Did Paddy deserve POY

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2008, 5:00 pm
Padriag Harrington was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year Tuesday, becoming the first European player to win the award since it began in 1990. Good call? Bad call? That Tiger Woods fella had a pretty impressive run until he went on the disabled list in late June. Senior writer Rex Hoggard and editorial director Jay Coffin weigh in with differing opinions.
 

By REX HOGGARD
Senior Writer, GolfChannel.com

 
The memories of men are too frail a thread to hang history from.
-John Still, author of
The Jungle Tide
 
John Still was neither a PGA Tour player nor a golf writer, but his wisdom resonates in the wake of Tuesdays Player of the Year announcement.
 
Make no mistake, Padraig Harringtons season, if not that fearless 5-wood he roped to the 71st green at Royal Birkdale, was Cooperstown. The Irishmans 08 card is a ready-made instant classic during an era that doesnt lend itself to domination by the rank-and-file. And the man, at least for those who carry notebooks for a living, is a cure for clichs.
Tiger Woods
Woods plays through pain in the final round Sunday of the U.S. Open

But, with apologies to whole of County Dublin, he is not the PGA Tour Player of the Year. That honor belongs to Tiger Woods.
 
Harrington won twice, a pair of majors that stretches his record in Grand Slam gatherings to three for his last six starts, and earned $4.3 million in 15 Tour starts. Woods won four times in six starts and earned $5.7 million, but thats not why hes your POY. His name should be etched into the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for the tenth time because he became the first player to limp and grimace his way to the top of Mount Olympus on a single wheel.
 
Rocco Mediate called his 91-hole title bout with Woods at this years U.S. Open, ridiculous. Jay Williamson dubbed the years most manic Monday a David versus Goliath classic. And Woods, a man who avoids hyperbole like three-putts, could only manage a breathless, unbelievable as the sun settled over the grounds June 16 at Torrey Pines.
 
They wanted a show, they got one, said Mediate, historys David to Woods Torrey Pines Goliath.
 
A day later the world began to understand the depths of Woods injury when the world No. 1 went under a surgeons knife to end his year. We may never know the extent of Woods injury, but it is safe to say the damage was far worse than Woods ever let on.
 
Some will say that Harrington deserves the hardware because he completed a metaphorical 72 holes while Woods only made it 36. To that we respectfully offer the Irishmans post-PGA resume. After Oakland Hills, Harrington missed consecutive cuts ' first time hes done that since 2006 ' failed to get past the third round of the playoffs and was a non-starter at Valhalla where he failed to earn a full point for the Europeans.
 
That Woods delivered two of the seasons hallmark moments ' his 91-hole Open odyssey and a walkoff victory at Bay Hill in March ' while playing a limited schedule on a lame knee should add to his 2008 legacy, not distract from it.
 
But of all the reasons to give Woods the POY nod, the most convincing was his own assessment of that surreal SoCal soiree.
 
This is probably the best ever, Woods said when asked to rank where his Torrey Pines Open ranked among his sizable accomplishments. All things considered, I dont know how I ended up in this position to be honest with you.
 
Neither do we.
 
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By JAY COFFIN
Editorial Director, GolfChannel.com

 
Word is Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open on one leg. Problem is that two days later he announced hed hang it up for the remainder of the season in lieu of knee surgery.
 
Thats why Padraig Harrington deserved to be the PGA Tours Player of the Year. The award, afterall, is Player of the Year, not Player of the First-half-of-the-year.
 
The obvious reason here is because of Harringtons two major championship victories. With such a strong emphasis placed on major champions, these two treasured tokens should outweigh everything else. Sure, Woods wasnt at either tournament, and as much as people would like to believe that hed have won if he was at the British Open or PGA Championship, well never know and shouldnt waste brain matter trying to debate.
 
With the whole golf world wondering who would step up in Woods absence, Harrington was the only one who did. It wasnt Phil and it wasnt Sergio. It was Paddy, who crafted brilliant final rounds at Royal Birkdale to hunt down Greg Norman and stare down Sergio Garcia in the final stretch at Oakland Hills.
 
Padraig Harrington
Harrington celebrates at Royal Birkdale, following his 2nd Open Championship victory
Its not like Harrington was chopped liver the first six months of the year. He had four top-four finishes before arriving at Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open, where he tied for 36th and didnt play particularly well. The Irishman tied for third at Riviera, tied for fourth in New Orleans, tied for fifth at the Masters and tied for fourth at St. Jude. Missed cuts at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship are irrelevant and came just before an intense Ryder Cup defeat for Harrington and the Europeans at Valhalla.
 
Think back 10 years and youll find a similar scenario to this year. David Duval had won four times, was No. 1 on the money list and lost Player of the Year honors to Mark OMeara, who won a pair of major championships but had no other wins. The only difference in 1998 was that Duval collected his four victories over the entire season. Woods collected them in a six-tournament span.
 
Its foolish to disregard Woods accomplishments this year and its clear that he received many votes just off his superhuman performance at the U.S. Open. But the award should be based solely on accomplishment, not what he potentially would have done had he played the rest of the year. It was an impressive campaign, but not a complete one.
 
If Harrington didnt win two majors, this isnt even a debate. Woods wouldve been a unanimous choice. But Harrington did and he deserved the nod.
 
Besides, Woods had won nine of the past 11 Player of the Year awards. Did he really need an 10th?
 

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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.