Scott in pursuit of second major in 2013

By Jason SobelAugust 9, 2013, 12:55 am

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – For a time on Thursday afternoon at Oak Hill Country Club, it appeared that Adam Scott was poised to break golf's most mysterious single-round record.

Since 1873, when major-championship rounds as we know them started being contested in their current 18-hole format, there have been 25 players who posted a score of 63. And a grand total of zero with 62.

It should serve as a paean to the golf gods that on these 25 separate occasions, the deities have allowed a player to come so close, only to put a wrench to his hopes, forever sealing them out of reach.

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Scott was on the verge of defying those deities through his first nine holes of the PGA Championship. He carded five consecutive birdies and played these nine holes in just 30 strokes on the par-70 course, meaning he needed a 3-under 32 on the easier back nine for the record. He was cool, calm, collected and composed – business as usual for one of the game's most unflappable talents. He was grooving his iron shots, rolling his putts. He added a par on the 10th hole, still keeping the mark well within reach.

And then … it rained.

Mother Nature's watery interlude caused a 71-minute delay. There are a few things that can happen upon such an interruption. One is that players who were cold before can take a breather, regroup and come back firing at softer greens. The other is that players who were hot can lose momentum, start contemplating the numbers on the scorecard rather than focusing on what yielded them.

Let’s count Scott in the latter group, a victim of his own circumstance. In the eight holes he had remaining after the weather delay, he posted just one birdie against six pars and a bogey. He wound up three strokes shy of that unattainable record, but there was a silver lining to the dark skies framing Oak Hill. His score of 65 netted him a share of the lead with Jim Furyk.

“I was hot when the rain came,” he later explained of his momentum loss. “To go and do the whole settling down thing again like teeing off at the first. I was scrambling and not quite in the same rhythm as I was in. I was going along nicely, I still felt. It's always tough with a rain delay like that when you're playing really well.”

One year and one month ago, Scott was in a similar situation. In fact, he came even closer to that impassible (if not impossible) number in the first round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

That day, he needed a birdie on the final hole to shoot the first-ever 62 in major history. He bogeyed instead. Not only did it keep him from the record books, if you’re so inclined to connect the dots it also kept him from winning the title, as three days later he would bogey the final four holes to lose by a single stroke.

On Thursday, he was reminded of that round.

“When you get something going for you in a major, sometimes you have got to be not afraid to get out of your own way and let go, and I did that at Lytham and I did that here for 10 or 11 holes,” he said. “It's a good feeling when you can swing freely like that.”

The heartbreak Scott felt that week was assuaged a bit four months ago, when he burst through the major-championship barrier by claiming the Masters title. Now he’s trying to become just the sixth player since 1990 to win multiple majors in a single year, joining Tiger Woods (four times), Nick Faldo, Nick Price, Mark O’Meara and Padraig Harrington.

But that Masters win was only one in a bevy of strong major results for him recently. Since the beginning of 2011, he’s finished in the top 25 in nine of 11 major starts. That comes on the heels of just 12 top 25s in his previous 39 major appearances since turning pro.

It’s no coincidence, either.

“I think the results are showing that I have got something figured out,” Scott boasted. “I don't know if you ever have it all figured out. I like what I'm doing, so I am just going to keep doing it.”

Asked what he’s figured out, Scott replied, “Just more about peaking for them and treating them a little bit differently and working a practice and playing schedule around peaking for four weeks a year.”

He certainly looks like he’s peaking once again this week. That unattainable 62 remained unattainable for another day, but a large silver trophy three days from now would leave Scott name’s in the record book for other reasons instead.

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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.