Trio Tied in Augusta

By Martha BrendleSeptember 20, 2001, 4:00 pm
Marianne Morris, Vickie Odegard and Laura Diaz got a taste of Mount Vintage Golf Club in North Augusta, S.C., during the first round of the Asahi Ryokuken Augusta International.
The inaugural event holds the distinction of being the last full-field event of the season. As such, it will see a lot of jockeying for positions as players do their best to finish in the top-90 with exempt status for the coming season.
Thirty-six-year-old Morris of Middletown, Ohio - one of a foursome that made the 42-hour drive from Portland to Augusta - led the field today with her opening round of 5-under-par 67.
Morris was clearly in good spirits later in the afternoon. When asked with whom she had driven, the first round co-leader joked with reporters: Ive been sworn to secrecy. Im not allowed to tell anybody.
I really wanted to play this week, because I graduated from South Carolina, she continued. So it was pretty important for me to get here. So my only option was driving. And fortunately I had three other people as stupid as I was to go.
Morris, winless on the LPGA Tour, was the first player of the day to finish in the 60s. My job today was fairly easy, she said. Its just, youve got to hit it in the right spot. You hit some shots off line and its going to make it pretty difficult.
It was a round that started off with bogey on the par-4 1st. Then she quickly recovered with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes. The trio of birdies that followed left the 13-year-veteran making the turn in 32 strokes. When I make putts Im going to shoot low numbers because I generally drive the ball well,' she said. 'Im really pretty solid with my irons. I hit a lot of greens. So my biggest problem with my game is the putter comes and goes.
Prior to today, Morris best finish this season was a tie for ninth at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic. Her career-best finish was recorded at the 1996 Jamie Farr Kroger Classic where she finished second behind Joan Pitcock.
Morris is currently 110th on the money list with $49,137.
Fellow American Odegard recorded an error-free round. She was the first to match Morriss score. Like Morris, Odegard made the long drive from Portland. Forty-one hours later she was at her home in North Carolina, where she spent exactly one day.
I got in on Sunday, spent 24 hours there, and then came down here Monday night, the five-year veteran said. When Im home for one day it seems like a month. I think doing that helped me quite a bit.
Odegard needs to play well this week, as this has been a disappointing year. The Virginia native has missed the cut in 50 per cent of the events shes has played in this season and is currently 107th on the money list with $52,055.
Floridian Diaz quickly matched Odegards efforts by opening with 6-under-par 66 error-free round. I felt pretty good about my round today, Diaz, currently ranked seveth on the money list, said. Went out with no expectations and finished with a 67. So ... pretty happy with that.
Nancy Scranton, Kris Tschetter and Grace Park finished just off the mark at 4-under-par 68. The threesome is in good position heading into Round 2.
Pros dont always know what theyre getting into with a first-year event, and this was especially true of this week's event. But they know now that Augusta had a very hilly course with undulated greens stimping at lightning fast speeds (10.5) in store for them.
Mount Vintage GC is a course that demands accuracy off the tee and deftness on the green, as many a player found out.
You have to be accurate with your iron shots, Annika Sorenstam said Wednesday while discussing her game plan for the week. I figured you should be short of the pin on 16 of 18 holes. I would rather have an uphill putt than a downhill putt. Sorenstam recorded 1-under-par 71 today.
Jen Hanna and Diana DAlessio had a very tough day. Both finished tied at 8-over-par 80. Hanna recorded seven bogeys while DAlessio finished with 10 bogeys and two birdies.
Play was suspended at 5:10 p.m. with 76 players yet to complete their round.
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.