Honda halted again; headed toward Monday finish

By Randall MellFebruary 28, 2015, 10:45 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Winds gusting dangerously to 60 mph blew down the floating scoreboard on the lake alongside the 18th green Saturday at the Honda Classic during a storm that halted the third round for the day shortly after it began.

The PGA Tour announced at 2:51 p.m. that play was halted for the day. The third round is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Heavy winds and almost 4 inches of rain also caused the collapse of some concession stands at PGA National, but no injuries or major structural damage were reported, according to Honda Classic executive director Ken Kennerly.

“Our team did a great job evacuating this course,” Kennerly said. “The PGA Tour was well ahead of this storm.

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“Obviously, it’s been a brutal afternoon. We are doing an evaluation of the golf course right now. We lost some concession areas and a few other things, but, for the most part, the major structures of the golf course are intact.”

Kennerly said he was unaware of any injuries. Spectators were cleared from the course and mostly gathered in the clubhouse and hotel with the storm arriving.

“We further evacuated people that refused to leave, until it got a little heavy, as people tend to do,” Kennerly said. “We got all children, and some elderly people out there, we got them in safe and sound.”

With it unlikely the third and final rounds can be completed Sunday, Kennerly said the aim is still to complete 72 holes, with a possible Monday finish.

“We’ve got a great leaderboard, and, of course, it’s frustrating,” Kennerly said. “But, we’re still looking forward to a great day tomorrow.”

After the rain-suspended second round was completed Saturday morning and the cut made, the third round began at noon. Just 51 minutes later, weather horns blew, suspending play with lightning and heavy rain and winds approaching. Players never got back on the course..

After the suspended third round is completed, the PGA Tour will not re-pair players  for the final round. Threesomes will be sent out in their same groupings to play the final round.

“Right now, we have a favorable forecast,” PGA Tour meteorologist Wade Stettner said of Sunday’s schedule.

Just 24 players were able to complete the first hole of the third round with nobody completing more than three holes.

Slugger White, PGA Tour vice president of rules and competition, said his staff was still evaluating damage to the course.

“We’ve got, pretty much, probably, a mess,” White said. “The bunkers, I’m sure, are an absolute mess.”

Padraig Harrington finished up a 4-under-par 66 Saturday morning after returning to complete the second round. At 7 under overall, he leads Patrick Reed (67) by one shot and Ian Poulter (64) and Brendan Steele (69) by two shots. None of the leaders got off before the third round was suspended.

“That was some of the craziest weather I think I've ever seen,” said Russell Knox, who is accustomed to challenging weather in his native Scotland. “For a good hour and a half, it was just torrential rain and blowing 50. Terrible.”

Friday’s second round was suspended twice by bad weather before darkness ultimately halted play. The second round resumed early Saturday morning and was completed at 11:39 a.m. with 71 players making the cut at 4-over 144.

“It’s a mental grind,” Stewart Cink said of the delays. “I’m sure it will be windy again tomorrow. This course can really work on you mentally, and that takes its toll over 36 holes in one day.”

The Honda Classic has a long history of dramatic weather. In 1986, at TPC-Eagle Trace in neighboring Broward County, Kenny Knox shot 80 with winds ripping to 45 mph in the third round, but still went on to win. In ’91, Greg Norman shot 77 in howling winds and blasted the Eagle Trace setup as “carnival golf,” leading to the tournament’s eventual move to nearby Weston Hills. In ’95 at Weston Hills, violent winds ripped apart corporate skyboxes the day before the tournament began.

There also is some history of drama surrounding the floating scoreboard at PGA National. Back in 1987, when the PGA Championship was played on the Champion Course, with searing August temperatures reaching 100 degrees, PGA officials were stunned by a volunteer scorekeeper’s unexpected wardrobe change. The scorekeeper, a model hired by the resort’s P.R. firm, disappeared behind the floating scoreboard in her volunteer outfit only to re-appear in a string bikini, infuriating PGA of America officials, who immediately sent a boat out to remove her.

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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.