Which course deserves a FedEx Cup playoff event

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 24, 2010, 11:04 pm

In this edition of Travel Punch Shots, TravelGolf.com senior writers Mike Bailey and Brandon Tucker weigh in on two courses that are tough, exciting and deserve to host a PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff event.

By MIKE BAILEY

No disrespect to Ridgewood Country Club and The Barclays, but how about bringing the PGA Tour playoffs to the west coast? Specifically, I would love to see a FedEx Cup playoff event at the recently renovated Bayonet Course at Bayonet/BlackHorse in Seaside, Calif.

In the old days, Bayonet had a reputation as one of the toughest hombres in the West, and it played hosted to a number of professional events. Now that it's received a facelift as part of a $13 million renovation by architect Gene Bates, it's even better – a lot better.

And it's still really tough. I'd love to see the tour pros tackle these narrow fairways and firm, tricky greens. In fact, at a U.S. Open qualifier at Bayonet earlier this year, the medalist shot even par, and there were a few scores in the 90s. At just over 7,100 yards, Bayonet isn't long by today’s PGA Tour standards, but its rating/slope of 74.8/141 is a testament to its difficulty.

If the course is set up firm, as it typically is in the summer and fall, even the pros will have a hard time holding the greens at Bayonet.

As for tough holes, take your pick. The ninth is a 480-yard dogleg right uphill par 4. And just for good measure, there are deep bunkers guarding a green with plenty of tough pin positions.

The finishing stretch doesn't appear particularly foreboding, with two par 4s less than 400 yards, but trust me, it isn't easy, and it could make for great drama. The last two holes, a 225-yard par 3, and a 519-yard par 5 that plays uphill sets up for an exciting finish.

Besides difficulty, though, Bayonet is also easy on the eye. The renovation saw to that. Underbrush was cleared and trees trimmed to provide views of Monterey Bay not seen in years. Bunkers were renovated. And the golf course is pure bentgrass, tee to green now, so all you see is deep green turf surrounding ragged edged snow-white bunkers and ocean blue in the background.

The course is also very walkable, both for fans and players. And the Pacific Ocean provides plenty of air conditioning. What's not to like?

By BRANDON TUCKER

Golf hotbed Reno-Tahoe is a more deserving destination than serving as host of a sponsor-less PGA Tour event opposite the British Open. It deserves a FedEx Cup playoff event.

Tahoe's North Shore is a 30-minute drive from Reno-Tahoe Airport and is home to a handful of tour-worthy courses. Timilick Club in Truckee would be the most fitting for a PGA Tour playoff event. It’s a new private club that offers some daily public tee times while it tries to fill membership. It ranks among the best courses I've seen in 2010 and would be a great showcase of the area beyond Edgewood Tahoe on the south shore. Spectators who come to town would surely fall in love with Truckee's historic downtown and wealth of natural attractions around Lake Tahoe.

Designed by Johnny Miller and John Harbottle, Timilick is a more traditional-looking course compared to its showier mountain neighbors, and the routing is pretty easy to walk, especially on the flatter front side.

And the hole variety is tremendous, boasting not only varying visual scenery but it demands plenty of different shots too. There are two drivable par 4s (the 11th is one of the best out there), elevated greens and downhill holes, plus a 600-plus-yard finishing hole with plenty of trouble to create some playoff drama.

The course plays to a par of 71 and at 7,022 yards it might need a few new back tee boxes built to cope with today's best players and its High Sierras elevation, but many of the bunkers are deep and severe and the fairways could be thinned a bit to ensure a little bite. Then again, just about every course on tour has been getting chewed up this year.

The world's best pros would have a hard time finding faults here. They could even fly in on their private aircraft just a mile down the road at Truckee-Tahoe Airport.

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.