A Homegrown Moment

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 30, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- The Canadian flag flew above the nearby clubhouse at Royal Montreal as Tiger Woods looked more Canadian than Mike Weir, decked out in a red shirt, red vest and white cap, while Weir wore a blue shirt and gray pants on the putting green.
 
There was no doubt, however, about who the partisan fans standing nearby were about to cheer, even though some of them looked more like Tiger this day.
 
Jeff Tom and his seven-year-old son Quinn had little, red maple leafs painted on their faces and wore Cat in the Hat headwear that also resembled the Canadian flag. Still, Tiger is Tiger and Canadians are always thrilled with a visit from the worlds No. 1 player.
 
Jeff and Quinn would have been at North Americas oldest established club no matter what, but the buzz they had heard about a possible Weir-Woods showdown was delicious, especially when International captain Gary Player announced it was reality.
 
Its awesome to see this many people come out to Montreal. Its phenomenal, said Jeff. We came all the way from Vancouver to see it. My son is seven. Hes a golfer and hes so excited about seeing Tiger and Mike.
 
Its amazing that he got the opportunity to see them in Canada. We heard about that on Wednesday. We really wanted to see this match-up.
 
Jeff and Quinn are like most fans in a country that boasts one of the highest per capita golf participation rates in the world. Any chance to see the worlds top players is always appreciated, while a standout performance by Weir is icing on the cake.
 
We love Mike, but we love to see all the good golfers too. It inspires (Quinn) a lot to see what the tournament players are like, said Jeff, who started to show his partisan nature. Weve got a long way to come back. Weve got to rally everyone.
 
So off they went into a sea of people, many carrying Canadian flags, some wearing caddie uniforms so they resembled Weirs caddie, Brennan Little.
 
This was a moment that many Canadians had hoped for three years ago when the Canadian Open celebrated its 100th anniversary. It also marked 50 years since a Canadian had won the national open, so what better time for a home boy to snap that jinx?
 
Weir looked like he was the man to do it, but faltered in the end and allowed Vijay Singh to steal his thunder in 2004. It was an event that seemed to start a downward spiral in Weirs career that led to swing changes and switching coaches.
 
On Sunday, even though it was an exhibition with the Internationals all but out of the Presidents Cup already, Weir versus Woods was a dream match-up in the eyes of Canadians.
 
It was a typical Canadian day in September, the changing leaves set against a clear blue sky. The sun was out, but there was a crispness to the air, perhaps setting a scene for a Canadian sporting moment such as Weirs win at the 2003 Masters. This time, Canadians would be on hand to witness it themselves.
 
All week, people had been comparing the Presidents Cup to hockey in order to get Canadian fans revved up. Weirs wife Bricia and other wives of International team players decided to go with it and donned Canadian hockey jerseys.
 
If I can remember, Liezl Els said ladies should get jerseys, so last night, they rallied and got a bunch of jerseys, said Weir, who took a three up lead by the turn as Woods looked surprisingly shaky with his driver and putter.
 
Atmosphere-wise, it was pretty loud. It was like a Ryder Cup, said Woods. Especially starting out, it was unbelievable how loud the roars were, pretty deafening actually.
 
I was three-down early, so they had a lot to cheer about. Weir was playing great and it was unreal how the atmosphere was electric out there. It got quiet on the back nine and then, it got real loud at the end. Overall, it was just a great day.
 
There was a reason for it getting louder on the back nine as Tiger started stalking Weir, which is never a good sign. The Canadians lead began to dwindle and by 14th hole, the score was all square before Woods went one-up on 15.
 
The cheers returned on 17 when Weir sunk a birdie put to square it again before Woods put it in the water on 18, oddly enough in front of a Canadian flag. The fellow born under that flag made like Tiger and took advantage of the situation with yet another birdie and a one-up victory.
 
He had gone where few men had gone before and caught Tiger on a Sunday. It may have been an exhibition, but there was added significance to his win, other than beating the worlds No. 1 player.
 
It suggested that the future for Weir may hold precious moments for Canadians, just like his past.
 

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    Toronto Sun Editor's Note: Ian Hutchinson is golf columnist for the Toronto Sun and senior writer for Pro Shop Magazine, a Canadian golf trade publication, and Canadian Golfer Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor to Golf Scene and Golf Canada Magazine, the official magazine of the Royal Canadian Golf Association.
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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.