Thank Goodness This Isnt the NBA
Im not saying that professional basketball is void of togetherness, or without the aspect of a team game. Dont be misled; Im also not trying to tell you that golf doesnt have a few individuals in need of some maturity and guidance.
Golf, too, has its feuds and break-ups where ego gets in the way of good judgment (Tiger and Butch), golf has its learning curve of maturity too (Sergio), but at the end of the day the athletes are promised not much of anything.
Each begins the year at zero. No guarantees of where theyll finish on the PGA Tour money list, or whether fans might vote them into the Tour Championship despite a year where he (named Ernie Els or not) made only two cuts and $82,000. They earn their keep among the top 30, the top 125 and thus they earn their right to go into negotiations with equipment manufacturers about endorsement contracts, or overseas tournaments about appearance fees.
At the beginning of the year, Jeff Brehaut has the same opportunity to win the PGA Tour money list as does Tiger Woods. And I love that about professional golf.
In that regard golf is pure. Golf is honest. Golf is about sportsmanship. Golf is about hard work and keeping your head down and not turning your nose up. Golf is an individual sport, yes, but youll always find someone to give you a putting tip or a swing thought to work on.
This whole Shaq vs. Kobe vs. Lakers soap-opera of league embarrassment has made me lose patience with pampered millionaires and the NBA, which to me, now should stand for Never-ending Big-time Arrogance. You come up with your own.
Shaq is a superstar who cant get along with Kobe. Kobe is a superstar who cant get along with Shaq.
A few years back Shaq wasnt content enough with 100-plus million and opted out of Orlando for Los Angeles. Kobe wasnt content to be a college student so he opted out of education for the NBA. Now, not only is he unable to work with Shaq, hes also unable to work with Phil Jackson and apparently unable to work without a raise that, no matter how large, still cant buy him out of trouble with the law. Shaq wants no part of a continued relationship with Kobe despite the better-than-average chance at winning oh.. say. five more titles.
Dick Vitale, the ESPN college basketball analyst, made the point one night during a game that the difference between the NBA and the college game is that college is all about the name on the front of the jersey and the NBA is all about the name on the back of the jersey. Think about it.
The Los Angeles Lakers, seemingly not content with working together toward a common goal, but instead working to see who has the power to stay in L.A. and run the franchise from the court next season.
The problem with all this? No matter how much the league tries to deny it, there are owners and teams and coaches ready to be the next to take on the unhappy superstar and pay them what they demand. Make me sick!
Im not here to spout the figures, but Kobes due for the leagues maximum contract. So is Shaq. Its guaranteed money and a long-term stage to provide for great role-modeling.
Gee, where can I sign up for season tickets so I can get my son a lower-bowl seat to watch a would-be idol?
Back to golf - where non-superstar Thomas Levet has the chance to win a million dollars by earning it this week at the Open Championship. Rick Fox, meanwhile, has the chance to sit on the Lakers bench earning about $5 million (Im guessing a bit) with hopes of winning a title.
Isnt something a bit backward about that?
Golf has its superstars and golf has its rank and file. But not a single player you watch in professional golf would tell the PGA Tour or the European Tour that they wont play next year unless another player is shipped off to another tour. If they did, theyd be told to find another career. This week proves that in other sports, its accepted practice.
And not one of those same players would get away with not extending a handshake to a playing competitor after a round of golf. This week is proof that handshakes might take a back seat to locker room fisticuffs.
Maybe Im wrong, but Shaq is no Tiger Woods. And Kobe is far from Phil Mickelson. And its my belief that neither mans self-centered attitude nor on-going quest for individual one-upmanship would be appreciated or accepted in professional golf.
At least not on my tour it wouldnt.
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.
Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026
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.
“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.