Casting horror flicks with golf celebrities

By Randall MellOctober 31, 2013, 7:13 pm

It’s the spookiest day of the year.

With Halloween here, offices, homes and schools are being visited by costumed guests. Some teachers will be dressing as Frankenstein, or the Bride of Frankenstein, some co-workers as Dracula or the Werewolf, some neighbors as ghosts, goblins and witches.

Hey, it’s all supposed to be in good fun, so that’s what we’re aiming to do here to celebrate this wacky, festive day.

So here’s to aiming some Halloween fright at professional golf.

If the game were to throw a Halloween party with a horror-movie character theme, here are the scariest movies we might expect players to find characters to represent:

Video: Morning Drive Halloween costumes

Photos: Players, fans play dress-up

Photos: DIY Halloween costumes

Halloween: Henrik Stenson as Michael Myers.

As many times as Stenson’s career seems to have been extinguished, he keeps getting back up. The man won’t stay down. Through slumps, illness or injury, Stenson keeps on stalking his fellow Tour pros in the game’s big events. His FedEx Cup title this year was yet another sequel in his success story.

Van Helsing: Adam Scott as Abraham Van Helsing.

Scott’s pursuit of his first major championship was as dogged and daunting as Van Helsing’s long pursuit of Dracula. With his Masters victory, Scott drove a wooden stake into the heart of claims he wasn’t good enough to win a major.

American Werewolf in London: Phil Mickelson as the title character.

Mickelson was transformed in his visit to Muirfield for the British Open this summer. Links golf wasn’t supposed to be his forte, but Mickelson was the new beast of the links.

Child’s Play: Lydia Ko as Chucky.

Ko could have some fun behind that Chucky mask terrorizing adults at our Halloween party. But, alas, in real life, the 16-year-old New Zealand phenom is probably too sweet to come dressed as anything but an angel.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Rory McIlroy as health inspector Matthew Bennell.

What happened to the guy who won two major championships in routs and rose to No. 1 in the world? Hmmmm. There’s some Halloween fun there even with McIlroy making a strong move early in this week's WGC-HSBC Champions.

Halloween: Tiger Woods as Dr. Sam Loomis.

Like Dr. Loomis in the Halloween movie classic, Woods pursues his elusive target relentlessly, but just as Michael Myers keeps eluding Loomis, Tiger’s 15th major keeps eluding him.

Night of the Living Dead: The Internationals as Zombies.

They’ve been laid to rest, but they won’t be put out of their misery. They get out of their graves and stumble grotesquely after the Americans every other year.

Nightmare on Elm Street: USGA executive director Mike Davis as Freddie Krueger.

In real life, Davis is impressively gentlemanly and cordial, a strong and gifted leader, but for so many of the Tour pros who love their long putters and belly putters, he’s the guy threatening to turn their dreams into nightmares with his organization’s future ban on anchoring. There’s some good Halloween fun there again.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Graeme McDowell as Jekyll or Hyde.

With his wild run of either missing cuts or winning, McDowell is perfectly cast. In a run of eight events this summer, he won three and missed five cuts.

Boogeyman: John Paramor as the Boogeyman.

A pleasant man who has the hard job of delivering bad news as a rules official, Paramor was the “bogey man” to Guan Tianlang at the Masters. Paramor was the official who informed Guan he was being assessed a one-stroke penalty for slow play at the 17th hole in the second round of the Masters. It turned Guan’s par there into a bogey and created some controversy. It was believed to be the first slow-play penalty handed down in Masters history.

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.