Medinah a Beast That Can be Tamed - COPIED - COPIED

By Mercer BaggsAugust 15, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 PGA ChampionshipMEDINAH, Ill ' The clouds began to step aside around 2:00 p.m. local time, adding a little light to what had been an otherwise overcast and breezy day about 30 miles northwest of the Windy City.
 
The sun showed up at Medinah Country Club, as players filed in, making their way to the course to prepare for the seasons final major championship.
 
Monday at the 88th PGA Championship was a day to acquire some familiarity for most of the 156 men in the field. There are 131 touring professionals and 25 club professionals in the mix, and many this week are either seeing the course for the first time in seven years or seeing it for the first time period.
 
Tiger Woods, however, is not among that group. He got in a practice round last week, before doing so again this morning.
 
Woods, who won the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah, the last time the course hosted a major, played early Monday morning, signed a few autographs and then hightailed it out of Dodge.
 
A winner of his last two events, the Open Championship and the Buick Open, Woods is scheduled to give a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
 
Woods and his fellow returnees from the 99 PGA found the par-72 layout extended by 160 yards. Back then, the 7,401-yard layout was the second longest in major championship history. Now, at 7,561 yards, its the longest.
 
But that number, according to some of the early practitioners, appears gaudier than it does intimidating.
 
It doesnt play that long, said Zach Johnson, who held the 54-hole lead at last weeks International before slipping into a tie for 13th. I dont know why, but it just doesnt.
 
Jeff Sluman agreed almost word-for-word with Johnsons assessment. The 1988 PGA champion resides in nearby Hinsdale and is staying at home this week. He got a chance last week to play the No. 3 course and had nothing but positive remarks to share.
 
The golf course is in terrific shape. Its a set-up that doesnt really surprise anybody, he said. You just really need to drive it straight.
 
Unlike at Winged Foot, site of this years U.S. Open, the rough at Medinah will make its biggest impact just off the fairway.
 
USGA officials implemented a graduated rough, which became more penal the further offline a wayward ball traveled.
 
This week, however, a slightly inaccurate drive may prove much more costly.
 
If youre going to miss it, maybe miss it by about 10 yards, said Sluman. You might have a chance, because the rough just off the first cut is as bad as Ive seen, and I dont think youre going to see many shots getting up on the green from that kind of rough.
 
One of the biggest and most noticeable alterations to the venue is at the par-3 17th, the one on which Woods made a tournament-saving par en route to winning in 99.
 
There is a new back tee, but the hole will actually play a bit shorter than the 206 yards it did when Woods held off Sergio Garcia. Thats because the green has been lowered from off the hill, creating a more steeply downward approach to a green that is front-guarded by water. The penultimate hole is now listed at 197 yards on the card and should create an amphitheatre ' and even a little more excitement.
 
I think its a better hole, and there is more ' certainly more risk-reward to it, Sluman said.
 
I would imagine the pin is going to be cut on that back right on Sunday. Youre going to have to hit a very, very solidly struck shot to have a chance for birdie on that hole. It might not be extremely difficult to par it, but to make birdie, youre going to have to hit a great shot, which is what major championships are all about.
 
The back right pin placement (will be) very difficult, concurred Jim Furyk, who tied for eighth the last time Medinah hosted the PGA.
 
Furyk only played 15 holes Monday, but that included the 17th. He played all par-4s with the exception of No. 16, and said that he didnt hit anything longer than a 5-iron into the greens.
 
Length, said the 2003 U.S. Open champion, isnt always measured in raw numbers, but sometimes in the way a course is set up.
 
I think you can play a golf course thats 7,300 (yards) that can feel long, and you can play a golf course that plays at 7,400, 7,500 that doesnt feel long at all, he said, further explaining, theres lots of times where youre forced to play back on a tee shot and hit 5-iron into a green, where if you could have hit driver, you could have hit 8-iron in.
 
It all depends on the situation.
 
(This course) is still long, he made sure to clarify. Ill wait and see how long the golf course plays during the tournament. Its not short. Its not even average. Its long ' but we hit the ball a lot further than we used to, and its manageable.
 
'It reminds me of '99 quite a bit. Some of the holes are a little longer. But then again, I guess, so are we.'
 
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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.