Sluman Likes Date Change in 04

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 9, 2003, 4:00 pm
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Defending champion Jeff Sluman is a big fan of the Greater Milwaukee Open, which he's won twice in the last five years.
 
But he thinks next year's switch from the weekend before the British Open to the weekend after can only help turn on more golfers to Brew City's Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
 
'I would think all the guys that always want to play Milwaukee are going to play anyway. And coming back home (from England), it's usually a direct shot right into Chicago, so it's not that big of a flight time deal. Leave on Monday, get here on Monday afternoon, drive up and play,' Sluman said.
 
Some golfers, of course, could make it back by the weekend with plenty of time to rest up for the GMO.
 
'You might get guys, quite candidly, that go over to the British Open and miss the cut, and then you've got that good time frame. Maybe they'll call over and say, 'I wasn't thinking about playing Milwaukee, but now I missed the cut.' You might catch a few guys that way.'
 
The GMO has long struggled getting a good date on the PGA Tour, in large part because it lacks a title sponsor to underwrite the purse -- a record $3.5 million this year -- and pay for televising costs.
 
The tournament was scheduled before the British Open in the 1980s before being moved to a mid-September date and then to Labor Day weekend. In 1999, commissioner Tim Finchem moved the GMO back to the week preceding the British Open.
 
As a result of all the undesirable dates, the GMO hasn't always had a deep field of top golfers, although Tiger Woods made his pro debut here in 1996 and Greg Norman was the world's top golfer when he came in 1989.
 
'Date is a big deal. Sometimes dates can really help you and sometimes they can really hurt. I like this date better' because it's after the Western Open, said Sluman, who lives in Hinsdale, Ill.
 
'I think a lot of guys were a little hesitant to come here (in September) thinking it would be too cold,' Sluman said. 'The first year I won here I think it was over the Labor Day weekend, I think the Bears were getting whacked by the Packers.'
 
And that left precious few fans to watch golf.
 
GMO fans have been waiting for Woods to return ever since he played Brown Deer seven years ago on a sponsor's exemption. He had just announced he was forgoing his final two years at Stanford to turn pro.
 
Sluman said a switch of dates will make it more enticing to lure Woods back to Milwaukee.
 
'I think there's a possibility,' Sluman said. 'I know him pretty well. I'm certainly not putting any words in his mouth, but I know he really appreciated the first spot here.
 
'And he's a really good young man and understands the favors that tournaments did early on when they gave him those spots. It wouldn't surprise me if he comes back here at some point. I'm not saying he is or isn't, don't quote me on that.'
 
He's just saying it would be a lot easier for Woods to play Milwaukee if it's not the week before a major.
 
Sluman won the GMO in 1998 and shot a 23-under-par 261 last year -- one stroke shy of Loren Roberts' 72-hole record -- to win by two shots over Tim Herron and Steve Lowery.
 
Sluman collected the biggest paycheck of his career, $558,000 of the $3.1 million purse.
 
This year's winner gets $630,000.
 
The course plays to a par 70 this season after the fourth hole was changed from a par 5 to a par 4 with the removal of a large oak tree that guarded the right side of the fairway.
 
Brown Deer's layout measures 6,759 yards, one of the shortest on the PGA Tour, putting a premium on iron play and putting while neutralizing the long hitters.
 
'You can only use four drivers a round here (on holes 1, 6, 10 and 18). I like that,' Sluman said. 'It's not just get up and gorilla golf it. Part of the beauty of it is you really get rewarded for thinking well and hitting good golf shots out here.
 
'The first time I played it I just kind of fell in love with it. It just seemed to fit every shot I liked to hit.'
 
Related Links:
TheGolfChannel.com Bio: Jeff Sluman
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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.