Woods Plans Light Schedule Before US Open

By Golf Channel NewsroomMay 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (AP) -- Tiger Woods is skipping the Bank of America Colonial and will likely enter his U.S. Open title defense having played only two tournaments since the Masters .
 
Woods has always played at least three times between the Masters and the U.S. Open. But he said Monday he's trying to stick to a lighter schedule after having knee surgery in December.
 
'I'll probably play fewer events than I did last year, just to make sure everything is OK,' he said. 'I'm taking more time off and just making sure everything is all right for the future. I don't want to create any further damage.'
 
Woods missed five tournaments early in the season after surgery to remove fluid and benign cysts that had caused ligaments in his knee to swell. He hasn't played since finishing in a tie for 15th at the Masters, a four-week break.
 
Woods will compete at this week's Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe (Thurs. - Sun. on The Golf Channel), where he is the two-time defending champion, and then return for the Memorial Tournament.
 
And no, he's not going to play at Colonial, where Annika Sorenstam will become the first woman in 58 years to compete on the PGA Tour.
 
'No Colonial,' he said during a teleconference at the U.S. Open media day. 'I'm out.'
 
While long layoffs aren't typical for Woods, he said his reduced schedule won't hurt his chances for a third U.S. Open title. After all, it's not as if he's been off on some exotic extended vacation.
 
He has spent his break working on his swing -- its plane and the extension of his downswing, in particular. And Woods saw his instructor, Butch Harmon, last week.
 
He also plans to fit in a trip to Chicago for a sneak peek at Olympia Fields Country Club, where the U.S. Open will be held June 12-15.
 
'If my practice sessions go well,' he said, 'then there's nothing to worry about.'
 
And if there's one tournament where extra practice helps, it's the U.S. Open. Open courses are traditionally longer and narrower than those for the other majors, and Olympia Fields is no different.
 
Almost 400 yards have been added, so the course will play to 7,190 yards. Fairways will average 28 yards in width. There are only two par 5s, both on the front nine.
 
'I think the U.S. Open setup is wonderful, because it puts a premium on ball striking,' Woods said. 'On top of that, it really puts you in a position where you have to think your way around a golf course. It's just not about tee up the driver and bombs away, hit it as hard as you can and go find it. You've got to really strategize and position your golf club moreso than most tournaments you play in.
 
'When I first played a U.S. Open, I knew how to play a U.S. Open. I knew how to strategize and put myself from point A to point B. But my game didn't allow me to do that. I didn't drive it very straight and, on top of that, my distance control wasn't very good.'
 
But that's come with experience. Just 27, Woods has won two of the last three U.S. Opens, including last year's tournament at Bethpage Black in New York.
 
He ran away with the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, winning by 15 strokes.
 
And though Woods has never played Olympia Fields, he figures to have something of a homefield advantage.
 
Woods has a successful track record in Chicago, winning the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club and the 1997 and 1999 Western Opens there. He's a fan favorite, too.
 
Who can forget the sight of thousands of fans breaking through the ropes to follow Woods up the 18th fairway as he won the Western Open in 1997?
 
'I'm just hoping to enjoy playing in front of the Chicago fans. They've been awesome,' Woods said with a grin. 'It's been a lot of fun for me, and hopefully I can use that good karma at the U.S. Open.'
 
Related Links:
  • U.S. Open Mini Site
  • Tournament Coverage
  • Olympia Fields Course Tour
     

    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • 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.