LPGA Proclaims Less is More

By Martha BrendleNovember 15, 2001, 5:00 pm
The LPGA Tour released the much anticipated 2002 Tour schedule Thursday. To no ones surprise, the schedule revealed a total of 34 tournaments; comprised of 31 official events, two non-official events and the Solheim Cup. This is a decrease from the 38 events on the 2001 schedule.
Even though the total number of events has decreased, compared to the 2001 schedule, LPGA Tour Commissioner Ty Votaw insists that it is a positive move for the non-profit organization.
Click Here for the Full 2002 LPGA Tour Schedule
2002 is going to be a very good year for the LPGA Tour, Votaw said. The process of streamlining, refining and realigning the schedule, addressing such issues as the number of events, and geographic flow and the quality of the events, is an ongoing process. The number of events on next years schedule is due, in part, to the economy, natural attrition and our strategic planning.
One of the most glaring losses on next years schedule is the absence of a Florida Swing. The 2002 season will mark the first time in the LPGAs 51-year history without an event in Florida at the beginning of the season.
The decision to take the month of January off, as I said, was part strategic and part the realities that we face at each of the individual tournaments, Votaw said. With respect to whether or not we will go back to any kind of January Florida Swing, were going to look at that as an ongoing process of our schedule.
The lack of January events left the LPGA looking at a late start - mid-February - to the 2002 season. Then when the season-opening Hawaiian event failed to materialize, the off-season was extended to February 28th.
That situation is one where I can directly point to the September 11th situation, Votaw explained. The tourism business in Hawaii has been hit disproportionately harder than perhaps other places.
Not everyone will benefit from the increased competition. For those who struggle through 20, even 30 events a year and barely hold onto their cards, this is a decision that will further hurt their chances to continue playing professional golf at the highest level.
I think this is a performance based Tour, Votaw said. I think all of our players know that and realize that. While they would like to have perhaps more opportunities rather than fewer, we also have to deal with that in the context of fulfilling what our brand promise is, which is, again, to showcase the very best of womens professional golf week-in and week-out.
Events on next years schedule boast an average purse of $1.19 million, which represents a 10% increase over last year. The First Union Betsy King Classic had the largest single increase of $400,000, which raised their 2002 purse to $1.2 million in prize money next year.
The fact that the LPGA Tour has been able to increase purses - and overall prize money - while decreasing the number of events speaks volumes in itself, and Commissioner Votaw is especially proud of this fact.
Our players are competing for more money each week than ever before, and this should increase even more because we expect several additional tournaments to announce purse increases for 2002. We are happy with our schedule as released.
Events on the 2002 schedule have title sponsors comprised of five grocery store chains, three fast-food companies and two food companies which Votaw feels properly aligns the LPGA in the current economy.
The fact that we are sponsored by food companies which traditionally do better in times of recession than perhaps other industries, does provide me some level of comfort as to the short-term, having to eat short-term situations that were faced with.
'The commitment of our tournament sponsors to the growth of the LPGA Tour continues to be phenomenal. Our focus in the coming years will be on quality, not only in the competitive environment, but also in the area of economic opportunity for our players.
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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.