The Lake Mannassas Massacre

By Mercer BaggsOctober 22, 2000, 4:00 pm
You can't always judge the competitiveness of an event by the final score. Sometimes the end result belies the true competition.
 
Not in the case of the 4th biennial Presidents Cup.
 
The United States regained the Cup they lost last two years ago in Australia by routing the International team 21 to 10 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, Va. And, in this case, the Americans were as dominant as the score would indicate.
 
Needing just 2 points on Sunday, the U.S. won eight of the 12 singles matches to avenge their 20 to 11 defeat two years ago. The U.S. led 5-0 following Thursday's Foursome matches, and then led 10-5 after both Foursomes and Four-Ball were contested on Friday. The Americans then increased their overall lead to 14-6 after winning four of five Four-Ball matches on Saturday.
 
Sunday, The Internationals were unable to pull off an American-esque comeback. Last year at Brookline, Mass., the U.S. overcame a four-point deficit on the final day to win the Ryder Cup. They did so by sending out their top-form players first on Sunday to put some pressure on the Europeans. They did just that. The U.S. won the first six matches en route to a one-point triumph.
 
International captain Peter Thomson ignored the strategy used by Ben Crenshaw in '99. Instead, three of the first five players representing the International team in singles play had a combined 0-9 record.
 
Needless to say, the 4th biennial Presidents Cup was officially decided in those first five matches.
 
The Americans won three of the first five matches to clinch the cup. Appropriately enough, the deciding match featured Davis Love III and Ernie Els. Love defeated the world's No.2-ranked player 4-and-3. Love finished the event with a perfect 4-0 record. Els ended with a dismal 0-5 mark.
 
For the record, Robert Allenby (1-3 for the week) defeated Paul Azinger (1-2) 2-and-1. David Duval (3-2) defeated Nick Price (2-3) 2-and-1. Duval and Price faced each other in all five 2000 Presidents Cup matches.
 
Loren Roberts (2-1) defeated Stuart Appleby (0-3) 3-and-2. In the battle of lefties, Mike Weir (3-2) defeated Phil Mickelson (3-2) 4-and-3. Weir was the only International player to produce a winning record this week.
 
Davis Love III (4-0) defeated Ernie Els (0-5) 4-and-3. Steve Elkington (2-2) defeated Tom Lehman (3-2) 1-up. Elkington was 5-up through 13 holes, but bogeyed holes 14-17 to lead by just one with one to play. Both men parred the home hole to give the Aussie the win.
 
Tiger Woods (3-2) defeated Vijay Singh (1-4) 2-and-1. This was, by far, the most intriguing match of the day. Singh teamed with Retief Goosen to better Woods and Notah Begay in Saturday's Four-Ball match. In fact, Woods and Singh faced each other in four of the five matches.
 
There's always been an unspoken rivalry between this year's Masters champion and the man who won the three other majors in 2000, and Sunday's match finally gave that rivalry a voice.
 
There was more tension in the air surrounding Tiger and Vijay than in a Middle East peace talk. Most of that stemmed, not from harsh words, but from a simple question stitched in the back of a caddie's hat.
 
Vijay's looper, former professional golfer Paul Tesori, had 'Tiger Who?' etched on the back of his form-fitting cap.
 
'Tiger Who?' is not the question. The question is - Vijay, Why?
 
The match was closely contested throughout, with few putts conceded by either man. After making a 35-foot birdie at the 3rd to halve the hole, Singh had a two-foot par putt on the 4th to win the hole and go 1-up. Tiger forced a perplexed Singh to make the putt. The incident was awkward, and almost uncomfortable, yet Woods stood stone-faced, with arms crossed, as Singh tapped in for par.
 
By the turn, Woods had flipped a 1-down deficit into a 1-up advantage. He then made another statement by driving the par-4 10th and converting the eagle putt. Tiger went 2-up at that point, and went on to win his match 2-and-1.
 
Afterwards, when asked if he was intentionally matched with Singh on Sunday, Woods responded: 'Oh yeah. I wanted him and I know he wanted me.'
 
In a more-amicable match, Stewart Cink (4-0) defeated Greg Norman (1-3) 2-and-1. Carlos Franco (2-3) defeated Hal Sutton (3-2) 6-and-5. The Paraguayan's round included a double-eagle at the par-5 12th. Franco holed a 5-iron from 205 yards. He only played 13 holes on Sunday, but did so in an astounding 10-under-par.
 
Jim Furyk (3-1) defeated Shigeki Maruyama (1-2) 5-and-4. Furyk is now 4-0 in singles play in both the Presidents and Ryder Cups. Kirk Triplett (3-0-1) halved his match with fellow Presidents Cup rookie Michael Campbell (1-2-1). This was the only halved match over the 32 that were contested.
 
The 32nd, and final match also went to the Americans, as Begay (3-2) defeated Goosen (2-3) 1-up.
 
'This may be the one of the happiest days of my life,' said U.S. captain Ken Venturi. 'I'm so proud of my team. I couldn't think of 12 finer people.'
 
Said a graceful Thomson: 'We've had this taste of victory not so long ago. I bow to the superiority of the U.S. team. It is a very, very powerful team.'
 
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem officially announced on Sunday that the 5th Presidents Cup will be played Nov. 7-10, 2002, at The Links Golf Course in George, South Africa.
 
That's good news to the International side. They are 1-0 when playing on their own turf, but 0-3 on American soil. All three losses have come at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
 
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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.