Is There a Bigger Week

By Kraig KannMarch 25, 2005, 5:00 pm
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Here I sit, watching the golf this week at the Players Championship and its dawned on me that this might just be golfs biggest week on the calendar.
 
Dont mistake the use of the term dawn for me being asleep. I really believe this.
 
The Kraft Nabisco Championship marks the first major of the year for the ladies and the Players Championship needs no one rushing to its defense as a big-time event.
 
Grace Park and Adam Scott
Two more big winners will be crowned this week.
To me, the Players Championship is as good as any designated major. And you know what? Its actually better than some.
 
To me the U.S. Open doesnt get interesting until Saturday. And every player in the field knows that stringing along a bag full of pars will get you noticed come Sunday. But the first few days can be really uneventful. The Players Championship starts on the first tee on Thursday. Birdies and eagles are out there. Bogeys and doubles - or worse - are waiting too. Who knows? 12-under or 3-under could win?
 
The Kraft Nabisco has Annika going after her third win in three starts and seven out of her last nine. A win would be her third at this major.
 
The Kraft has Annika and Grace as its stars. It has Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer and Jenny Rosales and Lorena Ochoa ready to knock down the door. The victory pond is waiting for the next big leap.
 
The Players has Vijay and Tiger, Ernie and Phil. It has every player in the Top 50 in the World Golf Ranking. It also has room for the likes of a Kevin Sutherland or a Carl Paulson who can make a dent. Or room for a Craig Perks who can walk away a champion.
 
I like the feel of this week as much as any week in golf. Ive been to each of the mens four major championships and its my feeling that this is right on par. The course is recognizable, the players know what theyre in for and the fans come in droves knowing full well that drama is right around the corner.
 
Why do I like the Kraft? Its the first designated major of the year ' on any tour. Its finish can define the season for Annika. A win at Rancho Mirage gives her hope for four majors in one year.
 
It can signal a new beginning for a young player who might steal victory and the headlines that come with it. If Wie were to win look out world.
 
Dont get me wrong. The Masters week is as good as it gets. Each of the other majors, including the U.S. Womens Open, takes over our thoughts.
 
But for the all-around golf fan, this might just be the best of them all. A week of great tests. A week of big feel. A week that sets us up for the rest of the big ones. If a golf fan is in hibernation ' this ought to wake them up.
 
Each on its own is just a great tournament. Together, they make for perhaps the greatest week of the year.
 
Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - The Players Championship
  • Full Coverage - The Players Championship
  • Leaderboard - Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Full Coverage - Kraft Nabisco Championship
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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.