Former Kemper Open Becomes FBR Capital Open

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 20, 2003, 4:00 pm
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- The Washington area's PGA tournament, formerly the Kemper Open, begins next month with a new sponsor and a new name, the FBR Capital Open.
Tournament officials announced Monday that the national investment bankers Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc., based in the capital area, has become primary sponsor of the tournament, scheduled for June 2-8.
As the Kemper Open, the tournament was the largest single sporting event in the Washington area, attracting more than 180,000 fans annually. Having generated more than $7-million for more than 150 local and national charities, it also was the largest individual charitable sporting event in town.
Last year was the 36th annual Kemper, which officials said gave the tournament the longest continuous sponsorship on the PGA Tour.
Like the Kemper, the FBR Capital Open will be at Tournament Players Club at Avenel in Potomac, Md., a Washington suburb. Avenel has held the PGA Tour stop since 1987.
'FBR is both honored and pleased to become the title sponsor for what is perhaps the premier sporting event in this nation's capital,' said Eric Billings, co-chairman and co-chief executive of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group.
'This golf classic represents the best in competitive spirit, sporting excellence and unbridled integrity,' he said. 'In addition, we feel it imperative that the event continue to benefit its numerous associated charities within the Washington community.'
It is a storied series.
Arnold Palmer eclipsed the million-dollar mark by winning the inaugural Kemper Open, in 1968, at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Mass. From 1969 through '79, the tournament was contested at Quill Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., before moving to suburban Washington. The Kemper was at Bethesda's Congressional Country Club from 1979 through 1986 before moving around the corner to Avenel.
Defending champion Bob Estes, whose Kemper win was his fourth tour victory, said he's not familiar with the new sponsors but said he doesn't expect and differences this year as he defends. 'I've never really considered it extra pressure coming back as defending champion. Sometimes your game's there, and sometimes it's not.'
'The course there at Avenel is really good for me,' Estes said. 'Last year, that course played harder and harder as the week went along. It was like a U.S. Open setup.'
Steve Lesnik, who heads Chicago-based KemperSports, which is not affiliated with the insurance company, said his group has a one-year commitment to operate the tournament with FBR as the title sponsor. He said he would like to see the tournament rotate around the capital region in coming years.
'We're talking about possibly rotating the event among a number of venues in the Washington area,' Lesnik said. 'The only one that we have named is Congressional, and we have had preliminary discussions with members of the board.'
He said sites on the Virginia side of Washington are under consideration as well. own as a possibility,' Lesnik said. 'The only course we've mentioned publicly is Lansdowne,' northwest of Washington near Leesburg, Va. Lesnik said the tournament would have continued after Kemper even without a sponsor, 'but it probably would not have had the same vitality and strength that it's going to have' with FBR.
'Obviously, there's only one capital of the United States of America, so this is a unique venue,' he said. 'This change may create some new excitement, give this event a shot in the arm. There's a lot of electricity associated with change, and this is the dawn of a new era.'
On television, ABC will air the tournament instead of CBS, which had televised the event since its inception.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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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.