Spieth misses consecutive cuts for first time

By Randall MellSeptember 5, 2015, 10:45 pm

NORTON, Mass. – Jordan Spieth didn’t like the way he was thinking.

He didn’t like the way he was talking to himself, either.

His ball striking? He was OK with that. But everything else? It added up to another missed cut Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

After a 2-over-par 73, Spieth went home early for the second week in a row. That’s back-to-back missed cuts to start these FedEx Cup playoffs, jarring setbacks considering he’s just a few short weeks removed from his marvelous major championship season. This marks the first time he has missed two cuts in a row since he turned pro three years ago.

“This is something in my career I've never done,” Spieth said. “I've done a lot of things I've never done positively, this year. This is something I've never done that's negative.”

Rounds of 75-73 left him at 6 over, three shots above the cutline. He missed the cut at The Barclays last week with rounds of 74-73.

“It’s almost like a bad dream,” Spieth said.

The 22-year-old Texan won the Masters and U.S. Open with an unshakeable resolve and a red-hot putter. He was in the hunt to win the British Open until a birdie chance at the last hole veered away. He was also in the hunt late on Sunday at the PGA Championship.

All of sudden, Spieth is mentally out of sorts and his putter has gone cold.

“Normally, my mental game is my strength,” Spieth said. “And it's something I feel like I have an advantage over other players. These past two weeks, it was a weakness for me. And I've just got to go back and reassess how to remain positive.”

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Spieth is one of the most animated players in the game, and you could see how frustrated he was this week in his body language, more than he typically lets on. Whether it was thumping his golf bag with a wedge early in Friday’s round, or swiping the air with a club after a bad shot, or twisting his face in frustration, Spieth couldn’t hide his aggravation.

“I had really bad self-talk this week, something I haven't experienced in quite a while,” Spieth said. “Maybe heightened by just everything that's happened this year, and just being so used to being in contention, that not only was I out of it, but I was also outside the cut line. And maybe it just heightened my self-talk. I need to walk with some cockiness in my step these next two tournaments.”

Spieth, who has quickly established himself as one of the best putters in the game, struggled on the greens at TPC Boston. He took 33 putts in the first round and 33 again in the second round.

“I'm hitting the ball as well as I was in the PGA, as well as I was at the Open,” Spieth said. “I have control of the golf ball just fine. For whatever reason, I'm not scoring. Today was my putter. Yesterday was my irons, my distance control from the fairways. Just not everything is exact and fine-tuned like it has been this whole year.”

Spieth switched to a new set of irons at The Barclays last week and back to his old set this week. He wasn’t blaming his equipment.

In his pre-tournament news conference, Spieth talked about how he and his caddie, Michael Greller, have learned to regroup when he’s frustrated, to control his "fuse.” Spieth said after Saturday’s round that he has worked through mental challenges like this before.

“This one is lasting a little longer than normal,” he said. “Sometimes it happens over the course of five holes, sometimes it happens over nine holes. And the good news is that it can flip the other way very quickly. And that's what I'm taking out of this.”

With a break next week in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Spieth plans to take a mental and physical break.

“It's probably going to be good for me to take at least four days and not touch a club,” Spieth said.

After a week off, the playoffs resume with the BMW Championship at Conway Farms outside Chicago.

“I don't feel it's far off, even though my score is far off,” Spieth said. “I don't think I have to fix much in my game other than really work hard on my putting [going] into Conway and then mentally I can control that. I can control walking with the cockiness, whether things are going good or bad, and that's what you have to have inside the ropes. And I'll bring it when we get to Chicago.”

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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.