2013 Golf Channel Am Tour Crowns Six National Champions at PGA WEST

By Golf Channel Public RelationsOctober 1, 2013, 9:28 pm


Half of Champions Earn Title in Home-State

Kent, Wash.'s Oakley Murphy Prevails in Championship Flight Playoff

Keller, Texas' Nick Eason Celebrates 50th Birthday by Cruising to Victory in Jones Flight

Largest Golf Channel Am Tour National Championship Field in History

LA QUINTA, Calif., Sept. 26, 2013 – Six champions bested their respective flights in the final round of the 2013 Golf Channel Am Tour National Championships - some by way of a playoff, others in convincing fashion as golfers representing 47 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and Canada convened at the famed PGA WEST in La Quinta, Calif. with nearly 650 players making up the largest field in Am Tour history. Three of the six champions won in their home state –hailing from Fair Oaks, Santa Clara and San Jose, Calif. respectively.

Oakley Murphy (Kent, Wash.), claimed the Championship Flight (handicap 3.9 or less) by following up a disappointing opening round of 82 with rounds of 71-68-73. A clutch five-foot par save on his final hole forced a playoff with defending champion Paul Erdman (Erie, Colo.), and Murphy prevailed on the first extra hole.

Largest in the field with 138 competitors, the Sarazen Flight produced a playoff finish as well. Rafael Rodriguez (San Jose, Calif.) earned top honors thanks to a trusty 5-iron approach on the difficult 18th hole of the Nicklaus course on the lone playoff hole. Rodriguez strung together rounds of 88-82-84-84 to capture his Flight (handicap of 12-15.9).

The Snead Flight (20+ handicap) included no such drama, with Daniel Guerra (Phoenix, Ariz.) surging to an 11-shot victory thanks to rounds of 87-83-96-92.

The 72-hole national championships served as the Tour’s culminating event and were contested on four PGA WEST courses including the Palmer Private Course – home to the PGA TOUR’s Humana Challenge – the TPC Stadium Course, Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course and Greg Norman Course. Beginning today, the Senior National Championship (age 50+) will commence on the same four courses with a field of more than 500 players.

Snead Flight (20+ handicap) Daniel Guerra of Phoenix, Ariz. cruised to an 11 stroke victory after keeping himself near the top of the leaderboard throughout the week. With a slim two shot lead entering his final round, Guerra’s 92 was good enough to distance himself from the field and complete his week with rounds of 87-83-96-92.

“When I woke up I felt good on the range,” Guerra said. “And I felt good with my putting. I felt pretty comfortable throughout the day.”

Jones Flight (16.0-19.9) A second round 79 on the Nicklaus course went a long way in helping Nick Eason of Keller, Texas to earn a 10-shot victory. The 79 – Eason’s first-ever –gave him an insurmountable cushion entering the final round. The lefty added a championship to his resume and celebrated his 50th birthday in style.

“There were some things that happened on the course this week you just can’t explain,” said Eason. “There were shots ricocheting off of things… I thought ‘hey, there’s something going on here.’”

Sarazen Flight (12.0-15.9) A reliable 5-iron amidst windy conditions helped Rafael Rodriguez (San Jose, Calif.) to claim the Sarazen flight in a playoff. Consistent play throughout the week led to rounds of 88-82-84-84 to earn championship honors.

“Nothing compares to this,” said Rodriguez. “The adrenaline of going back in a playoff and having everyone cheering and lining just like you see on TV was special.”

Hogan Flight (8.0-11.9) A first and third round 76 afforded Kevin Capps (Santa Clara, Calif.) some breathing room, and a steady final round 83 was good enough to win the Hogan Flight by five shots. Finishing 37th in the 2012 Nationals at TPC Sawgrass, Capps competed in every Am Tour weekend event this summer between June and August, compiling one win and nine other top-5 finishes on his way to winning the Hogan Flight.

“This is top of the list,” Capps said. “To come out here and compete against guys from all over the place, there’s a lot of great competitors out here.”

Palmer Flight (4.0-7.9) Johnny Frink (Fair Oaks, Calif.) shot rounds of 75-80-77-81 to edge out the next closest competitor by just one shot to win the Palmer Flight.

A Sacramento-area native, Frink won his two-day local Tour Championship in August, which gave him confidence heading into Nationals.

“I’m still in shock,” said Frink. “I can’t believe it. It was a grueling four days and I’m just happy I’m still standing.”

Championship Flight (<3.9) An opening round 82 couldn’t steer Oakley Murphy (Kent, Wash.) from contention in his final round of the Championship Flight. A cool 73 on the Palmer Private course put Murphy in a playoff where he prevailed on the first hole to win the title.

Murphy, who credits his grandpa for introducing him to the game while he was in high school, called his national victory his top golf achievement this far.

“I like the pressure,” said Murphy. “I like playing the game. It’s hard to go low when it’s windy, so I just tried to hang in there and make par.”

About the Golf Channel Am Tour

As the largest amateur golf tour in North America with more than 7,000 members, the Golf Channel Am Tour is open to the public and provides the most professional tournament experience for players of all ages and abilities, as well as offering unparalleled access to some of the most renowned and challenging golf courses across the country.  Divided into 55 local chapters throughout North America, the Golf Channel Am Tour in 2013 conducted more than 700 local championships and 31, two-day “Major” Championships throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.  For more information about the Golf Channel Am Tour and the national championships, visit www.gcamtour.com.

About Golf Channel:

As the fastest-growing network on television, Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies. As part of the NBC Sports Group, professional golf coverage on NBC is branded “Golf Channel on NBC,” further extending the Golf Channel brand to NBC’s broadcast audiences. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by www.GolfChannel.com, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.

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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.