McCarron Leads Howell Lurks at Nissan

By Golf Channel NewsroomFebruary 16, 2002, 5:00 pm
Thinking on a golf course is very hazardous to your game, and while professionals try to block out most thoughts, one subject at a tournament is always in the back of their minds.
 
It is a frequent topic in the head of Charles Howell III. The 22-year-old has come close to victory several times, reaching out for the prize only to watch it slip from his grasp.
 
The third round brought back winning memories and put Howell in position again to win his first PGA Tour event. His 7-under 28 on the front nine of Riviera Country Club put him to 10-under-par in the Nissan Open and four shots behind leader, Scott McCarron (65).
 
McCarron holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the 17th hole after reaching the green in two shots.
 
The greens are fantastic, McCarron said. Usually at Riviera they are soft and bumpy because of rain. But they are running fast and feel really good.
 
Another supporter of the putting surfaces is Len Mattiace (67). He is two strokes behind McCarron and made birdies from 30, 40 and 50 feet.
 
It was one of the best days Ive ever had on the putting green, McCarron said.
 
Overnight leader Toru Taniguchi is one off the lead after a 67.
 
Howell's 28 was the second on a nine this year on the PGA Tour. Brent Schwarzrock shot 8-under 28 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

There were many that thought Howell would have a bag full of trophies by now, but as he prepares to complete his 42nd tournament as a professional he has 18 top 10s, but no victories.
 
While most would obsess over that statistic, it barely registers to Howell, who has always concerned himself with his play.
 
Sure, it would be great to finally win one, Howell said. Winning, though is almost an accident.
 
Plus, Saturday, Howell had other pressing matters taking up space in his cranium. His friend Jesper Parnevik had given him a conundrum that Howell couldnt get out of his head.
 
It had to do with two men, two hotel rooms, two black boxes, two keys, one diamond and a thieving bell boy. Somehow the diamond has to get from man to man without the kleptomaniac bellboy stealing it.
 
The riddle served its purpose. It frustrated Howell to no end, because he couldnt solve it, but it also took his mind off of golf.
 
Its all I could think about, Howell said. I still havent figured it out.
 
Maybe Parnevik shouldnt tell him the answer. Howell spent the third round using Riviera as his own private parlor game, starting off eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie. By the time he got to 10 he was 7-under-par.
 
Ive never started off a tournament like that before, Howell said. It was important to me to get off to a good start, especially with how bad I played (Friday).
 
Bad for Howell is even par, so his 64 must have been spectacular.

It was a decent day, Howell said. I know that sounds crazy, but I should have birdied 11 and 17.
 
Instead he settled for pars on the par 5s, but did have two chip ins on the front nine.
 
Full-field scores from the Nissan 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.