Tigers Struggles Continue in NZ
Tiger Woods, who needed 30 putts in opening in 1-under 70, took 35 swipes of the flatstick on a windy Friday en route to a 73. Woods enters weekend play at 1-over-par, eight shots off the lead held by Stephen Leaney (67) and James McLean (70).
'I hit a lot of good putts,' Woods said. 'It's just the greens are not smooth right now and a little tough, and on top of that the wind was blowing, which makes it even more difficult.'
Woods started his day with a three-putt bogey at the first. He came back with a birdie at the second, but hooked his tee shot at the third and missed a two-foot bogey putt.
Birdies at the par-5 seventh and 12th holes got Woods back to even par for the day and 1-under for the tournament; however, he then reeled off three consecutive bogeys.
Tiger boomed his drive on the par-4 13th, but left his approach shot 40 feet from the hole. He rolled his birdie effort six feet past the cup and missed the comebacker. After failing to get up and down at the par-3 14th, Woods again three-putted the par-4 15th, this time from 15 feet.
With three holes remaining, Woods stood at 2-over, one stroke above the projected cutline. He parred the 16th, only to miss the green long at the par-4 17th. Woods pitched to within four feet and sank the edgy putt. He almost chipped in for eagle at the par-5 18th, but settled for a tap-in birdie (He has birdied all six of the par-5s through two rounds).
Woods wasn't the only notable name to eke into the weekend. Thirteen-year-old qualifier Jae An shot rounds of 71-74 to make the cut on the number, at 3-over 145.
McLean, the 1998 NCAA champion at the University of Minnesota, had an up-and-down round. He bogeyed the first, third and sixth holes, but recovered with birdies at the seventh, ninth and tenth. He then offset dropped shots at Nos. 13 and 14 with birdies at 15 and 16. He completed his dizzying day with a bogey at the 17th and an eagle at the par-5 finishing hole.
'I got off to a slow start - it was playing pretty tough out there,' McLean said. 'The wind kept on switching directions and I found it hard to get comfortable over the ball. I hit a few loose ones and the putter didn't get me out of trouble.'
Leaney, on the other hand, was stagnate over his first 14 holes - playing them in 1-over - but roared home with four consecutive birdies to tie McLean at the top.
Australian amateur Adam Groom is tied for third place following a 4-under-par 67. He stands at 6-under 136, alongside Kiwi Steve Alker (70) and Craig Parry (69).
2000 New Zealand Open champion Michael Campbell shot a 1-over 72 in the second round and stands four off the pace at 3-under. Hes one shot removed from overnight leader Scott Gardiner, who fell to 4-under after shooting 74, 10 strokes higher than his opening score.
News, Notes and Numbers
*Defending champion David Smail, who played the first two rounds with Woods, shot back-to-back 73s to finish at 4-over-par 146 and miss the cut.
*Campbell said he is donating all of his earnings this week in equal portions to the AMP Golf Foundation for young New Zealand players and the Ronald McDonald House, which helps seriously ill children and their families.
*Ticket prices will be reduced Saturday from NZ$170 (roughly US$70) to NZ$90 (roughly US$40) after 1:00 p.m. The final group is scheduled to tee off at 1:55 p.m.
*Andre Stoltz aced the 140-yard par-3 16th. Stoltz shot 1-under 70 to finish 36 holes at 1-under-par.
Full-field scores from the New Zealand 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.