Wildcats Capture Big 10 Title

By Golf Channel NewsroomApril 30, 2006, 4:00 pm
Courtesy of nusports.cstv.com
 
NCAALAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Northwestern's men's golf team will make the 30-minute drive back to Evanston with two Big Ten trophies. The Wildcats battled brutal weather conditions to overcome a three-stroke deficit and claim the 2006 Big Ten Men's Golf Championship.
 
Junior Chris Wilson (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman) birdied three of the final four holes on his way to a final round 2-under 69 and bested Michigan State's Ryan Brehm for the individual crown.
 
The Wildcats, who were hosting the Championships for the first time in 50 years, won their first team and individual titles since 2001 when they earned the last of three straight team championships and PGA star Luke Donald took home the individual title.
 
With the Championship victory, the 'Cats earned the Big Ten Conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Championships.
 
The Conway Farms golf course that lay defenseless as it yielded record-after-record low scores in the first two rounds of the 2006 Big Ten Championships got some payback in Sunday's final round. With winds gusting up to 40 mph, a wind-chill in the 40s and rain, conditions for the majority of the last round were downright punishing as the scoring average ballooned to 79.58. It was 73.65 in the first round.
 
Although the team title was a horse race for the first nine holes of the final round, the real drama was in the individual competition that came down to the day's final pairing. It was there that Wilson locked horns with Brehm, the 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the runner-up at last year's Championships.
 
Wilson, having trailed by as many as seven strokes early in the round, had trimmed playing partner Brehm's lead to just a single stroke heading into the 15th hole. The winds died down and a classic back-and-forth finish ensued.
 
Wilson missed the 15th green long, and found himself needing to get up and down to stay in the hunt. His 'lucky' 30-foot chip found the bottom of the cup, and he moved into a tie for the lead with three holes to play.
 
Wilson stuck his approach to three feet on No. 16, and it was Brehm's turn to answer.
 
The Spartan rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt to briefly regain the lead before Wilson knocked in his short birdie putt.
 
A Wilson par and a bogey by Brehm on No. 17 gave the Wildcat his first outright lead of the tournament heading to the par-5 18th.
 
Wilson's tee shot on No. 18 stopped short of the fairway bunker, and he decided to lay up. Brehm, who had blasted his drive past Wilson's, decided to go for the green in two. His 3-wood came up just short and left of the green, leaving a 25-foot eagle pitch.
 
Knowing Brehm had an excellent chance of making birdie, Wilson responded. With 103 yards left to the pin, Wilson knocked a sand-wedge several feet past the hole and spun it back. The ball came to rest four feet to the right of the hole.
 
Brehm's chip came up short, leaving a slick 8-foot birdie attempt. Brehm nailed the putt, and put the pressure back on the Wildcat.
 
Wilson landed the final blow in the title fight, sinking his putt to win the 2006 Big Ten Championship. He finished at 4-under 280 (70-70-71-69) -- the third-best 72-hole score in Conway Farms collegiate history.
 
'I have to give it to Chris,' said Brehm. 'I feel like I did just about everything I could. I made putts when I needed to. I birdied 16, and I birdied 18. He just played great, great golf. That 69 today was exceptional.'
 
Wilson was the only player to shoot even par or better in all four rounds. His final round score of 69 was the best round of the day by four strokes.
 
Wilson's championship hopes seemed slim after two holes on Sunday. Brehm came out hot and birdied Nos. 1 and 2. Wilson found himself seven strokes down to Brehm, who had shown no signs of faltering after opening the Championships with a Conway Farms collegiate record 7-under 64.
 
After both players bogeyed the third and fourth holes, Brehm double-bogeyed No. 6. It was then that Wilson began to reel in the Spartan.
 
Just as he did in round two, Wilson ran off three straight birdies on Nos. 7-9. Wilson made nine of his Big Ten Championship leading 17 birdies in that three-hole stretch.
 
After a bogey by Brehm on the ninth, Brehm's lead had closed to one stroke, and the race was on.
 
Northwestern's 17-over 301 was the best of the day. The 'Cats shot a 24-over 1160 (282-286-291-301) to win by nine strokes over Minnesota. Purdue finished third, one stroke back of Minnesota.
 
The victory is head coach Pat Goss' fourth Big Ten title and his 21st tournament victory.
 
Junior Kyle Moore (Dublin, Ohio/Scioto) and senior Dillon Dougherty (Woodland, Calif./Woodland) shared 13th-place at 10-over 294. Moore went 65-72-80-77. Dougherty shot rounds of 75, 70, 71 and 78.
 
Junior David Merkow (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead Union) finished in a tie for 24th. He shot a three day total of 301 (72-77-75-77).
 
Sophomore Dan Doyle tied for 44th with a 310 (75-74-74-87).
 
The Wildcats return to action at the NCAA Regional Championships, May 18-20, at a site to be determined, but most likely in Chardon, Ohio. Northwestern will find out its regional assignment on May 8.
 
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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.