Greed is Good

By Mercer BaggsMarch 23, 2009, 4:00 pm

WHAT? DID YOU WANT ME TO TAKE MY FERRARI?: Lake Nona Golf & Country Club defeated Isleworth Golf & Country Club, 17-13, to win the Tavistock Cup. It was the host course's second victory since the cross-town rivalry began in 2004.
Backspin If excess is your thing, this is your golf heaven. If excess is a turnoff, this event is golfs answer to Antabuse. Even though the members of the winning team get to donate $100,000 each to the charity of their choice, everything else ' Isleworth members arriving by helicopter; Graeme McDowell winning $300,000 for having the low score on Day 2; hole-in-prizes including Audi cars, Air Nautique boats and private jet time ' only furthers the notion that PGA Tour players are spoiled worse than month-old milk. And this doesn't include what it takes to get such major names ' most notably Tiger Woods ' to compete in a Monday-Tuesday tournament this close to the Masters. That can't be cheap.

IS IT HOT IN HERE OR JUST ME?: Tiger Woods not only said he would be playing in this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, but surprised a lot of people by saying he was going to play in the Australian Masters in November.
Backspin Bad news for the Disney folks, as the Aussie event is scheduled the same week as theirs. Woods is reportedly taking a $3 million appearance fee to play Down Under. And he's taking a lot of heat for it as well. At least half of that money is reportedly coming out of tax payers pockets. Is he worth it? That's debatable. What's not: Tiger will hate fielding questions revolving around this situation over the next eight months.

GOOSE IS GOLDEN: Retief Goosen won for the first time in nearly four years on the PGA Tour, making a 5-foot putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory at the Transitions Championship.
Backspin Does this make Goosen a major player again? He putted like it was Shinnecock 2004, and the victory has to give him a King Kong confidence boost. Hes back to No. 22 in the world, from 39. So can he make a play for the green jacket? Lets hold off on this major and wait for the U.S. Open to roll around.

CONFIDENCE UN-ASSURED: Tom Lehman, just two weeks after turning 50, held the 54-hole lead at Innisbrook. He closed in 4-over 75, however, to finish in a tie for eighth.
Backspin Looking at the leaderboard Saturday night ' as impressive as it was in terms of name recognition: Lehman, Goosen, Howell, Stricker, Appleby, Immelman ' it seemed impossible to pick a favorite. None of them inspired confidence in being able to seal the deal come Sunday. But at least that made the final round interesting.

TURN, TURN, TURN: Pat Hurst won the LPGAs MasterCard Classic in Mexico. She started the final hole of regulation trailing Yani Tseng by one, but a Tseng bogey at the par-5 finishing hole combined with a Hurst birdie gave the veteran her sixth tour title and first since 2006.
Backspin Meanwhile, Lorena Ochoa finished one back. The Mexican superstar gave the locals plenty to cheer about with her opening 65, but she struggled over the final two rounds, needing four birdies over her final seven holes just to finish in second place.

GOOOAAAL: Two months after getting married, Annika Sorenstam announced that she and husband Mike McGee will be expecting their first child this fall.
Backspin Who's better at setting goals and accomplishing them than Annika? After a professional career in which she achieved nearly everything possible she decides she wants to retire (check), get married (check) and start a family (check). Let's get rid of this Geithner guy and put Sorenstam in as Treasury Secretary.

DIDN'T SEE THIS ONE COMING: Michelle Wie made it official as it was announced this past week that she will be managed and marketed by IMG, the same company who oversees the careers of Tiger Woods, Paul Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and so many more.
Backspin This is less surprising than when my grandmother told me Liberace was gay. The only surprise is that it didn't happen three years ago when she initially turned professional.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: A movie is in the works about the life of Moe Norman. ... The LPGA lost another event in 2009 as the Bell Micro Classic was rescheduled for April, 2010. Estanislao Goya won the European Tours Madeira Islands Open. Chapchai Nirat broke Ernie Els Asian Tour record by winning the SAIL Open at 32 under par.
BackspinThe director of 'Rain Man' is heading the project. Not sure if Mickey Rooney is available. ... How long before the LPGA has to become self sufficient in order to operate? Goya shot 69-67 in the first two rounds of the PGA Tours Puerto Rico Open before tying for 44th. That is believed to be the lowest 72-hole score on any tour.
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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.