Ochoa Returns to Defend Lone 2005 Victory

By Lpga Tour MediaJune 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Wegmans OpenPITTSFORD, N.Y. -- This week, the Wegmans LPGA returns to Locust Hill Country Club to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and the timing is right for a showdown of champions. Last year, Lorena Ochoa staged one of the biggest comebacks of the season to win the tournament by four strokes, and as she prepares to defend her title at the $1.8 million Wegmans LPGA this week, she is riding a wave of momentum symbolizing one of the biggest career-breakouts of 2006.
 
Ochoa created a nine-stroke swing during the 2005 tournament with six birdies on her final seven holes to defeat eventual Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer. It was Ochoa's only victory in a season where she recorded four runner-up finishes and became the fastest player in LPGA Tour history to reach $3 million in career earnings.
 
This year, she has posted five runner-up finishes, collected two more trophies and a $270,000 winner's check this week would bring her to within $100,000 of $5 million in career earnings. Ochoa will start the Wegmans LPGA leading the ADT Official Money List with $1,155,454 in season earnings and maintaining an impressive Tour-leading 69.38 scoring average. She also leads the LPGA Tour in eagles, the race for the Rolex Player of the Year, ADT Points and the State Farm LPGA Series Bonus Pool.
 
But Ochoa is certainly not the only player making waves on Tour. All but two of the season's 13 champions are in the 144-player field, including LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb, who joins Ochoa as the only other player with more than one win this season. Webb has played 10 events to Ochoa's 12, but only trails her by $35,000 on the ADT Official Money List, and by four points in the Rolex Player of the Year race.
 
The advantage for Webb lies in career performances at the Wegmans LPGA. In four appearances, she won in both 1999 and 2002 and has never finished lower than a tie for 15 th (2003). A third victory at the event would tie Webb with fellow LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famer Nancy Lopez with three wins at the Wegmans LPGA. Only Patty Sheehan, another LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member, has won more with four tournament victories.
 
Se Ri Pak had a week off to soak in the feeling of another major championship after defeating Webb in a sudden-death playoff at the McDonald's LPGA Championship Presented by Coca-Cola. With her win, the 23-time LPGA champion jumped from 110 th to 19 th in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. This will be Pak's ninth appearance at the Wegmans LPGA and her continued rise in the rankings will hinge upon her ability to improve on last year's tie for 35 th.
 
Improving on last year's finish for Creamer would mean a win for the 19 year old. Creamer held a five-stroke lead over Ochoa going into the final 18 holes, but was unable to hold off Ochoa's six-birdies-in-seven-holes surge. By this time last year, Creamer had notched one victory and three additional top-10s. Creamer has six top-10 finishes this season and is still looking for her first win of 2006.
 
If any player could be considered a quiet threat, watch out for Cristie Kerr. The Miami-native is among the 13 season champions in the field and owns seven additional top-10 finishes. She has made her presence known on Tour, appearing in the top-five in almost every major statistical category, including a 69.88 scoring average'third behind Ochoa and Webb. In 12 starts, she has finished outside the top-13 just twice.
 
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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.