Woods Singh Begin PGA Preparations

By Mercer BaggsAugust 8, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 PGA ChampionshipSPRINGFIELD, N.J. ' Steve Williams took the striped head cover off of Tiger Woods driver. He then handed it to his boss. One swing later, the head cover was back on.
 
Woods capped his practice session Monday with one last booming drive. He then twirled the club and handed it back to his caddie.
 
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods and coach Hank Haney work on some putting drills Monday morning at Baltusrol.
Woods looked quite comfortable practicing before hundreds of patrons amid the heavy humidity at Baltusrol Golf Club, site of the 87th PGA Championship.
 
After playing 18 holes early Monday morning, Woods, with instructor Hank Haney in tow, wowed onlookers with prodigious drives on the practice range. He then drew great applause while hitting bunker shots from the adjacent practice area. Williams placed a ball on a tee for which Woods used as a target. When the worlds No. 1 clipped the tee like a bowling ball knocking down the center pin, fans seven and eight rows deep showcased approval.
 
Woods, who is seeking his third major victory of the season, having won the Masters and Open Championship, as well as his third career PGA victory, wasnt long for Baltusrol on the first day of this PGA week. He left about the time the clock struck noon.
 
Almost on cue, it was exit No. 1, enter No. 2.
 
Ten minutes after Woods departure, Vijay Singh casually arrived on site and officially registered for the event.
 
The defending champion then went to the practice range, where he glad-handed and joked around with Fred Couples, before heading out to the course.
 
Woods has a press conference scheduled for Tuesday; Singh will speak publicly Wednesday.
 
While quite a few players have been on the grounds since this past weekend, Monday was a day for the entire 156-man field to get a look at what will be the longest par-70 layout in the championships 87-year history.
 
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell was back Stateside after an eight-day celebratory trip to his native New Zealand.
 
Back to work now, he said enthusiastically. Looking forward to playing this week.
 
Of course, that was before he got his first look at the venerable venue. After his round, he referred to it as a 'beast.'
 
The Lower Course at Baltusrol officially measures 7,392 yards and plays to a par 70. It features a pair of par-4s (Nos. 1 and 5) that extend beyond 475 yards and two more (Nos. 3 and 7) in excess of 500. It also boasts the 650-yard, par-5 17th -- the longest hole in major championship history, which along with the 554-yard 18th are the only two official par-5s on the course.
 
'As far as par-5s go, there's four of them on the front nine,' kidded Lee Janzen.
 
Im playing them as par-5s, Zach Johnson said half-jokingly about the quartet of lengthy par-4s on the outward half.
 
Johnson, who played eight holes Saturday and 15 more Sunday, said he hit a 5-iron into the green on the third hole and a 4-iron into the seventh. He went driver-3-wood-9-iron to reach 17.
 
Still, Darren Clarke, who played the course Sunday and Monday, thinks it may take double digits under par to prove victorious. The championship record is 265, meaning it would take 16 under this week to break that mark. Thats unlikely, Clarke said, but not entirely out of the question if the course were to remain in its current state.
 
Its in great shape, he said. Its a little bit soft at the moment, so I think the scoring is going to be pretty good.
 
If it stays soft, somebody could go low. But youre going to have to play extremely well to do that.
 
Twelve years ago, Janzen tied the U.S. Open 72-hole scoring record when he shot 8-under 272 on the Lower Course. That was the last time Baltusrol hosted a major championship, and the last time Janzen played the course prior to Monday.
 
Little things here and there were different, he said. I think theres a few more bunkers than I remember. And the course is very long. Theyve added yardage on nearly every hole since we were here 12 years ago.
 
In all, 270 yards have been added to the course since 93. But Janzen said the conditions are the biggest difference between now and then.
 
In 93 it was very hot. I believe we were in the 100-degree temperature (range) up until Saturday anyway, and it was very dry and very fast, he said. So the course played pretty short for its yardage then.
 
Currently, as Clarke said, the course is on the receptive side. Rain threatened Monday afternoon, but never materialized. The forecast for the early part of the week calls for temperatures in the upper-80s to low-90s with the possibilities of scattered thunderstorms.
 
Its been pretty damp so the course is real wet, but its in good condition, said Jim Furyk. The greens are slow now, but Im sure theyll speed up later in the week.
 
Mark Kuhns, the Director of Grounds at Baltusrol, said the course is currently playing a little slow to their liking. But he expects it to be in championship form come Thursday.
 
As the week progresses we will bring the speeds (on the greens) up, he said. Hopefully the gods will smile on us and itll dry out a bit.
 
Kuhns added that the greens are currently running at 10.6 to 11 on the stimp meter. He hopes to have them in the mid-11s by the time the tournament begins.
 
As for a projected winning score, Janzen anticipates something in single digits, probably around the 8-under number that won him his first U.S. Open.
 
Kuhns is hoping for something a little higher.
 
I would like to go to 5 under, he said.
 
Related Links:
  • Course Tour
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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.