Injured Tiger in the Hunt

By Mercer BaggsFebruary 1, 2001, 5:00 pm
Things went off without a hitch for Tiger Woods on a majestic Thursday at Spyglass Hill. Aside from the one in his gait, that is.
Hampered by a sprained ligament in his left knee following an encounter with a fan Wednesday, Woods carded a six-under-par 66 on the toughest of the three courses in rotation for this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Tiger talks about his knee and its effect on his first round.
As a result, he finds himself in prime position to win at Pebble Beach for the third time in just one year.
'It's a great start, especially here,' said Woods, who shot 73 at Spyglass en route to his victory a year ago.
Tiger's 66 was good enough to place him two shots off the first-round lead, held by David Berganio, Jr. Playing Spyglass, Berganio carded eight birdies to nary a bogey for a flawless round of eight-under-par 64.
Not that anyone was really watching; as fans and media, alike, stalked Tiger shot for shot.
Tiger knew all along that he would play on Thursday. He teased the media the day prior, saying he might not be able to compete at the venue of his 2000 AT&T and U.S. Open triumphs.
Following his practice round on Wednesday, an over-zealous fan ran into Tiger while hounding him for an autograph.
'It felt sore, yes,'' Woods said. 'But when it's time to play, it's time to play. A friend of mine told me there's a difference between pain and injury.''
Woods arrived an hour before his 8:50am first-round tee time sporting a knee brace, which he promptly removed before playing.
His day began with a birdie at the par-five first. After striping a driver 321 yards down the fairway, Woods reached the green in two by hitting an equally impressive three-wood from 274.
Tiger next picked-up a pair of shots on the fifth and seventh holes, though he gave them right back with bogeys on the sixth and eighth holes.
One-under-par upon making the turn, Woods made his ascent up the leaderboard on the back nine. A putter, that earlier in the day was balkier than his knee, came through down the stretch. After opening his inward half with a pair of red numbers, Woods carded three more to close his round.
As was the case Wednesday, Tiger avoided the practice range following his round, instead opting to rest his knee.
'It's definitely sore,' Woods said. 'It was more sore at the beginning once I started playing, but once it got warm it was fine.'
Woods and company will play Poppy Hills on Friday. The foursome will tee off at 8:00am local time.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Jerry Chang may have outplayed his former Stanford teammate on Thursday. Chang had seven birdies while playing from the regular tees. Said Woods: 'He definitely carried me. I rode his back today, and the spurs were pretty deep inside him.' Chang and Woods lead the Pro-Am portion of the event after shooting a better-ball 13-under-par 59.
*Greg Rita, who has caddied for Curtis Strange, John Daly and Scott Hoch, is on Ken Griffey, Jr's bag this week.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am!
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.

Getty Images

Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.