Fans the Big Losers in Fonnests Elimination

By Mark MitchellOctober 2, 2007, 4:00 pm
Big Break: MesquiteRoger Fonnest, we hardly got the chance to know you, which is Big Break: Mesquites fans loss.
 
One of the true beauties to ever appear in the series, he is a feisty New Yorker who could use the word friggin as a noun, verb or adjective. Never at a loss for energy, Fonnest is a walking Red Bull ad.
 
While he was sent packing by Benoit Beisser in the first episode of the 12-week series, his enthusiasm will live on as the 11 remaining competitors duke it out each week to win the coveted exemption to play in the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic, and as important, claim the title of Big Break: Mesquite champion against the deepest field in Big Break history.
 
Going into the series, Fonnest knew he was the weakest player in the talented field but relished the moniker of underdog.
 
A comparable lack of skill, however, wasnt his only disadvantage on the show. Fonnest had little preparation time for the event. A manager at the Eisenhower Golf Club in East Meadow, N.Y, he didnt have the time to practice or play in mini-tour events to prepare for the show like many of the other competitors.
 
Then, there was no golf pedigree to fall back on. While others list schools such as Auburn, Florida, and Texas A&M on their resume, not to mention playing on the Nationwide Tour and the PGA TOUR, Fonnest graduated from SUNY Delhi College of Technology and has never been in a TOUR event where he didnt buy a ticket.
 
Heart, though, Fonnest showed a ton of it. While an underdog, he approached Big Break: Mesquite with the never-say-die attitude. Fonnest said being on the show was a once in a lifetime experience and that he already felt like a winner by being picked from thousands of contestants who auditioned for the show. However, he quickly added that he had something to prove in the competition.
 
I didnt want to just occupy one of the spots on the show, said Fonnest, who missed the cut and was forced to compete in the Elimination Challenge against three other players. My parents taught me to fight for what I want. I came to Mesquite to win the thing.
 
It was a tall order for the 56 and 115 pound self-professed grinder who plays a type of game that matches his demeanor. Fonnest doesnt possess the power game, which was a liability in the first challenge of the show that required hitting a 260-yard shot, and relies on his accuracy.
 
Im the little guy with the funky swing, explained Fonnest, who has a loop in his swing that resembles PGA TOUR star Jim Furyks action. A lot of people underestimate me. I dont look like I can generate power, but I can. When they see me hit the ball they shut up real quick.
 
Fellow Big Break: Mesquite competitor Matt Vick, who learned a thing or two about competition as an All-America kicker while at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before playing professional golf, summed up Fonnest best when he said, You dont let the underdog hang around in sports or he will find a way to beat you.
 
Maybe Fonnest could have beaten them all with a little luck. A few inches higher on a flop-shot or making a putt in the Elimination Challenge and he might still be around.
 
While it wasnt this dogs day, Fonnest truly loves to play. In high school, he infuriated his prom date because, rather than getting ready for the prom, he spent four days camped out in the parking lot at Bethpage State Park to insure that hed be the first player to play the newly redesigned Black Course. Always the optimist, he likes to say that he held the course record for a couple hours.
 
And, in a nutshell, that is the Fonnest Big Break: Mesquite fans missed out on getting to know.
 
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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.