Fan Mail for Captain Tom

By Jerry FoltzAugust 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
Dear Tom,
 
Remember that time back in 1991 when we were playing the final round in Boise on the then-Hogan Tour? Remember when I beaned the spectator on the 16th hole and couldnt gather the nerve to hit the next shot? Remember when you noticed how shook-up I was and put an arm around me to let me know that things would be all right and that he was already joking with his friends as the paramedics arrived? Remember how I birdied the next two holes and then displayed my complete incompetence by skulling (no pun intended) a sand wedge over the last green to bogey and miss the playoff by one?
 
Well, since then Ive made a remarkable career out of incompetence, and since then, youve made a remarkable career out of the grit, wisdom, and selflessness you displayed to me that day. Its the wisdom I want to appeal to, and the selflessness I want to bypass.
 
Dean Wilson is a wonderful man and a true feel-good story. What he accomplished last week in defeating you for his first PGA TOUR victory was remarkable. But I must be honest; Ive never rooted against a friend more than I was on Sunday evening. I so desperately wanted Dean to lose so you could win and be faced with your toughest decision in this whole Ryder Cup hoopla. You would have been forced to field a team that wasnt as good as it should have been. Thats assuming, of course, that what you said this week was accurate. You know'that statement about not playing even if you made the team.
 
Let me get straight to my point here.
 
If anybody else was captain, and I mean anybody, theres absolutely no way they wouldnt pick you. And I think you owe it to your team, to your fans, to all golf fans, to yourself, and for that matter, to Ed Gordon (the aforementioned header victim in Idaho), to reconsider. Whether or not you qualify for the team this week, you should be on it. You need to be on it'and not just as captain.
 
When Ben Crenshaw had a feeling, his feeling involved you. You were a captains pick for his team'a team that was like three touchdowns behind going into the two-minute-warning and whod he give the ball to? You. And whatd you do with it? Well, if I remember right, you hit 16 consecutive greens, applied your foot firmly to the throat of Lee Westwood, and set the pace for the day by winning 3-and-2 in the opening match of the day. What followed was a piece of golf lore forever, and you authored the foreword, opening chapter, and epilogue.
 
Ben had a feeling, all right; he had a feeling that the best man in the world for the job was you. If you dont win that match, his feeling would have been recorded in history as optimistic, delusional, or simply indigestion. But you won.
 
Yes, it was seven years ago and you were only 40 years old, but you didnt make any more putts then than you do now. You cited your putting ability as the reason why you wouldnt play this year, but selflessness doesnt win Ryder Cups. In my opinion, the most selfless thing you could do this year is to pass the torch to Corey if you think that a playing captain would be too much of a distraction. Given the inexperience of Nos. 7 through 10 in the current standings and your stated desire to offset that with your picks, only Love and Couples are ahead of you in the standings with more experience'and both would be great picks. But you would be better. You are the only one of the three with a winning overall record in past matches.
 
The whole point is to get the players who are playing the best, and absent something remarkable this week out of Freddie and Davis, I think that question is already answered.
 
Davis hasnt earned any points since February, and Freddie since the Masters. You lost in a playoff, last week.
 
You probably should have been picked for the 2002 team. You were 11th in the standings when Curtis Strange announced his picks in 2001. In 04, you werent in the running, but Jay Haas was picked, and although he only scored 1 points, it was more than four members of your current team: Campbell, Furyk, Mickelson, and Toms.
 
Is 47 too old to be picked? Raymond Floyd didnt pick himself in 89 when he was captain at the age of 47, and that year Europe retained the Cup. But, he was 49 when Dave Stockton picked him, and he won 2 out of 4 points in that epic battle at Kiawah Island in 91. Better yet, he was 51 when Tom Watson picked him two years later and he won three points in a successful American defense. And lest we forget, Haas was 50 the last go-round.
 
Do we need experience to offset some of the rookies? Thats your call, and I think that the PGA of America picked the perfect man to figure that out. But if you decide that we do, I urge you to look in the mirror Sunday night and do that which the PGA did when they named you captain'pick the perfect man for the job.
 
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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.