Love Conquers Pebble Beach Again

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 9, 2003, 5:00 pm
It wasnt easy, but it rarely is for Davis Love III on Sunday.
 
Love blew a three-shot lead on the back nine, only to birdie the final hole for his second career title at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
 
Love two-putted the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory over Tom Lehman. Love shot 4-under 68 to finish at 14-under-par 274.
 
Lehman, who shot 67, made a late run to catch Love. He birdied the par-3 17th to tie for the lead, but missed a six-foot birdie at the last.
 
Love hit the longest drive of the day at 18 ' 316 yards ' and then smoked a 220-yard 4-iron that finished within 12 feet of the hole. He knocked his first putt three feet past and quickly converted the winner.
 
Winning here is special, but a win for me after two years of coming close and not being 100 percent physically, its a big win for me, said Love, who captured his first PGA Tour victory since snapping another two-year winless drought at this event in 2001.
 
Love earned a career-best $900,000 for his 15th career PGA Tour victory.
 
But while Love had celebrated victory since 1998, he was 0-for-6 over the last five years in trying to convert a 54-hole lead into victory.
 
He started the day leading by two, but quickly relinquished that advantage by bogeying two of his first three holes.
 
The start was a dramatic departure from two years ago, when he turned in 28 en route to shooting 63 and overcoming a seven-stroke deficit.
 
It was a lot tougher day this time, even coming form seven back, Love said. I was awful nervous.
 
Loves nerves settled a bit with a birdie at the par-5 sixth. He then reclaimed control over an improbable stretch of holes.
 
Love birdied the coastal holes, 8-10, to regain a one-shot lead at 11-under. The birdie at the par-4 ninth came courtesy of an immaculate 25-footer that broke heavily from right to left.
 
Luck was on Loves side as well. His tee shot on the par-3 12th bounced over the green, only to hit the foot of a photographer and kick back within four feet of the hole.
 
Nice job, he joked to the cameraman before making the putt and giving him the golf ball.
 
Leading Mike Weir by one, Love made his sixth birdie in an eight-hole stretch at the 13th to move two clear.
 
Weir was unable to keep pace on the back nine, making seven straight pars before birdieing the last. He was trying to become the first player to win the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and Pebble Beach ' both of which use the pro-am format ' in the same season, let alone in back-to-back weeks.
 
Weir shot 68 to tie last weeks victim, Tim Herron (66), for third at 12-under.
 
Lehmans rally came late. He birdied four of his first five holes on the back to get within two of the lead, and soon found himself tied at the top.
 
Lehman birdied the 17th from 18 feet, while Love bogeyed the par-4 16th after hitting an iron off the tee into a fairway bunker.
 
Love almost dropped another shot at the penultimate hole, but his eight-foot par putt dropped in the hole after hanging on the lip.
 
Lehman, winless on tour since the 2000 Phoenix Open, was in good position to birdie the last. He hit a phenomenal pitch shot from right of the green within five feet of the hole.
 
He ran the putt through the break, however, to set up Loves winning opportunity.
 
''I feel like my game is the best it's been in a long time,'' said Lehman. ''I really am hitting the ball more like I used to. It became quite evident to me at the beginning of the season that if I start making a few putts, I'm going to be a factor in some tournaments this year.''
 
Phil Mickelson shot 8-over 80 to finish in last place.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
  • Full coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
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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.