Thorpe Conintues to Shine

By Golf Channel NewsroomOctober 24, 2003, 4:00 pm
SONOMA, Calif. -- SONOMA, Calif. (AP) -- In the past, Jim Thorpe and Tom Jenkins relaxed a bit too much while golfing in wine country.
 
On this trip, they're all business - and they're on top of the leaderboard at the Champions Tour's final event of the season.
 
Thorpe made five birdies on the final nine holes Thursday for a 9-under 63 at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, tying the tournament record for a round and taking a three-stroke lead over Jenkins.
 
The tour's biggest honors are still up for grabs, and Thorpe is among a handful of players with a chance at the money title. The Schwab Cup also will be awarded this weekend to the winner of the tour's season-long points competition - and the tournament winner receives $440,000 of the $2.5 million purse.
 
With those hefty stakes in mind, Thorpe postponed a trip to a local casino Wednesday afternoon to spend extra time honing his putting stroke in preparation for the fast, tricky greens at Sonoma Golf Club in the heart of wine country, 35 miles north of San Francisco.
 
Thorpe drew energy from his grouping with tour stalwarts Hale Irwin and Tom Kite. As his large gallery could testify, Thorpe has a long history of success in Northern California as a former winner of defunct events in Napa and the Sacramento area.
 
'I never did that good in Northern California on the regular tour,' Thorpe said. 'On the senior tour, I take it a little more seriously than I did before. ... This year, I came out to push myself as hard and as high as I really could on this tour.'
 
Most of the pros had no previous experience on the course, but Thorpe adapted quickly. He got on a roll after holing a 100-foot eagle chip on No. 8, and then had three birdies in four holes to begin the back nine.
 
'The golf course today was set up for low scoring,' Thorpe said. 'If they keep the greens the way they did today, there will be a lot of low scores.'
 
Thorpe's 63 matched the roving tournament's record set by Bob Charles in 1991 and equaled by Jay Sigel in 1994 and Bruce Lietzke in 2001.
 
Jenkins shot a 66 despite having terrible luck reading the greens. Tom Watson, who leads Lietzke by nearly 1,000 points atop the Schwab Cup standings, matched Larry Nelson's 68 for third. Craig Stadler and Kite were among seven players six strokes behind Thorpe.
 
Jenkins also made five birdies on the back nine to stay within striking distance of Thorpe. He also hopes to increase his chances by avoiding temptation: His brother owns an 18-acre winery in the area, and Jenkins remembers a few shaky performances in the local events after a few days of pre-tournament merrymaking.
 
'Because of the magnitude of this event, I'm trying to stay away from the vineyard,' Jenkins said. 'About the middle of the round, I felt my confidence coming back. It's funny how that works when you start making a few putts here and there.'
 
Watson, seeking his third tour victory this year, had two eagles on the back nine - including a 111-yard shot on the 11th that rattled into the cup. He expected to shoot lower than 68, but several missed putts limited him.
 
Watson could be playing his last tournament with longtime caddie Bruce Edwards, who has Lou Gehrig's disease but hopes to return next season.
 
'Both Bruce and I made mistakes today,' Watson said. 'We're just not reading these greens very well. I left a lot out on the golf course.'
 
Stadler, a three-time winner in his rookie year on the tour, took a break from the avid collector's 'week of wine' to play a solid round after winning last week's tournament in San Antonio.
 

Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Charles Schwab Cup Championship
  • Full Coverage - Charles Schwab Cup Championship
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.