TOUR Processing and Distribution

By Kraig KannJanuary 26, 2007, 5:00 pm
Now into the fourth week of the PGA TOUR schedule, its time for a little assessment and a little forward thinking.
 
The following is nothing more and nothing less than my random observations after three weeks on the Sprint Pre/Post Game desk including a week on the range at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic talking to several players.
 
  • It's great to have Tiger Woods back this week. Thats pretty obvious, huh? Woods drives the PGA TOUR and the PGA TOUR will shift into overdrive now that hes back. Interest peaks, and I think he cares far more about the consecutive PGA TOUR win streak than you might think. A win this week would be seven and his toughest challenge on the way toward Nelsons 11 will come at the Nissan Open which he has yet to win.
     
    Kapalua wasnt a given for Woods who didnt spend much Holiday time with the driver and 5-iron. The Buick Invitational has been a safe haven for Tiger ' hes won four times. And dating back to 1997, hes never finished outside the top 10 in his first start of the year.
     
  • Phil Mickelsons opening week isnt much to worry about. Hes determined to have a great year and I think hell get it. His karma at the Bob Hope Chrylser Classic wasnt all that great ' receiving many behind-the-back comments about not playing in the celebrity rotation, and about his off-season fitness that he says has allowed him to lose about 20 pounds and put 15 back on in muscle. Arnold Palmer was among many who said they didnt notice much. Truth be told, however, a few said that up close Phil did look more fit. Regardless, I expect at least two wins before the U.S. Open. I just hope hes not wearing those brown shoes when he does it.
     
  • Charley Hoffmans win Sunday at the Bob Hope Chrylser Classic showed a lot about the surfer-kids character down the stretch. Birdie, eagle finish ' are you kidding me? That wind was off the charts. Perhaps most impressive is this stat. Hoffmans win makes the number of PGA TOUR victories by former Nationwide Tour members stand at 198. Keep that in mind while watching Nationwide Tour coverage on the GOLF CHANNEL this year.
     
  • Watch out for Hoffman - 82nd on the PGA TOUR money list last year and hes motivated enough to chase a bigger prize than just a PGA TOUR win. Hoffman and others like him come to the big tour believing they can win, and perhaps make a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup team. Glover didnt play well on Sunday in Palm Springs but hes already won and has proven worthy of debate about qualified players. Jeff Quinneys contention says a lot about the great crop of Nationwide Tour graduates and perhaps more about Tiger Woods dominance.
     
  • And one more thing about the Nationwide Tour as a proving ground. The percentage of former Nationwide Tour players on the PGA TOUR has grown to an all-time high of 65%. And nine Nationwide Tour graduates, including captain Tom Lehman, were members of the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team. (Tiger Woods not included.) That says a lot about a developmental league/tour that really works.
     
  • George Lopez is terrific. His attitude is infectious and his recruiting efforts to make the celebrity rotation at the Bob Hope Chyrsler Classic even better will pay off in a big way. Some question why so many celebrity shots are shown during a telecast and truth be told, the tournament organizers want to see as many celebrities as possible until Sunday. Thats how the big names come and play. And the fans who show up to watch are far more interested than you might think in watching guys like Samuel L. Jackson and Taylor Hicks hit a golf ball.
     
  • Watch out for Hale Irwin. 61 years old and a 62 in the first event out. You can bet all the talk about Fred Funk, Nick Price, Mark OMeara, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and others has fueled the fire in Irwins belly to show these guys that age is no factor. Forty-five Champions Tour wins now. plus 20 PGA TOUR titles. Pretty impressive ' to say the least.
     
  • David Duval is far more ready to contend again than people think. Hes not doing a whole lot of talking about it (unless asked) which is smart. But a sampling of players at the Bob Hope suggests he wont unravel if he gets under the Sunday heat.
     
  • Annika Sorenstam has suddenly become the most intriguing player to watch this year. Rumors of her impending retirement because she wanted to start a family were quickly denied. Shes not claiming burnout. So when she tees it up well see. Twenty wins gets her past Kathy Whitworth on the all-time LPGA list. Thats four a year for five years. If she wants it, shell get it.
     
    Thats it for now.. well see who emerges this weekend at Torrey Pines. Enjoy the coverage and well see you on the Sprint Post Game.
     
    Email your thoughts to Kraig Kann
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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.