Lopez to Wie Beat the Girls First

By Golf Channel NewsroomSeptember 16, 2003, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds of the Albertsons Boise Open beginning Thursday at 5:00 PM ET.
 
The inter-gender spotlight shines on the Nationwide Tour this week.
 
Thirteen-year-old phenomenon Michelle Wie will test her game against the guys in the Albertsons Boise Open.
 
Wie is the third female to play in a mens professional tournament this year; though, this is her second such attempt. She missed the cut in last months Bay Mills Open on the Canadian Tour.
 
Annika Sorenstam was the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour when she missed the cut in the Bank of America Colonial in May. Suzy Whaley, a Connecticut club professional, then performed admirably, but also missed the cut in the Greater Hartford Open in July.
 
The mixing of X and Y chromosomes on a golf course wont end with Wie. Laura Davies is scheduled to play in the Asian Tours Korean Open in early October, while Jan Stephenson is set to become the first woman to play in a Champions Tour event at the Turtle Bay Championship the same week.
 
Whaley is the only one of the five who earned a spot into her respective field ' the others were give sponsors exemptions
 
Of course, officials offer such invitations to increase their tournaments exposure. And, with the exception of basketballs LeBron James, Wie is the most hyped teenager in all of sports.
 
In addition to her experience on the Canadian Tour, she has made four cuts in five starts this season on the LPGA Tour, with her best finish coming in a tie for ninth at the Kraft Nabisco LPGA Championship, where she was the youngest player ever to make the cut in an LPGA event.
 
Wie won this year's U.S. Womens Public Links Championship, becoming the youngest player to capture a United States Golf Association title.
 
Add to all of this the media saturation, the constant demands, and the massive expectations and its easy to wonder: Is it too much for a ninth-grader?
 
Nancy Lopez, for one, thinks so.
 
Its not uncommon for talented amateurs ' regardless of age ' to experiment on the professional level.
 
That doesnt concern Lopez. What does, however, is Wies desire to regularly compete against male competition.
 
If I had a daughter her age, would I want her competing against guys? I wouldnt, Lopez said.
 
The reason I wouldnt is because shes not going to win ' I dont think. And I dont think she will even when she gets bigger and stronger.
 
If I had a daughter her age, I would want her to play all of her amateur golf she could play, win everything she can win. Thats making her get better, giving her confidence.
 
Thats not to say Lopez, a 48-time LPGA Tour winner, believes that the separate genders, at times, shouldnt mix.
 
If someone had asked me (to play against the men) when I was playing my best golf ' like they did Annika ' I would certainly be inclined, she said.
 
I think Annika went for the right reasons; I would have gone for the same reasons: to see how good I really was at that time, comparing myself against the guys.
 
The 46-year-old Lopez, who had earned Hall-of-Fame status two years before Wie was born, got her first up-close encounter with the prodigy in Mondays Kraft/Nabsico Shoot-Out.
 
Lopez said she looked forward to the meeting. But she had some advice.

I think she should beat the women first, Lopez said. Shell get better and better if she takes it nice and slow. I think she has a better chance of being a great player if she works slowly.
 
'She has a lot of time in front of her.'
 
Related Links:
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  • Full Coverage - Albertsons Boise Open
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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.