A-Rod Strikes Out

By Mark MitchellOctober 23, 2007, 4:00 pm
Big Break: MesquiteAnthony Rodriguez was once on the PGA TOUR fast track and somehow it all slipped away. The summation of his career also applies to the Big Break: Mesquite as he was ousted from the series in a five-man Elimination Challenge on Tuesday.
One of the top players in the series, Rodriguezs elimination came as a surprise. Diverting from the shows format in which challenges allow competitors to earn points that are used to determine which players make or fail to make the cut, Hiroshi Matsuo and Rodriguez, who were one and two on the cumulative point standings through the first two episodes, selected teams to compete in best-ball, alternate-shot and match-play competitions. The entire losing team from the match went to the Elimination Challenge, where one of the members will be sent home.
In Tuesdays edition of the 12-week series, Brian Kontak won the Ryder Cup style competition, which was the conclusion of the prior weeks show, for Team Matsuo with an eagle. The defeat sent Rodriguez and his team to the Elimination Challenge, where he twice missed short putts that could have prevented elimination.
Rodriguez was vocal about the format that sent him home even though he was only one point behind leader Matsuo prior to the team competition.
I hope the viewers liked what I could give them, Rodriguez wrote in a GolfChannel.com blog. I hope they all feel the same way I do -- upset; disappointed and more than anything, cheated. The twist GOLF CHANNEL put in the show I felt was unfair.
GOLF CHANNEL producers told competitors prior to the series that points earned in the challenges would carry over and players that top players would not have to go through the Elimination Challenge. But most of the competitors also realize that this is Big Break: Mesquite and nothing is written in stone.
The elimination is a setback to a career that appeared to be rock solid at one point. In 1997, two years removed from the Texas A&M campus, Rodriguez was being hailed as the next Latin star of the PGA TOUR by the likes of Chi-Chi Rodriguez. And he deserved the attention. In college he was a First Team All-American and led the nation with six wins in 1995.
Then reality hit. Despite flashes of success on TOUR, like finishing 13th in the Canadian Open, he lost his playing card. Rodriguez felt he had let people down. A-Rod, as he is called, first met Chi Chi when he was 14 and considers him a mentor. The pressure to perform and not disappoint the former PGA TOUR star or the Latino community took a toll. His career took a slow downward spiral. After losing his TOUR card, he played on the Nationwide Tour, where he had some success and twice posted second place finishes. Eventually, in 2004, his lack of desire to keep chasing the dream led him to retirement.
It seemed like Rodriguezs career was over until he saw Jason Gore in the 2005 United States Open. A journeyman professional, Gore contended in the U.S. Open when he played in the final group on Sunday with two-time U.S. Open Champion Retief Goosen. Later in the year, Gore won his third event on the Nationwide Tour to earn a promotion to the PGA TOUR, where he promptly won the 84 Lumber Classic.
Inspired, Rodriguez once again started playing competitive golf. Last year, he was the Canadian Tours rookie of the year, which was ironic because other players gave him the nickname Pops. He played the Canadian Tour with success again this season and plans to attempt to earn his PGA TOUR card at the Qualifying Tournament.
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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.