Calc Rises Woods Falls at Phoenix Open
Thursday, it was flying oranges and alien aces. Friday, it was a record round recorded and a record streak snapped.
On a day in which Mark Calcavecchia tied the TPC of Scottsdale course record by shooting an 11-under-par 60, Tiger Woods carded his first over-par round since May of 2000.
Calcavecchia posted 11 birdies en route to tying Grant Waite's course record established in 1996. In the process, the two-time Phoenix Open champion (1989, '92) opened a five-shot lead on the field at 17-under-par.
'I was on from the get-go,' said Calcavecchia, whose previous career low round on the PGA Tour (62) also came at the Phoenix Open in '96. 'Can I keep going? I want to start the third round right now.'
Early morning frost delayed the start of play by an hour on Friday. As a result, darkness officially suspended the second round at 5:50pm local time. Thirty-six players have yet to complete their second 18 holes. They will do so on an expected soggy Saturday morning.
First-round co-leader Scott Verplank is now in second place at 12-under following a 5-under-par 66. Stewart Cink and Scott McCarron share third place at 11-under. McCarron shot 65 in the second round, while Cink still has to complete two holes.
Defending champion Tom Lehman began the second round in a tie for first, but now finds himself nine off the lead after a 1-under-par 70. The third of the overnight leaders, Brad Elder, is now at 3-under following a 75.
Calcavecchia began his second round with a birdie at the par-4 10th. He then made a clutch par at the 11th, which Calc called 'the key to my round.'
Calcavecchia made the turn in 5-under-par 31. A birdie at the first, his 10th hole of the day, gave him sole possession of the lead at 12-under. He then added to his advantage by birdying the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes.
Calcavecchia has played his last 24 holes in 16-under. His 125 aggregate total through two rounds is a new Phoenix Open record; it also ties the all-time mark set by Tiger Woods at the 2000 WGC-NEC Invitational.
Using his claw-like putting grip, the 40-year-old needed only 23 swipes of the flatstick on the day. A winner of nine PGA Tour events, Calcavecchia is in search of his first triumph since the 1998 Honda Classic.
Calcavecchia also has new Ping-headed driver in his bag. Friday, he hit 11 of 14 fairways, averaging 285 yards off the tee.
'I've never hit it this far in my life - not even close,' Calcavecchia said. 'I'm in a groove. If I can keep that going with my swing then I'll be in good shape this weekend.'
While Calc rocketed up the leaderboard, Woods fell mightily. Tiger began the day just one shot off the lead after shooting an effortless 5-under-par 66 in the first round. Friday, however, Woods struggled with all facets of his game - particularly, with his putting.
'I had so many putts I lipped out that just didn't go in,' Woods said. 'It's the kind of round I've been turning into 68s, 69s or 70s. But the putts wouldn't drop.'
Three-over-par through 12 holes, Tiger made a late surge to save his streak. He birdied the par-5 13th to get to two-over for the day. But following a par at the 14th, Woods hit two shots into the water at the par-5 15th. He managed to make bogey, but did so on a hole where he was looking for eagle.
Needing to play the final three holes in three-under, Woods nearly chipped in for eagle at the short par-4 17th. He settled for birdie, his only red number over the final three holes, for a round of 2-over-par 73.
Tiger's streak officially came to an end at 52 consecutive rounds at par or better on the PGA Tour, and 60 straight rounds worldwide. Prior to Friday, his last round over par was a 3-over-par 73 in the first round of the Byron Nelson Classic on May 11, 2000.
'It was a good streak,' Tiger said. 'I'd like to have another one.'
While one streak is over, one still remains. Woods has made the cut in 61 consecutive tournaments, dating back to the 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, where he withdrew when the final round was postponed until August.
Tiger wasn't the only player to have a streak snapped on Friday. Phil Mickelson's stretch of 31 straight rounds at par or better on the PGA Tour ended with a 1-over-par 72 in the second round. The 1996 Phoenix Open champion's streak was second only to Tiger's.
Mickelson stands at 1-over-par for the tournament and is in danger of missing the cut.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Phoenix Open!
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.