Weir Has Earned a Shot at Tiger

By Ian HutchinsonSeptember 29, 2007, 4:00 pm
MONTREAL -- Just a few short days ago, the suggestion of a singles showdown between Mike Weir and Tiger Woods might have been considered posturing to a partisan Canadian crowd at Royal Montreal that has adored its native son since he produced a Masters victory in 2003.
It didnt matter that Weir has struggled since losing the 2004 Canadian Open to Vijay Singh in a playoff and some of his countrymen openly questioned him being selected as a captains pick by International captain Gary Player for the Presidents Cup.
Weirsy versus Woods is what they wanted and Weirsy versus Woods is exactly what they got and for all the right reasons.
After joining Ernie Els on Saturday afternoon to defeat Charles Howell III and Lucas Glover 4 and 2 in four-ball play, Weir has been the dominant player on an International team that was swamped in foursomes and four-ball play Saturday.
The Internationals face a near-impossible task in coming back from a 14.5 to 7.5 deficit against an American team that has traditionally dominated Presidents Cup singles matches. In each of the last three events, the U.S. has won 7.5 to 4.5 in singles play and holds a 42.5 to 29.5 all-time lead.
Cynics would say that Woods versus Weir is all that this Presidents Cup has left and they may be right, but Weir is 2-1-1 so far, tying him with Vijay Singh for the best record among International players and the match is positioned so it may make a difference if there is any chance of a comeback against the U.S.
Weir and Woods will be the fourth match out of the blocks on Sunday, playing right behind Singh and Phil Mickelson and ahead of Angel Cabrera and Woody Austin.
Ive got my hands full, thats for sure, said Weir. I think its good for the fans. Everybody is fired up about the match. We need some momentum, so hopefully I can play well and get some blue on the board.
Theres three groups in front of us. Hopefully, there will be some blue on the board before I even get started and that will give me some momentum. Ive really fed off the crowd this week and, hopefully, I can do that tomorrow because Ill need it.
Weirs last PGA TOUR win came at the 2004 Nissan Open and during his recent struggles, he has made significant swing changes and switched coaches, but since Thursday, he has resembled the old Weir with sharp irons and dependable putting.
Ernie Els has played alongside Weir in both of his four-ball wins and says Weir is the logical choice. The way hes played all week, hes basically earned his spot to play against the world No. 1.
Ive played with him the last two days and Ive seen the way hes playing. If theres one player on our team that can really give Tiger a go, it will be Mike Weir. Hes going to have all of Canada behind him. I think it will be great for the tournament, great for the fans and for television.
Weve got to find some wins early on and try and turn this thing around. I mean youre up against a very large mountain here, but I think its a great match-up.
Stuart Appleby echoes those comments. I think Mike has earned the right to represent us against the No. 1 player in the world and certainly, in Canada, its a bit of a Cinderella story.
We have not put him there for token value. I guess theres a sentimental point to it and also a functional point. Hes not a weak link and its not lambs to the slaughter. Where is he in the matches? Four? Thats the meaty part of the tee times. We obviously have to find some victories very, very quickly.
Weir has never played against Woods in either the Presidents Cup or the Accenture Match Play Championship, but Els know what its like to go head-on with Tiger in front of his countrymen after the 2003 Presidents Cup in South Africa.
I knew I was up against it. I had a good Presidents Cup in South Africa in front of my home fans, so I was up for it, but I wasnt good enough on the day.
Mikes playing so solid. Hes not hitting a lot of bad shots and thats what youve got to do against (Woods). Youve got to keep playing your game and, hopefully, Mikes putts drop tomorrow and he can shoot something like 6 or 7 under and have a chance against Tiger.
I think it will be great. What Ive seen with the crowd, I really think hes got a bit of an advantage there.

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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.