Ochoa Headlines in Native Mexico

By Lpga Tour MediaOctober 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Corona Morelia ChampionshipMORELIA, Michoacn, Mexico ' The Corona Morelia Championship returns to Morelia, Mexico, this week where Carin Koch will attempt to become just the second player this season to successfully defend her title.
This is also the last chance for players to make a move on the ADT Official Money List as the top-90 players after Sunday will be granted exempt status for the 2007 season and players ranked 91 st to 125 will receive non-exempt status. It is also the final Points Event in the LPGA Playoffs 2006 to gain entry into the $1 million-to-the-winner ADT Championship.
Koch claimed a six-stroke victory over Karine Icher at the 2005 inaugural tournament. The Swede was the only player to keep all four rounds under par as she recorded 68-69-71-71=279 (-9) to claim her first Tour win since 2001 and the $150,000 first-place check. Meanwhile, after a 1-over-par 73 first round, Icher steadily climbed the leaderboard, finishing at 3-under-par and in second place.
Located in the heart of Mexico, Morelia is the midway point between Mexico City heading northwest to Guadalajara. The par-73 course at the Tres Maras Residential Golf Club will challenge players with its mountainous terrain and high elevations, while playing to a difficult 6,600 yards.
Guadalajara-native Lorena Ochoa leads the field and will be the undeniable gallery favorite. As the only Mexican player on Tour, Ochoa has been a golf icon in Mexico since earning the 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year title. Ochoa also has a chance this week to become only the second player in Tour history (after world No. 1 Annika Sorenstam) to earn more than $2 million in a season, as she has $1,974,122 to date. A good showing will also extend her nine-point lead over Karrie Webb in the race for Rolex Player of the Year. In 21 events this season, Ochoa has posted 16 top-10 finishes, which means it is very likely she will improve on her 5-over-par 293 tie for 16 th in 2005.
Sophia Sheridan, a 22-year-old sponsor exemption also from Guadalajara, will make her LPGA debut as a professional this week. Sheridan was a standout member of the University of California-Berkeley women's golf team and, on the Duramed Futures Tour, posted three top-10 finishes in 11 events this summer. The Corona Morelia Championship is Sheridan's third LPGA Tour event this year after finishing as the low amateur at the MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta in March with a tie for 27 th. She also played in the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA but did not make the cut.
While Mexico hones in on their homeland favorites, other players will be making moves to claim their share of the $1 million purse. Mi Hyun Kim has seven LPGA Tour victories, including two this season, to rank fifth on the ADT Official Money List. Standing barely over 5-feet tall, the diminutive Kim is 141 st on Tour with a 242-yard driving average, but owns a top-10 rank in 10 additional categories: Rolex Player of the Year (fifth, 123 points); scoring average (seventh, 70.7237); rounds under par (sixth, 60.5 percent); rounds in the 60s (fifth, 38.2 percent); birdies (ninth, 270); top-10 finishes (sixth, 12 of 23 events); driving accuracy (fifth, 79.8 percent); scoring average (seventh, 70.72); putting average (fifth, 28.83); and GIR putting average (sixth, 1.76).
American Natalie Gulbis was the first-round leader in 2005 after setting a tournament record with a 6-under-par 66, but a 3-over-par 75 in the second round followed by 72-74 on the weekend left her in a tie for fifth. Gulbis' best finish of this season has been a runner-up to Kim after a three-hole, sudden-death playoff at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. Her strong start at the 2005 Corona Morelia Championship combined with another year of experience on Tour may be what it takes for Gulbis to make her winner's circle debut this week.
Sitting in 12 th and just ahead of Gulbis on the ADT Official Money List is Paula Creamer. Creamer has spent the majority of the season battling a wrist injury, but has still posted an impressive nine top-10 finishes in 22 starts. Although winless in her sophomore year on Tour, Creamer has earned more than $800,000 this season with nearly two more months to play.
The Corona Morelia Championship is the 20 th and final Points Event of the LPGA Playoffs 2006, which means the top-20 finishers this week will earn double points toward second-half qualifying for the ADT Championship in November. Of the players in the field this week, Morgan Pressel is third with 90 points and less than 20 points behind fellow Tour rookie Jee Young Lee (108 points). Stacy Prammanasudh is in fourth place (86 points) in the ADT Points race.
During the second half of the LPGA Playoffs 2006, Sherri Steinhauer has automatically qualified with her Major Event win at the Weetabix Women's British Open. Karrie Webb won the Evian Masters'a Winner Event'in which the winner also automatically qualifies for the ADT Championship. Webb initially qualified during the first half of the LPGA Playoffs 2006, so the spot will be filled by top-points earners after The Mitchell Company Tournament of Champions, also a Winner Event, along with the Samsung World Championship. The top cumulative ADT Points earner from the three Global Group events'Honda LPGA Thailand 2006, Kolon Hanna Bank Classic and Mizuno Classic'will fill the last of the three automatic-entry spots that remain.
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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.