Short-term view unfair to Woods' career

By John HawkinsAugust 7, 2013, 9:12 pm

If he isn’t the greatest golfer of all time, he has played the game at a higher level than it has ever been played.

Still, five years is five years, unless you want to get picky about it. Then it becomes five years and a month, three weeks and however many days.

Ted Williams doesn’t own the highest batting average in baseball history. He didn’t finish his career with the most home runs or win a single World Series, but a lot of people think he’s the greatest hitter who ever lived.

At what point are the numbers replaced by sheer perspective? Do you trust your eyeballs or the encyclopedia?

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Is it possible to be the greatest ever, just not right now?

The 95th PGA Championship has become, in a sense, Tiger Woods’ 72-hole judgment day. If he never reaches the top of Mount Nicklaus, people will look back on a majorless 2013 and see the Year That Didn’t Add Up. All those PGA Tour victories and irrefutable signs of dominance, but no big trophies? Never has Tiger looked so superior in regular events – and so vulnerable on the climb to 19.

He used to make everything that mattered. Now, everything matters and nothing goes in. Is Woods too aggressive when he should be conservative? Too conservative when he should be aggressive? Theories are cheap, substance is shifty. The red shirt used to turn everyone else into pumpkin pie. Since Y.E. Yang, it has been more about the fashion and less about the statement.

Only once has Woods won five tournaments in a season without picking off a major title. It happened in 2003, the last time the PGA was held at Oak Hill, which means whatever you want it to mean. There are subjective measures, and there is fact. Excluding the Masters, which is played on the same course every year, this marks the 15th time Woods has revisited a site where he played a previous major.

Only one of those prior 14 produced a win – the 2007 PGA at Southern Hills. Tiger is the only sports franchise with four home arenas: Torrey Pines, Doral, Bay Hill and Firestone. Removed from those hotspots, he can look a lot like a guy with a sore elbow.

Flashbacks come and go, which is what flashbacks do. The runaway triumph in Ohio last week marked the fourth time in 16 months that Woods has won the start before a major. You don’t win WGCs by seven shots by playing poorly, but again, history only magnifies the mystery. Tiger comes to the majors hot, then goes cold when he used to get hotter.

We search for reasons why. Not just the media, but the 12-handicap in your Saturday foursome or the guy who doesn’t let up at the neighborhood block party. In a world where your body of work has become far less important than what you’ve done lately, in a game where long-term performance should be more significant than the recent past, Tiger Woods has become an indecipherable curiosity chained to ridiculous standards.

And if he does win this week? Oh, goodness. Greatest ever. Drool rules. Mount Nicklaus gets a little lower. Six wins and a major? Awesome year. It will be like he never left us. At least until next April.

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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.