Tiger Looks to Rebound at Doral

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Like death and taxes, Tiger Woods' status as a weekly favorite is certain. Especially this week, at a tournament series and course where he's seen little failure - Doral Golf Resort and Spa and the WGC-CA Championship.
 
For Woods, Miami and the World Golf Championships have been muy bueno.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger has won the last two times he has teed it up at Doral. (WireImage)
The world's No. 1 player has won the last two events at Doral, the Ford Championship, at a combined score of 44 under par -- but only by one shot each time.
 
He has won 12 of his 23 WGC starts since the series began in 1999, including five CA Championships (previously the American Express Championship). And he's done it all over the world, in places like Spain, Ireland and England.
 
In a word, Woods' prospect of a good finish this week is simply: guaranteed.
 
Doral will be hosting a WGC event for the first time, and like the first three legs of the PGA TOUR's early Florida swing, measures have been taken to make the course harder.
 
Renovated greens on the Blue Course should play faster, and longer rough should make it harder to reach them.
 
Last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the world's best golfers lost countless shots to Bay Hill's long rough, with Sunday's final round producing the highest average score on the PGA TOUR this season.
 
Not that we should be expecting this week's winner to score as low as Vijay Singh (minus-8) did in claiming Palmer's event on Sunday. At this event, the winning score hasn't been lower than 17-under since 2000, when Mike Weir won the AmEx at 11 under.
 
To draw the best players from professional tours around the world, the CA Championship uses specific criteria.
 
Those eligible include: players finishing at the top of the money list on their home tours; the top 30 players from the 2006 PGA TOUR money list; the top 20 from the 2006 European Tour Order of Merit; and top players from the Japan Golf Tour, Australasian Tour, Sunshine (South Africa) Tour and Asian Tour.
 
This year, players could qualify through the FedEx Cup standings, as well.
 
The CA Championship is a co-sanctioned event and part of the official PGA TOUR schedule.
 
The GOLF CHANNEL will have coverage of the first two rounds, before handing off to NBC for the weekend.
 
A run down on the players who are, of course, on the hot list:
 
Tiger Woods
Along with the above-mentioned, mind-boggling stats for Tiger at this venue and in this event, he will also bring something else to the table this week - complete focus. Not that he rarely gets away from that, but coming off a horrendous finish at Bay Hill and the fact that this will be his final tune-up before the Masters, you can see why he will be hitting on all cylinders at Doral.
 
Jim Furyk
Although he withdrew from Arnie's event in Orlando due to a lingering wrist injury, world No. 2 Furyk assured everyone that is was more precautionary than anything. Mr. Top-10 is back at a place where he as performed rather well over the last half-dozen seasons, which includes his win in 2000. His last six trips to Doral have produced four top-10s and a runner-up in a playoff.
 
David Toms
David was a runner-up last year at Doral. (WireImage)
David Toms
Much like his personality, it's been another quiet, but good year for the LSU grad Toms. He has posted three straight top-5s at Doral including a runner-up in '06. Currently hovering around the top-10 in scoring average on the PGA TOUR, Doral is a place where scoring is at a premium - in the last seven events at Doral, 17 under is the highest winning final score.
 
Vijay Singh
Just like prior to last week's event at Bay Hill, Singh has built an impressive resume at a course yet has been unable to get into the winner's circle. At Doral, Vijay has five top-5 finishe, three of which have come in his last four attempts. The first two-time winner on the PGA TOUR this season, the 44-year-old Fijian has plenty of confidence coming in and a top-10 is almost assured.
 
Ernie Els
The Big Easy hasn't played much on the PGA TOUR this year but has told the world of his plan to someday soon overtake the No. 1 spot in the world. First things first: try and win a tournament. As a former winner at Doral, he would do well to call on memories of his 2002 victory over, you guessed it, Tiger.
 
Here's another four-pack of players to watch for at the Blue Monster:
 
Camilo Villegas
Young and brash with the clothes to match, the Columbian-born Villegas has quickly racked up three runner-up finishes in his yet still young career on the PGA TOUR, including at Doral last season. This was his break-out event in his rookie season of '06.
 
John Rollins
The 31-year-old Rollins has played poorly in his only two starts at Doral, but this is a new year. This season, Rollins is on a roll - two runner-ups and another top-5 have him fourth in both the FedExCup point standings as well as the TOUR money list.
 
David Howell
With Doral thought of as a bomber's paradise, England's Howell should feel right at home. Currently ranked fifth in driving distance, Howell had a respectable 12th-place finsh last year at Doral.
 
Phil Mickelson
He sneaks in down here because of the way he both finished at Bay Hill and because of the legendary showdown here with Tiger two years ago. At Bay Hill, Lefty did himself and his fans no favor by closing with a double bogey for a tie for 36th. But, his second-place showing here in'05 is something he will draw on this week.
 
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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.