Cut Line: Spieth makes big statement after Masters win

By Rex HoggardApril 17, 2015, 4:53 pm

The golf world gets more of Jordan Spieth, less of Tiger Woods and not enough for officials at the Wells Fargo Championship in a supply-and-demand edition of Cut Line.

Made Cut

Winning hearts and minds. As impressive as Jordan Spieth’s week at Augusta National was it may have been the Masters champion’s decision to honor his commitment to play this week’s RBC Heritage that says more about the 21-year-old.

The Heritage is Spieth’s fifth start in six weeks, a run that has included two victories and two runner-up finishes, and few would have been able to second-guess him if he decided to politely pass on a stop at Harbour Town.

Spieth, however, said he never even considered skipping the Heritage, which offered him a sponsor exemption in 2013 when he was scrambling to secure his PGA Tour card.

“Any time you have the Masters champion is unbelievable. He’s such a class act and to honor his commitment ... he has no idea how important that is to the community,” said Steve Wilmot, the RBC Heritage tournament director. “He appreciated the fact we had given him an exemption, and it’s a wonderful gesture on his part.”

They say you learn more about a player in defeat than you do in victory, but in Spieth’s case what he did after a victory may say even more.

Tweet of the week:


Thomas, who is sharing a house with Spieth in Hilton Head, has been exposed to Spieth’s penchant for having extended conversations with his golf ball mid-flight since the two first started playing against each other as 14-year-old juniors.

“Typical, yelling for it to go and it flies to about 12 feet,” Thomas told Cut Line on Tuesday. “He used to be worse, honestly. He used to always do it. I don’t know how you would describe that or what causes it.”

If only all golf balls listened as well as Spieth’s.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Can you hear me now? While news this week the USGA will allow cell phones at the U.S. Open was encouraging, the move feels long overdue nonetheless.

The Tour established its cell phone policy in 2012, and with a few exceptions the plan has allowed the circuit to enhance the tournament experience for fans via live scoring, shot tracking and on-demand video.

“It's a policy we've been looking at for some time at the USGA,” Janeen Driscoll, the USGA’s director of public relations, told “Previously, the use of mobile phones had been a concern to us from a security perspective, but we’ve seen we’re able to control that and that in this day and age, people are accustomed to having [mobile phones on] them for their own personal security.”

Welcome to the new millennium ... in 2015.

The waiting game. The good news: Tiger Woods’ wrist, which he appeared to injure on Sunday at the Masters after hitting a root on the ninth hole, is OK.

The bad news: we still don’t know when Woods will make his next Tour start.

While Woods’ manager Mark Steinberg told his player’s wrist is “fine,” there is still no word on when he might play again. He will not qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and his next likely start would be The Players, but on Sunday at Augusta National he remained non-committal when asked when he would play again.

“Not going to be for a while,” Woods said. “I have a little time off, and go back to the drawing board, work on it again, and refine what I'm doing.”

Woods has played a limited schedule throughout his career with Hall of Fame results, but considering he’s played just 10 official Tour events the last two years it might be time to adjust that policy.

Missed Cut

When more is less. Although the WGC-Cadillac Match Play’s new home on the schedule appears to be temporary, an increasingly crowded lineup has taken a toll on one of the circuit’s best events.

Last week officials at the Wells Fargo Championship announced that Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott had committed to this year’s event, which will be played the week after The Players and two weeks after the Match Play.

Not on that list was world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who won the event in 2010 and has played Quail Hollow the last four years, or Woods, who won the tournament in 2007.

It’s seems unlikely either will play what has long been considered a can’t-miss event. For McIlroy the event is played a week before the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event which would require the Northern Irishman to play four consecutive weeks.

As for Woods, the Charlotte stop is the same week as Tiger Jam in Las Vegas, which benefits his charity foundation.

But then this isn’t a Tiger or a Rory problem, this is a Tour problem. Scheduling can be difficult, but negatively impacting a popular event while you experiment with another tournament can’t be the answer.

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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.