The Rest of the World on Their Shoulders

By Renton LaidlawOctober 29, 2002, 5:00 pm
Denis Durnian, a 52-year-old from Manchester in England, was delighted when he won the Charles Church Scottish Open at the Duke of Roxburghes course recently. He picked up a $35,000 cheque for his efforts but he knew he had ensured himself of a much larger bonus by ensuring he had clinched second spot in the European Senior money list.

His performance, after eight top-10 finishes during the season, guaranteed him a place in the Rest of the World team for the second UBS Warburg Cup ' a place worth having for a European Senior who has not become a regular on the U.S. Senior circuit. He and Japans Seiji Ebihara, who won three times on the European Senior Tour, made over $300,000 and had the No.1 spot tied up with five events to go, will be the other representative from a Tour which continues to grow, albeit slowly, as potential sponsors feel the financial pinch.
 
Durnian knew how much he had enjoyed himself the year before, as indeed did all the players who made up the American and Rest of the World teams. He also knew that if he were in the winning team he would make $150,000. If he was on the losing side as he was last year he would make $100,000 - big money from where he comes from.
 
Six-time Major winner Nick Faldo, who will be back again this year, summed it all up when he pointed out that although both sides had a fair sprinkling of golfers with Ryder Cup experience that is where comparisons with that match end.
 
You cannot compare the two matches. The Ryder Cup is sort of beyond golf but the UBS Warburg is probably getting back to the original concept of the Ryder Cup. In this event you have 24 golfers who respect each other, who play like hell on the course and then go back to swap golfing stories in the bar.
 
Along with Faldo, other Europeans who will be back at Sea Island to tackle the Seaside course are Sam Torrance, still on a high after leading his Ryder Cup side to victory and his deputy Ian Woosnam who has always loved match-play as his record in the Cisco World Match-Play proved last year. Then he beat reigning U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, former winner Colin Montgomerie, defending champion Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington en route to his third title victory in 15 years.
 
Torrance may well find himself up against Curtis Strange again in the singles at Sea Island which would be fun. Both men captained their sides superbly at the De Vere Belfry in the Ryder Cup and will no doubt welcome the opportunity to compete in a less tense but equally sporting atmosphere. Last year in this match they halved their game and so too did Bernhard Langer and Hale Irwin who are both back again. They halved in the 1991 Ryder Cup, halved again last year in the UBS Warburg and may well be given the opportunity by respective captains Gary Player and Arnold Palmer to complete a three-game rubber!
 
Barry Lane, who was a former million dollar winner of the old Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) Match-Play Championship, has made the side. And there will be delight among the many guests that Barclays Scottish Open champion Eduardo Romero will be in Georgia. Forty-eight year-old Romero is playing so well that he came within a whisker over Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and St Andrews recently of becoming the oldest winner on the European Tour.
 
Ebihara will feel very much at home with his old mentor Isao Aoki in the Rest of the World line-up along with Australias Rodger Davis who popularised plus twos around the world and Stewart Ginn replacing Frank Nobilo from New Zealand and Australian Ian Stanley from last years line-up. Durnian played last year with Stanley, the man who beat him to the European Senior No. 1 spot, but this time Player may well go for an all Japanese pairing Ebihara and Aoki. Who knows what the captains will do but they will enjoy the challenge.
 
It will be another great week according to Ken Schofield, executive director of the PGA European Tour. Both sides will compete as they only know how but there is tremendous friendship off it. What struck me last year was the camaraderie. I can only see a wonderful future for this event and we in Europe are fully behind it,' said Scholfield.
 
The event has already created such an impact that Greg Norman and Nick Price are already looking forward to being involved sooner rather than later if the match date does not clash with their other global commitments. One day the age limit for the seniors may be reduced from 50 to bring in players in their 40s. In Europe while discussions continue and no changes are expected in the near future there is talk of the European Senior Tour slotting in some special events which would allow - say Major title winners, Ryder Cup team members or former European No. 1s who were still a few years short of the 50 mark - to compete. UBS Warburg might just be ahead of the game with their format.
 
Last year in what proved to be a vital game, Arnold Palmer got the better of Gary Player in the captains match. The Rest of the World lost by a point and Gary will want his revenge. This years competition is the 39th in the series and shows no signs of running out of steam because golf fans love match play and do not see enough of it. Television networks prefer all games to come down to the last hole as they do in stroke-play competition. Last year in this event, television was well satisfied. Thirteen of the 24 matches did come down to the last and five more went to the 17th. It was that close and it will be again.
 
The Rest of the World squad will travel to Georgia hoping to square the series but also well aware that the Americans, after losing the Ryder Cup to Europe, will not want to lose this Cup at home. Every one of the contestants knows all about head-to-head pressure and how to handle it. The match will make for compulsive viewing again.

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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.