Choi Leads After Second Round in New Orleans

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 3, 2002, 4:00 pm
In a town best known for its nightlife, its been the early worm getting the best of English Turn as Korean-born K.J. Choi carded the best score of the day to take the second round lead at the Compaq Classic of New Orleans. Its the first time Choi has led at the end of any round in his three years on the PGA Tour. Choi took advantage of the benign scoring conditions afforded him by his morning tee time missing only three greens and played his final 13 holes in 7 under par. Tying his career low, it was the fourth time Choi has shot 65 on the PGA Tour, twice this year and twice in 2001.
'The course is nice,' said Choi's translator. 'He says the greens are in good condition so the course is helping his game today.'
Thursday saw four-time PGA Tour winner Dan Forsman use an early start to springboard into the lead. Playing his second round in the afternoon Forsman took sole possession of second by following up his opening round 65 with a 3 under-par 69 on Friday. Bryce Molder and Billy Andrade are tied for third, three strokes behind Choi. Twenty-five players are within four shots of 3rd place.
Choi joined the PGA Tour in 2000 and had a successful year last season with five top ten finishes. In 11 events this year Choi has finished in the top 10 three times, including each of his last two starts.
'He's never led in the United States, so it is a new experience,' Choi's interpreter said. 'But, if everything goes as today, he keeps the pace up and gets a better feel for the conditions, he thinks he has a very good shot this weekend.'

A medium to long driver, not known for his accuracy off the tee or with his irons, Choi has proven to be a capable putter. Hes 7th in the field in putts per green this week. The fifteenth hole has been particularly kind to Choi, who has eagled the par-5 each of the first two rounds.
Choi hasnt had much previous success in New Orleans. Hes broken 70 in the first round each of the three years he has played at the Compaq Classic, but hadnt broken par in round after the first until today. Choi, the first Korean golfer to earn a PGA Tour card, was in second place at the end of the first round in 2000 before settling for in a tie for 74th He missed the cut last year.
Forsman, 43, is in his best position at the midway point in four years. The veteran began and ended his opening nine with bogeys, but birdied two in between. He settled down after the turn and birdied his last hole of the day to close with a bogey-free 33. Still precise with his scoring clubs, Forsman is tied for second in putting this week and tied for eighth in greens in regulation.
'It's been a while,' said Forsman. 'I think I have a good
chance to play well this weekend because I'm putting well and striking the ball well.'
The pair at minus-8 are an interesting duo. Bryce Molder is the college sensation hoping to play his way on to the PGA Tour this year. Hes tied for third in greens in regulation this week and birdied four in a row before parring his final hole of the day. Andrade had tremendous acclaim as a young player more than a decade ago after winning his first two titles in consecutive weeks. He has recently overhauled his swing under the guidance of Billy Harmon and won a career best $1,313,047 last year. He has two top-5 finishes already in 2002.
Choi and Forsman will be unable to explore the early conditions in round three. A happy byproduct of their morning work over the past two days is a date in the final group Saturday afternoon.
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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.