Leader Holmes doesn't hold back on Doral

By Jason SobelMarch 7, 2015, 12:18 am

DORAL, Fla. – On the surface, it would appear there’s absolutely nothing wrong with posting a 10-under 62 in the opening round of a professional golf tournament. That’s especially true when the next closest competitor is a whopping four strokes behind you and the overall scoring average is a notch above par.

But that idea underscores the reality of the situation. There actually exists one problem with going so low to kick things off.

You have to come back the next day.

And so it was for J.B. Holmes, whose opening 18 holes here at Trump National Doral were referred to by multiple players as perhaps “the round of the year,” despite the year only being a little over two months old.

Holmes returned Friday to shoot a 1-over 73 that was always going to pale in comparison.

“I've got a two‑shot lead,” he said. “Not too bad. If you had told me that at the beginning of week I would have a two‑shot lead after two rounds, I would have said, alright, sounds good.”

Following the round, Holmes was a mixture of pleased with his performance and frustrated with the redesign of the first hole – a par-5 playing 593 yards that yielded some head-scratching results.

With his first swing of the club after that 62, the big-hitting Holmes piped a drive 330 yards down the middle of the fairway. With his second shot, he went for the green with a 6-iron and thought it was perfect.

“I thought I was going to have a tap-in eagle,” he insisted.

Instead, the ball landed five feet onto the green and three feet from the left edge, only to fall all the way off to the right and into a watery grave.

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“It's pretty bad that you can hit two perfect shots and the ball can go in the water because of just a ridiculous green design that's really just terrible,” he said. “The shape of the green is fine, but it's not that wide anyways. And why you would put a giant hump in the middle of it to make a ball go in the water is ... it's stupid. Golf course is hard enough. You don't have to do that.”

He didn’t stop there.

“That's a joke. I hit a 350‑yard drive and hit a 6‑iron straight up in the air. … And it goes in the water on the right side of the green. I mean, that's not hard. That's stupid. That's unfair.”

Holmes was more perturbed by the opening-hole bogey than a closing double at the treacherous 18th – a hole he simply described as “tough.”

In between, he added a handful of birdies – five of ‘em, to be exact – in a round that might have been 11 strokes from that of the previous day, but really didn’t feel that much different.

“I hit a lot of great shots,” he said. “Not much difference between this round and yesterday in my opinion. So easily could have shot 6 under today. So just shows how difficult this course is and how you can get a couple bad breaks and make some numbers.”

Holmes’ lead over Ryan Moore is two shots, but only one other player is within four strokes and just 17 total are under par in the 73-man field.

For a guy who’s never won in wire-to-wire fashion and converted just one of three previous 36-holes leads, he’s certainly in pole position entering the weekend.

Then again, Holmes also understands that not all golf can be judged on score alone.

He maintained that his mindset didn’t change after the opening 62 and won’t change after the second-round 73, either.

“If you put everything on the score, then golf's not going to be much fun, because it's difficult,” he claimed. “I was just trying to go out there and have a good time and whatever the score is, it is.”

Therein lies the best thing about posting an over-par round while owning the lead. Just as reality shows there’s always a dark cloud lingering after going low on the opening day, there’s similarly a silver lining after this type of follow-up.

You get to come back the next day.

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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.