What We Learned: Boo's cruise, Matteo's march

By Jason SobelMay 27, 2013, 12:05 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Boo Weekley's ball-striking, Matteo Manassero's blossoming talent, the still-looming possibility of chaos over the anchoring ban and the intriguing, if jarring, concept of 12-hole golf.

Whenever Boo Weekley's name is mentioned, the golfer most often associated as being his predecessor is John Daly just a pair of downhome Southern boys prone to brief fits of mercurial golf. But the comparisons end there. Whereas Daly has always been a bomber with soft hands around the greens on the course and an accident waiting to happen off of it, Weekley is more of an iron-playing wizard who has kept his nose clean, save for a long-ago boxing match with an orangutan at a county fair. There's more contrast, too: Despite two majors, Daly is known largely as an underachiever; Weekley, on the other hand, has worked his way back from injury to find the winner's circle once again. 

If a single characteristic is enough to compare one player with another, we might as well liken Weekley to another man known for his ball-striking prowess. His victory at Colonial Country Club came in the shadows of Ben Hogan's statue and while nobody would suggest that Boo is the second coming of the Hawk, his repeatable swing has in fact repeated, with back-to-back years atop the PGA Tour's ball-striking category and now three career wins, all on courses which fit that persona. Despite common sentiment, Weekley isn't another John Daly. In fact, in many ways he's just the opposite, as all of that hard work paid off once again on Sunday. – Jason Sobel

Maybe it’s because the Italian hasn’t played much in the States and his conquests have come on the European circuit. Maybe it’s because he hits the ball only 275 yards off the tee. Whatever it is, Matteo Manassero remains wildly underappreciated in our sport, even after his playoff victory at the BMW PGA Championship. Think about it this way: If a 20-year-old American had four PGA Tour titles to his credit, including The Players, can you imagine the hysteria? Jordan Spieth, who is 19, grabs all the headlines and has three top 10s this season. Manassero, meanwhile, remains as underrated as a 20-year-old four-time winner can get. – Ryan Lavner

The USGA and the R&A are at a crossroads, but they aren’t totally in control of which direction their futures lead. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America may dictate that. With their decision to implement Rule 14-1b and ban anchored strokes without first building a consensus with the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A risked splintering rule-making authority. They risked the PGA Tour and PGA of America striking out on their own and creating their own rules. They took a stance against anchoring that could come with bifurcation as a consequence. Was it worth the risk? We’re all waiting to see. – Randall Mell

Golf needs more 12-hole tournaments. Because of torrential rains and flooding, the Paradise Island layout was reconfigured to 12 holes for this week’s Bahamas LPGA Classic and, we would argue, nothing was lost in the nip/tuck. For those traditionalists who claim 12 holes isn’t golf, we give you Shiskine Golf Club on the Isle of Arran in Scotland which opened for business in 1896 and is, by any definition, a classic gem. – Rex Hoggard

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.