Tour Members Win Trip and Big Break Audition

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 3, 2007, 4:00 pm
Golf Channel Amateur TourWhen the line is long theres nothing better than being escorted past everyone else, right to the front.
 
Three players earned the right to jump right to the top of the audition list for The Big Break 8. Tony Caporale of Atlanta, Ga., Brent Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., Chase Barnes of Houston, Texas, won three of the four Big Break 8 Qualifier tournaments on the GOLF CHANNEL Amateur Tour.
 
The final qualifier was won this weekend by Andrew Flaskerud at Whisper Creek Golf Club outside of Chicago. He will get his private audition this week in Orlando.
 
Caporale was the first to earn a bump in the audition process by winning the first qualifier at The Heritage Club just north of Atlanta. Brooks became the second in, taking home top honors at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Barnes was the low man at Redstone Golf Club, home to the Shell Houston Open.
 
The winning trio were treated to an inside look at the GOLF CHANNEL studios.
By virtue of their victories, the three men ' as well as the soon-to-be determined fourth ' were allowed to skip a pre-audition for the next installment of The Big Break, in which someone will earn a PGA TOUR exemption. They were able to bypass the screening process, where thousands of applicants are whittled down to a select few ' who are then whittled down to the chosen 12.
 
Caporale, Brooks and Barnes were flown to Orlando, Fla., where they stayed at Reunion Resort, home to The Big Break VII: Reunion. They were given a tour of GOLF CHANNEL headquarters (Very cool, exclaimed Barnes.) and met Big Break co-host Vince Cellini.
 
If that wasnt enough star power for them, they dined with Tiger Woods that evening. Well, not exactly. But Woods was at the same restaurant as the trio.
 
The following morning, Caporale, Brooks and Barnes met with show producers for a formal interview. They also underwent a playing test at Reunion in which they had a chance to impress the men who control their Big Break fate. All three played well with Brooks firing a 4-under-par 68 to lead the way. Caporale got around the Par-72 course at Even par, while Barnes carded a solid 73.
 
Caporale is currently the tour manager for the multi-platinum band Collective Soul. He owns a +0.5 handicap and has a career low round of 66. Hes competed in professional and amateur events from coast-to-coast and says that he and members of the band play as often as possible when on the road.
 
The highlight of his playing career: Winning the GOLF CHANNEL Big Break Qualifier, of course!
 
Brooks is a veteran player with a resume full of mini-tour experience. He cites a scratch handicap and shot a career low 63 in a Hooters Tour event.
 
Brooks playing highlights include twice making it to the second stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament, winning a professional event in northern Florida, and competing in the Nationwide Tours Louisiana Open.
 
Meanwhile, Barnes, by comparison, is just starting out in the game. He didnt really pick it up until the high school golf coach convinced him to join the team.
 
The now 22-year-old shot 110 in his first tournament, reduced that to an 88 four tournaments later, and shot 79 two months thereafter.
 
He now sports a +1 handicap and has a career low round of 65.
 
Chase Barnes gets in a little putting practice on one of the instructional sets.
Unlike Caporale and Brooks, Barnes did not know when he signed up for his first GOLF CHANNEL Amateur Tour event that it was a Big Break Qualifier as well.
 
Once I found out, I thought, This is pretty cool. And after I won, it didnt hit me at first, but then it did and I thought, Wow, this is really cool, Barnes said.
 
Of course, all of these guys have individual goals which they are trying to achieve. And making it on the show can only get them closer to attaining them.
 
I just love the game. I love everything about it. I love working on my game, getting better, Caporale said. I love competition. Ive watched every episode of every series, so Im very familiar with the show. Ive always wanted to get the chance to be a part of this program and winning that tournament has at least given me a chance to do that.
 
Said Brooks, who will have been married for 11 years this July and has two kids, ages 8 and 4, The PGA TOUR exemption is what Im after. I want to get out there. That was what I wanted to do before life and family kind of derailed me. Well, not so much derailed as kind of made me change gears.
 
Its hard to play mini-tour golf when youve got a mortgage and a wife and a kid.
 
For Barnes, the bar is set even higher.
 
My goal is to not just make the TOUR, but to be where years from now when you say my name, people know my name, he said. Its not just to make the TOUR; its to make the Hall of Fame.
 
First things first: making it on The Big Break 8. The show contestants will be revealed in July.
 
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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.