Sutton Looks to Come Out of Shell in Houston

By Golf Channel NewsroomMarch 25, 2002, 5:00 pm
The Shell Houston Open moved up a month on the PGA Tour calendar this year ' and it couldnt come soon enough for Hal Sutton.
 
Sutton is the defending champion of this weeks $4-million event. It was 24 starts ago that he claimed his 14th career tour title ' 24 very long starts ago.
 
Sutton hasnt earned a top-10 since winning at The Woodlands. This year has been particularly painful, as he has missed six cuts in nine starts ' two of those events (Mercedes and WGC-Match Play) had no cut.
 
The two-time Houston runner-up finally made good last year. He shot 3-under-par 69 on a windy Sunday to best Joe Durant (74) and Lee Janzen (73) by three strokes, and finish with a 10-under 278 total.
 
'This is one that I wanted more than anything,' Sutton said after victory. 'I've been close here so many times, so close and yet so far, so this is really good. I knew it would be tough. Today, it helped to be packed with patience.'
 
Sutton started the final round two shots back of Durant, who was trying to win his third event of the season. The wind troubled players Sunday. Sutton ' impeded by the wind ' hit his approach shot into the water at the seventh, but made a long-range putt to save bogey.
 
'That (bogey) was the turning point for me,' he said. 'I could have come away with my confidence damaged but I felt great.'
 
Sutton went on to birdie eight and 10 to move two up on Durant. A bogey, however, at the 15th cut his lead to a single stroke. Unable to capitalize on Suttons slip, Durant bogeyed 16, while Sutton birdied 17 to seal the victory.
 
This will be the final time the 7,018-yard TPC at The Woodlands will host this event. The venue will shift to the 7,350-yard Red Stone Golf Club in 2003. The Woodlands has been the site of the Shell Houston Open for 28 years. The Tournament Players Club has been in rotation since 1985; before that, they played The Woodlands Country Club.
 
This is the penultimate event leading to the Masters. The BellSouth Classic will take place next week in Atlanta.
 
1998 champion David Duval headlines the field, competing for the $720,000 first-place check. Scott Hoch, Chris DiMarco, John Daly and Jim Furyk are among the American participants. There is also a strong international contingent. Vijay Singh, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Adam Scott, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn are working their ways to Augusta this week.
 
Full field and tee times for the Shell Houston 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.