East Regional, his best finish this year. He had rounds of 69-72-67 in shooting a season best 208 for the 54 holes. He was tied for second with William Ted Brown of Virginia Commonwealth, who was playing in the event as an individual. Troy Matteson of Georgia Tech won the individual title with a 201 score after a final round 66. Jones had a season high seven birdies and just two bogeys on the day. He birdied all four of the par-5 holes. His previous best score this year was a 69 and his previous best tournament was a 212.
Matt Hendrix shot an even-par 72 on Saturday and finished with a 209 score for the three days, good enough for fourth place. He had four birdies and four bogeys on Saturday after a 67 on Friday. It was the fourth time this year he finished in fourth place at a tournament.
Trahan entered the tournament ranked number-one in the nation in final round scoring average with a 69.2 figure. He did not hurt that figure as he fired a 68 in the final round of the regional. He had six birdies and two bogeys. He had birdies on the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to get Clemson off to a fast start. He finished the event tied for seventh place with a 210 score. Ironically, that was his exact same total last year when he won the regional championship at Settindown Creek outside Atlanta.
Jack Ferguson had another under-par round with a 70. The sophomore had five birdies, but a double bogey on the eighth hole hurt his chances at scoring in the 60s for the 11th time this year. Still, he finished 16th with his 212 score, the sixth straight tournament he has finished under par.
Senior Ben Duncan improved his score by two shots for the second straight day and finished with a 73. He had a 225 total for the three rounds.
Penley was pleased with his team's performance, the 53rd victory of his Clemson head coaching career. 'The key to us winning this tournament was our performance in the second round. (The Tigers shot a 277 on Friday, eight shots better than any other team.). When we did that on Friday, it took the pressure off of making the cut. I don't care what anyone says, you are always thinking about making that cut.
'But were 20 shots clear of the cut entering today, so the guys played without pressure. We played well over the last two rounds, I am proud of them. We got off to a great start today. We were 11 under on the front nine at one point.'
Jones, a second-team All-American last year, gave credit to Penley for his performance over the three days. Penley walked the entire 54 holes with Jones, who had averaged 74.2 over his last six rounds entering the event. 'The coaches were not able to use carts at this event, so coach really couldn't move around a lot to see all the players. He stayed with me at Duke my freshman year and it helped. It certainly made a different this weekend. He settles me down when something goes wrong. It was my best performance of the spring.'
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.