Water Cant Douse Woodys Fire

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- Despite being on the unfavorable side of a dominating performance by the Internationals, there were some laughs on the part of the Americans and the usual suspect was the target for all their needles.
Scott Verplank sat down beside Woody Austin, gave him a sniff and made a sour face before beaming a grin. If there is ever a highlight reel made of Austins career, there will be a few that are suitable for Americas Funniest Home Videos.
The No. 1 humorous choice will be his suddenly infamous dive into the water on the 14th fairway during Presidents Cup four-ball play on Friday.
I dont think I look any worse than I always do. Scotty says I smell different, but I think I look just as ugly as I always do, said Austin, who played with David Toms to halve their match against Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini.
The whole idea of the shot was just to try and get it to the bank because I felt like, from the bank, I could make three. I knew, deep down, I probably couldnt pull the shot off. I was doing okay until I stepped on the rock. I lost my balance and your lakes arent very clean.
Long after the smell washes off, the memory of his impromptu dive will linger, according to those who witnessed it. I have the feeling that he will be hearing about that for the rest of his life, said his team captain Jack Nicklaus.
Hell be kidded about it, have fun with it and hell laugh about it for the rest of his life. They showed Jim Furyk right after that and he couldnt contain himself, added Nicklaus. He says, I was 30 yards away. I didnt know what to do. I was trying not to laugh, but I couldnt help it.
That was a common reaction around the golf course, according to International captain Gary Player. Obviously, Im on the opposing side. Im dying to laugh, but Im scared the cameras will be on me, so I didnt know what to do. I sort of turned my back, but I was really laughing because Woody is such a great sport.
I thought, damn it, that water must be cold, but I was pleased to see his head come up, added Player, who couldnt resist an old golf joke that suited the occasion.
Its like the guy who said to his caddie, If I dont play well today, Ill drown myself. He says, I dont know if you can keep your head down that long.
Austin has said all along that he wants to make an impact in his first Presidents Cup and he certainly did that on Friday, but Nicklaus says its for more than his slimy dip in the lake.
Hes actually been terrific in both matches. Woody is a character, as you know, but hes just a great competitor. It just kills him to not play well, or not hit the right shot, or not do the right thing. He is pure grit coming down the stretch. Hes been great.
Here is a guy thats 43 years old, first time hes ever made an international team. This is the first time and he just says he wants to make the most of it. I give him a lot of credit.
That character that Nicklaus speaks of wont change with the infamous swim. I can only tell you how much the competitive fire burns in me. It didnt douse it. I was still fired up and ready to go, said Austin.
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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.