Spieth leans on experience in third round

By Randall MellAugust 16, 2015, 2:01 am

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Another storm blew through Whistling Straits Saturday at the PGA Championship.

This time the lightning bolts came crashing out of a clear blue sky.

Jordan Spieth was a human tempest making one of the best back-nine charges you’ll ever see in the third round of a major championship, in any round of a major for that matter.

With six birdies over the final eight holes, Spieth jolted the grounds here with his hard climb up the leaderboard. His bogey-free 7-under-par 65 moved him into position to make history. He’ll tee it up Sunday looking to join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era to win three major championships in a single season.

At 15-under 201, Jason Day is the man Spieth will be chasing in their Sunday final pairing together. Spieth’s two shots back.

Spieth closed his charge with three consecutive birdies.

“Very, very pleased to have a chance to win another major,” he said.

A day after a thunderstorm ripped through this area, causing the suspension of the second round, Spieth reveled in a warm, sunny Wisconsin afternoon. At 22, he’s turning these majors into his playgrounds. He’s already drawing on major championship experience that players twice his age don’t have. He’s squeezed a lifetime of experience from his victories this year at the Masters and U.S. Open and even from his near miss at the Open Championship last month.

Spieth might be just one missed putt at St. Andrews away from trying to become the first player to claim the Grand Slam with victories in all four professional majors in a single season.

Don’t think that missed chance at the British Open doesn’t fuel him and his caddie Michael Greller.

“I certainly have a little chip on my shoulder this week, but that won't be in my head tomorrow” Spieth said. “Tomorrow it will be drawing all the positives that we've done, when we did win.”

Spieth said he battled impatience on the front nine Saturday, but he learned something winning the first two majors this year.

“In the majors we've won, the putts have fallen on the weekend, strictly by just letting it happen,” Spieth said. “By giving yourself opportunities, believing that it will fall, being stubborn on the greens, is what Michael likes to say.”

Spieth made his Saturday charge fueled with the confidence won under major championship pressure.

“I would draw back on past major weekends as a different type of experience than any other experience that you can have,” Spieth said. “Luckily, that hole looks big recently for us on major weekends, and that's what we just had to keep believing today.”

Frustrated from missing chances on the front nine Saturday, Spieth lit a fire under himself after missing a 15-foot birdie chance at the 10th hole. He stepped to the 11th tee having slipped five shots off the lead.

“I was pissed, so I swung really hard,” Spieth cracked. “I lined up over a bunker and said let’s try to kill this.”

Spieth did. He isn’t a long hitter, but he crushed a 343-yard drive, helping him reach that par 5 in two and make the first of his back-nine birdies.

You wouldn’t know the major championship was building with Spieth mounting his charge. He looks totally immersed in the thrill of it. He looked comfortable. He hit 11 of 14 fairways. He hit 16 greens in regulation.

“I really, thoroughly enjoy playing in majors,” Spieth said.

After that birdie at the 11th, Spieth carved his tee shot at the 12th to 4 feet to setup up another.

“The holes started to look bigger,” Spieth said. “A lot of times it just takes one to go for me to really find that extra confidence, that extra little pop in my stroke.”

The closer Spieth got to the lead, the better he played. He reached the 16th in two and two-putted for birdie. He carved a 4-iron to 12 feet at the 17th for another, and he stiffed a 6-iron at the last to 7 feet for yet another.

While Spieth knows his history, he already seems to know how it’s best pursued.

“Just to try to get my name on the Wanamaker Trophy, that's about it,” Spieth said. “That’s the only history I'll be thinking of when we step on the first tee, is we can hoist that trophy tomorrow, and make it happen.

“I'll go into tomorrow strictly for the history piece of trying to get my name on a different major. It's a goal of mine to capture all four throughout my career. I've got a great opportunity to get the third right now.”

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.