Press Pass Can Monty Contend at Carnoustie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
Press PassEach week, GOLF CHANNEL experts and analysts offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf with the Press Pass.
 
Hot Topic
With his win in Europe this past week, can Colin Montgomerie be a serious contender for the Open Championship at Carnoustie?
 
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Columnist, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
The win means Monty is on form and that's always important. But his record at Open Championships is spotty at best. I can think of 20 guys I would immediately pick ahead of Montgomerie for Carnoustie. I don't see a win at a major for Monty now or ever. His best chances, most notably U.S. Opens in 1992 and 1994, and PGA 1995, are behind him.
 
Steve Sands Steve Sands - Reporter, GOLF CHANNEL:
Yes, Colin can make a run at Carnoustie. As straight as he drives the ball, Colin, when he has confidence, which he should have after his win at the K Club, should be able to contend for that ever-elusive first major championship next week in his home country. What a story that would be!
 
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer, GOLFCHANNEL.com:
I've always been surprised at Monty's relatively poor results in this particular major. His best chance to win at Carnoustie will be to hang around relatively quietly for three rounds, shoot a great number on Sunday, and watch as others fade to hand him the title.
 
Hot Topic
This week is the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. Should the European Tour use a more links-style venue as a British Open lead-in to attract an even greater field?
 
Hewitt:
This is an interesting question and to answer it you have to begin by pointing out how few true links courses there are on the European Tour schedule. It's probably more important to a lot of players that Loch Lomond, being in Scotland, is always a conveneient commute to any course in the Open rota. Tiger, by the way, never plays Loch Lomond. He has chosen, on several occasions, to spend the week prior to the Open Championship playing links golf in Ireland.
 
Sands:
I think it'd be great if links golf was used the week before the British Open. But like the PGA TOUR, money and sponsors dictate things on the European Tour and I would imagine Loch Lomond is the venue because of both factors. I do not think it matters what style the course is as far getting more Americans. Players from here are either going to go over or they're not. It's seems to me that it's a personal choice made for scheduling reasons around a major and not the style of course.
 
Baggs:
Americans just don't like to travel outside of their country to play golf unless they have to. It's sad, really. I'd love to see a links-style venue host the precursor to the Open. And I'd love to see more Americans flock over to play it. But that's not likely to happen. Many just prefer to come over a couple of days before the Open, acclimate, and then get ready for the championship on their own schedule.
 
Hot Topic
With the Presidents Cup in Montreal, should Mike Weir be selected for the International Presidents Cup team regardless of his form or standing?
 
Hewitt:
This is a special situation. Weir is a special player. And Canada is a special venue because of the avidness of its golf fans. Memo to International captain Gary Player: Throw past performance out the window. Pick Weir. Look what happened when the Europeans made a sentimental pick of Darren Clarke at last year's Ryder Cup in Ireland. It was an inspiration.
 
Sands:
Mike Weir should absolutely be on the Presidents Cup team. He is the face of Canadian golf and is a national hero there. End of story.
 
Baggs:
Without question. All Gary Player -- and Jack Nicklaus -- talks about is how the Presidents Cup is NOT the Ryder Cup. That this competition is one of sportsmanship and building the game, not gamesmanship and winning at any cost. If he really believes that, he'll select Weir regardless of his form. Weir is a national icon and his presence will definitely be a boost to the competition.
 
This past weeks U.S. Senior Open was held at Whistling Straits. Would you like to see more majors awarded to newer venues or stick with the older, more renowned courses?
 
Hewitt:
I'd like to see a mixture. Would love to see the Senior Open at Pacific Dunes in Oregon. Also, I don't think the USGA needs to hold the feet of the over-50 guys to the fire so much in terms of course set-up. Remember, a lot of those feet are tired.
 
Sands:
If the new golf courses chosen are worthy, like Whistling Straits is, I love seeing new courses host the biggest events. I also love the tradition of the old courses. As long as majors are held at great courses I like the mix between young and old.
 
Baggs:
I'd love to see some newer courses used to host major championships, especially on the Champions and LPGA tours. These two tours need a little extra publicity during their majors, and the use of an oft-talked about, but rarely/never played venue can add some interest.
 
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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.