Players Roll the Dice Again in Vegas

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 5, 2004, 4:00 pm
Michelin Championship at Las VegasWhen the initial 2004 PGA Tour schedule was released, there was a big TBA for the week of Oct. 4-10.
 
Not a week goes by that the tour doesnt find some place to play; they just werent sure if Las Vegas would once again fill that particular spot.
 
Lacking a title sponsor, the Las Vegas Invitational was in jeopardy of extinction, after 21 years of existence. However, in March, the Las Vegas Founders Club agreed to keep alive the tournament, and then Michelin stepped in, in early September, and announced that they would sponsor the tournament through 2006.
 
And so the tour will, for the 22nd time, travel to Sin City for the newly named Michelin Championship at Las Vegas.
 
Over the years, players like Fuzzy Zoeller, Curtis Strange, Greg Norman, Paul Azinger, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods have been crowned champion in the desert.
 
More than 20,000 people followed Woods around when he won his maiden tour title at Vegas in 96. But Tiger hasnt been around since his title defense the following year. And neither have the fans.
 
Tournament organizers are hoping a few changes, along with a few notable names, will boost attendance this year.
 
For the first time in tournament history, with the exception of when it was weather-shortened in 1987 and 88, the event will be contested over 72 holes.
 
Since its inception in 1983, the event was scheduled to be played over 90 holes. It has also always been scheduled to be played over three courses. There are still three courses in use this year, but not the same three as in each of the last four editions.
 
The Bears Best course, a collection of 18 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus, will replace Southern Highlands in the rotation. The Tournament Players Club at Summerlin and the TPC at The Canyons will remain. The field will compete on each of the three courses over the first three days, before a cut is made. The low 70 and ties will then play the host Summerlin course on Sunday.
 
The tournament has retained its pro-am format, and amateurs will play the first three days, with the final round for professionals only.
 
It was reduced from 90 to 72 holes to attract and accommodate players competing in the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship, which was held last week in Kilkenny, Ireland.
 
Eleven players are making the lengthy plane trip, including defending champion Stuart Appleby, three-time champion Furyk and local favorite Chris Riley. Phil Mickelson, the 2000 runner-up, is also scheduled to compete.
 
Mickelson skipped the AmEx due to personal reasons. This is just his second start since the WGC-NEC in late August. He tied for 57th at the Bell Canadian Open, where he used his Callaway equipment for the first time. He then went 1-3-0 in the Ryder Cup.
 
Appleby would dearly love to find the form he had a year ago at this time. He had two runner-up finishes leading up to his Vegas victory, and then won the season-opening Mercedes Championships. He also had a third-place finish at the Nissan Open in February and led through three rounds of the Bay Hill Invitational in March, before shooting 76 on Sunday to finish second.
 
Appleby has only two top-10s, however, in his 15 starts since his Bay Hill collapse.
 
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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.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


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    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.