Bradley (60) breaks course record, leads by 3

By Will GrayMay 16, 2013, 10:50 pm

After a night of heavy rains in the Dallas area, players were afforded lift, clean and place conditions for the first round at TPC Four Seasons. Here’s the skinny heading into the second round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship, where several players were able to take advantage of their preferred lies, but none moreso than Keegan Bradley:

The leaderboard: Keegan Bradley (-10), Charl Schwartzel (-7), Harris English (-6), Ted Potter Jr. (-6), Robert Karlsson (-6), Angel Cabrera (-5), Ryan Palmer (-5)

What it means: Bradley quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard, creating a three-shot advantage while breaking the course record. Schwartzel sits close behind with several players shooting 66 or better, as those in the morning wave fared much better than those who faced a stiffer wind in the afternoon.

Round of the day: Taking full advantage of the lift, clean and place conditions, Bradley ended his round with an eagle and two birdies to set a course record, carding a 10-under 60 that broke by one shot a record held by four others, including Golf Channel's Charlie Rymer. It marked the lowest score of his PGA Tour career, and improbably Bradley fired the ultra-low round despite a pair of bogeys. In total, his scorecard read as follows: one eagle, two bogeys, five pars and a whopping 10 birdies. He took just 24 putts despite hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation.

Best of the rest: Like Bradley, Schwartzel was able to take advantage of calm conditions during the morning wave. The South African made his way around TPC Four Seasons without dropping a shot, carding seven birdies en route to an opening 63 that put him in second place, three shots behind the leader. Making his debut in Dallas, the former Masters champion reached each of the 18 greens in regulation Thursday.

Biggest disappointment: Defending champion Jason Dufner has struggled to get his 2013 season on track, and Thursday’s round at TPC Four Seasons did little to help his cause. Despite holing out for eagle on the first hole, his 10th of the day (more on that below), Dufner struggled to an even-par 70 that included just two birdies against four bogeys. Still in search of his first top-10 finish of the season, the two-time PGA Tour champion will need a strong effort in the second round simply to secure a spot in the weekend.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can Bradley back up his record-setting performance? A winner here two years ago, he certainly knows what it takes to succeed in Dallas, and playing again alongside friend and occasional Twitter combatant Dufner will likely help calm whatever nerves exist on the first tee. He’ll need to keep up the pace, though, with major champions Schwartzel and Cabrera close behind.

Shot of the day: In a rare combination, Dufner receives both “biggest disappointment” and “shot of the day” honors. After turning in 2-over 37, the defending champ found the fairway at the par-4 first hole and quickly leveled his score for the day. From 129 yards, Dufner hit a wedge that bounced just past the hole before drawing back to the pin, dropping for an improbable eagle. He went on to shoot an even-par 70.

Quote of the day: 'First and foremost I want to win the tournament, and this puts me in great position to do so.” – Bradley, whose previous low on the PGA Tour was a 63.

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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.