Its Walters Time for the Hall

By Ian HutchinsonFebruary 20, 2008, 5:00 pm
It will be interesting to see how Canadian golf fans respond if Lisa Walters is inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame this week, which is a strong possibility. The guessing here is that the first reaction for anybody who isnt a hard-core golf fan is to do some quick research on the three-time LPGA Tour winner.
 
The class of 2008 will be announced on Wednesday and Walters should be one of the two inductees named in a teleconference hosted by the Royal Canadian Golf Association. Its her time, even if her name isnt the first that comes to mind for those who follow the game in this country.
 
Its been nearly seven years since the native of Prince Rupert, B.C. played her final event on the tour, where she spent the better part of 17 years following her rookie year in 1984. Walters, 48, now lives quietly with her husband Mike in Tampa.
 
Walters played during a prime time for Canadians on the tour, alongside the likes of Dawn Coe-Jones, Gail Graham and Lorie Kane, among others, but never received the attention the others got despite a comparable record with all of the aforementioned players.
 
To call Walters an introvert would be true in one sense, but not so much in another. She wasnt the type to draw attention to herself, but it wasnt because she was unfriendly. It was just her nature.
 
Walters was actually quite gregarious if you cornered her and had a pretty sharp sense of humour that made her popular among her peers, both Canadian and American.
 
Her aversion to attention is one reason that fans might need a media guide, but a ridiculous number of injuries plagued Walters over the course of her career. Over the years, knee and back problems hampered her before wrist/thumb woes forced her to retire from full-time play in 2000.
 
In this country, success on tour is measured in single digits, with Sandra Post, Mike Weir and the late George Knudson setting the standard with eight wins apiece on the PGA and LPGA Tours and Walters three wins are comparable to her Canadian contemporaries on the womens tour.
 
Walters currently has just one win less than Lorie Kane, who will certainly be named to the hall once her career is over, and is tied with the three victories posted by her pal Dawn Coe-Jones, who is already in the hall of fame. It will always be speculation, but Walters might have had more wins if not for her injuries.
 
Despite her humble nature, Walters had a knack for doing things with flair.
 
Her first victory came in paradise at the 1992 Itoki Hawaiian Ladies Open and she followed that up by defending that same title a year later. She saved the best for last, however, in her third career victory.
 
Shortly before the thumb and wrist problems that would end her career took hold, Walters won the 1998 Oldsmobile Classic in grand fashion with a 23-under score that set a new scoring standard at the time in a tournament that also saw her shoot a third round 65, which was a career best.
 
Walters may not have won a major championship, but she recorded her first career hole in one at the 1988 Nabisco Dinah Shore and finished fifth at the LPGA Championship in her rookie year, one of 23 top-10s over the course of her career, which saw her play just three tournaments in 1999 and 2000.
 
Also a standout in amateur golf, Walters won the 1977 British Columbia junior championship, as well as three consecutive provincial amateur championships and became an all-American at Florida State, where people would often joke that her home town was closer to Russia than Florida.
 
What fans will discover should they be forced to check out her stats on Wednesday is that Walters record speaks for itself. even if she isnt the type to speak out herself.
 
If all is right with the world, it might be a good idea to get an early start on that research before the announcement is made on Wednesday.
 
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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.