Monsters ball at 90th PGA

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 11, 2008, 4:00 pm
In Backspin, GolfChannel.com takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf ' with a spin.
 

ST. PADDYS DAY: Padraig Harrington won the PGA Championship, his second consecutive major championship, and now has claimed three of the past six majors. The Irishman didnt win this one going away like he did the Open Championship last month at Birkdale, as he made three huge clutch putts on the final three holes ' 16 for par; 17 for birdie; and 18 for par ' to defeat Ben Curtis and Sergio Garcia by two shots.
 
Backspin When Tiger Woods went on the DL after the U.S. Open, critics said it was time for someone else to step up and take advantage of the situation. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia were the names thrown around most often as the ones expected to produce the goods. Never once did we hear Padraig Harringtons name in that conversation. Now, two months after the U.S. Open, Harrington has established himself as the worlds second-best player and has as many major championships as Mickelson.
 

ANOTHER CLOSE CALL: Sergio Garcia was the victim of another major championship. The Spaniard has 14 top-10 finishes in majors but hasnt collected a victory, meaning hell continue to carry the label of BPNTWAMC ' Best Player Never To Win A Major Championship. He led by one in the middle of the 16th fairway and lost by two.
 
Backspin El Nino will win one of these things eventually but it aint going to get any easier. Harrington is plucking off majors at a Tiger Woods-like clip and, um, well, Tiger Woods will be back for the Masters in April to continue to pluck off majors at a Tiger Woods-like clip. If the guy made putts in majors like he does in the Ryder Cup, hed have won more majors than Harrington and likely would have stolen two from the Irishman.
 

CURSE OF THE LIONS: Ben Curtis tied for second place with Garcia at Oakland Hills. The Ohio native led midway through the final round but lost a chance to validate his shocking victory in the 2003 British Open as he bogeyed two of the final four holes for a 71. He did, however, move up to No. 7 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings to qualify for the team next month at Valhalla.
 
Backspin What do you expect when you wear Detroit Lions paraphernalia all week? The Lions havent had a winning season since they were 9-7 in 2000. Wearing the Lions colors endeared Curtis to the galleries but it didnt do much for his karma. Tip for Curtis: Next time if you want to have your cake and eat it too, it may be better to go with Detroit Pistons gear.
 

SCARY STUFF: Living up to its nickname as 'The Monster,' Oakland Hills played very difficult as the winning score was 3 under, the highest winning score in relation to par at the PGA since 1987 when Larry Nelson won at 1 under.
 
BackspinThe Monster must have given the players nightmares all week, as hard greens and fairways, and impossibly thick rough made for an extremely difficult test of golf. It was one that many of the competitors did not appreciate, as Robert Allenby called the challenging setup, 'Crap.' Maybe we should send Mr. Allenby a thesaurus?
 

DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING...OR DID WE?: Kenny Perry withdrew from Oakland Hills after shooting an opening round 79 due to an eye injury he suffered while removing a contact lens just two days prior. The Kentuckian, who had made the cut in 16 of his last 17 PGA Championships, was playing in his first major of the year.
 
Backspin Putting aside Perry's peculiar decision to play in Milwaukee rather than Birkdale, it would be tragic if a scratched cornea were to keep the 48-year-old from playing in the Ryder Cup Matches. It left the Kentucky native with just one round of golf played in majors in the 2008 season. Very, very weird.
 

GLORY'S LAST CUT:There were many casualties of Oakland Hills as multiple big names failed to qualify for the weekend. Adam Scotts, Lee Westwoods and K.J. Choi's quests for their first major were cut short, while major champions Zach Johnson, Trevor Immelman and Vijay Singh also had the weekend off.
 
Backspin Fresh off a victory at Firestone, Singh's putting woes continued as the Fijian four-putted his final hole on Friday to miss the cut. Westwood made sure to let the PGA of America know what he felt about the golf course before heading home early after carding 77-78. The Englishman ripped the layout saying that the organizers 'are sucking the fun out of the major championships.' Thanks Lee, but weren't not sure majors championships were ever supposed to be 'fun.'
 

ANOTHER GOODBYE: The Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika ended its two-year run as an LPGA event, citing lack of sponsorship as the main reason for canceling the tournament
 
Backspin Annika's event had the LPGA's third highest pay out at $2.6 million, but with its namesake calling it a career the major draw was gone. And while we're talking about Sorenstam, the Swede tied for sixth place on the LET's Scandinavian TPC, playing for the final time in her home country.
 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Duke star Amanda Blumenherst won the U.S. Womens Amateur on Sunday, beating NCAA champion Azahara Munoz, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole final at Eugene Country Club...Scott Piercy won this week on the Nationwide Tour with for his first career victory on the circuit...Eric Manning shot a second-round 88 at Oakland Hills to take the honor of highest round shot at the 90th PGA Championship.
 
Backspin Blumenherst, a three-time NCAA Player of the Year and runner-up at this event in 2007, had to rally for the win as she found herself 1-down after the morning 18 and still a hole behind through 27... Piercy drained a 20-footer for birdie on the 17th hole to seal the deal. 'To make that at that time you cant ask for anything more, Piercy said...Manning, the Cortland Country Club head pro in Syracuse, N.Y., fired a sublime no birdie, two triple bogey, three double bogey, six bogey round on Friday.
 

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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.