Grapplin Guv Goes For Golf

By Rich LernerAugust 16, 2002, 4:00 pm
The grapplin' governor hardly tiptoed around the tough questions. No, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura prefers the forearm shiver he once used on Hulk Hogan.
 
'Let them have their own rules,' he snapped, when asked about Augusta National. 'They're a private club. Where will it end? I can't walk into a female-only gym. 'Politically correct' has never been in my vocabulary. If Augusta wants an all-male membership, that's up to them. We don't need government sticking its nose into private business.'
 
Does Tiger have an obligation to take a stand on this or any other issue?
 
'None,' said Ventura. 'Tiger Woods is a golfer. He needs to concentrate on winning golf tournaments, not setting social policy in the world. I'm not worried about Tiger's opinion on women at Augusta. I'm more worried about watching Tiger strike the golf ball to give me my entertainment.'

Jesse VenturaVentura figures to have more time for entertainment in six months. That's when his four-year term as Minnesota's major domo expires. He'll not seek re-election.
 
'You've got people making careers out of getting elected,' he explained. 'I don't think that's what our forefathers had in mind.'
 
He wouldn't reveal his future plans, but odds are that he'll be delivering his no-holds-barred brand of talk to a national cable outlet near you. Clearly, he's not lacking for opinion.
 
Asked whether the lovable, front-running Twins would survive baseball commissioner Bud Selig's plan to contract some teams, Ventura connected beautifully with a perfect hit. 'They should contract the Brewers,' he said, referring to the woeful team that Selig owns.
 
The Twins want a new stadium, as do the NFL's Vikings. Ventura put the sleeper hold on that idea. 'Does the PGA come in and tell us they need a publicly funded golf course? No. Why should pro sports be funded by taxpayers? If they want a new stadium, let them build it themselves.'
 
Ventura's a former Navy Seal who spent more than a decade playing a flamboyant villain in the World Wrestling Federation. He'd strut into the squared circle with a do-rag, pink feathered boa, sunglasses and earrings.
 
'I enjoyed being a bad guy because it allowed you a lot more artistic control,' he said on the set of Viewer's Forum. 'In the early days you got paid by how many people you drew. So my job as a wrestler was to get people so angry at me that they'd pay their hard-earned money to see me get beat.'

He still carries residual physical pain, though not enough to keep the wild-swinging left-hander from playing at The TPC at Twin Cities, where he carries a respectable 14 handicap.
'When you get body slammed, you get body slammed,' he emphasized. 'I once wrestled 63 nights in a row. I used to land on concrete floors.'
 
For that reason, he bristles at the suggestion that wrestling is rigged.
 
As for which is the more ruthless business, wrestling or politics, Ventura doesn't hesitate to answer.
 
'Politics, without a doubt,' he barked. 'I'll tell you why. In all my years of professional wrestling I never had a promoter or wrestler or the media go after my children. But in politics, they'll attack your kids. They don't care.'
 
Ventura's 22-year-old son was alleged to have thrown beer bashes in the governor's mansion, and the media pounced like Jimmy 'Superfly' Snooka coming off the top rope.
 
'Last time I checked,' Ventura countered, 'when you're 22 you can drink beer.'
 
Ventura, spurred by what he felt was an environmental injustice, became mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The former radio talk show host then shocked the nation by beating Hubert Humphrey III and St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman, two political veterans, to win the highest seat in the state.
 
Completely unpretentious, he arrived at our set in khaki pants and a well-worn white golf shirt. He sported a Navy Seals hat and worked what was left of a chomped-on stogie. I wanted to talk wrasslin', wondering if he'd ever taken a boot to the belly from the Iron Sheikh. Jesse wanted to talk golf. We compromised.
 
Would he show Phil Mickelson the old Boston crab move so that he might apply it to Tiger?
 
'I'll do that for Phil if he shows me how to hit those great flop shots,' he said with a laugh.
 
'I'm a golf fan now. I'm addicted to it. I'm much more into golf than wrestling. I don't keep up with wrestling anymore.'
 
Ventura was the highlight of the past champion's clinic on Tuesday, sparring with John Daly. When Ventura told the huge crowd that he was headed to a Navy Seal reunion in San Diego to do some parachuting, Daly said that as big as he is he'd break the cord. Ventura shot back, 'We'll send you out in a cargo 'chute.' On it went with the two heavyweights. It was edgy, funny and definitely not your average golf clinic.
 
Of course, The Body's not your average governor, is he?

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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.