No Picnic in Winning at This Beach

By Kraig KannMay 5, 2002, 4:00 pm
Virginia Beach, Va. -- Not exactly the shot heard 'round the world,' but as far as Cliff Kresge is concerned, the stellar blast from the cabbage at the 16th hole at the TPC of Virginia Beach felt all-world in his book. It was a chip-in eagle to win for the first time on the Buy.Com Tour, climb to No. 3 on the money list and jump-start his run back to the PGA Tour where he played full-time in 2000.
What a shot under the circumstances as two exhausted golfers who'd battled the elements and arguably the tour's most demanding layout in sudden-death at the Virginia Beach Open.
This tournament was Aaron Oberholser's for much of the back nine on Sunday until Kresge decided to turn things in his favor with a late run. The 16th hole was really his 'step on the gas' hole all week. Including the playoff, Kresge was 5-under par on the hole for the week. On the flip-side, Oberholser was just 1-under. And in regulation for the four rounds Kresge was 5-under on holes 15, 16 and 17 combined. Oberholser was just 1-under.
Take nothing away from Aaron, however. He was solid, if not brilliant, for much of the weekend. For the last three rounds he made just two bogeys on the back nine. Unfortunately for him, one of those came at the 18th Sunday, which gave Kresge the chance to get in the playoff to begin with.
The great thing about the Virginia Beach Open is that birdies don't come in great bunches. It, once again, served as a great measuring stick for early season golf. Nobody gets to 20-under here! And the fact that Oberholser couldn't get up-and-down at 18 in regulation and Kresge got it up-and-in to win at the 16th in the playoff speaks volumes about the pressure to make all the shots and not just all the putts.
Oberholser, now 12th on the Buy.Com Tour money list, said afterward that he wouldn't care to have any one shot back. And he shouldn't have an ounce of regret. He may just win the money title this year. He's that talented. Wins on the Canadian Tour and a near-miss at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament two years ago signaled his promise. This week solidifies his climb.
As for Kresge - Wow. Remember, this is the guy called 'over the Cliff' Kresge for his slip into the lake at Q-School that very same year that Oberholser slipped up with two holes to play, missing out on his card. Kresge grew up on a course in Orlando, went to school at the University of Central Florida, and says his greatest golf moment was making a 25-footer to help his collegiate Golden Knights advance in the NCAAs a few years back.
Something tells me things have changed a bit. The chip on Sunday at Virginia Beach may just be the blast the 33-year old Kresge needs to prove he belongs with the best.
And if I were a betting man, I'd figure on both men finishing in the top 15 at year's end. As of now, all they have to do is stay there.
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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.