Hooks and Cuts From Pebble Beach

By Rich LernerFebruary 11, 2005, 5:00 pm
  • ESPNS Chris Berman, who really does look and sound like Fred Flintstone, described Pebble Beach this way: even God waits for a starting time here.
  • Seeing Kevin Costner reminded me of a few lines from Bull Durham which apply to golf better than anything he said in Tin Cup. Tim Robbins character Nuke, the talented but nave pitcher, says to Costners Crash Davis in a meeting on the mound, Could you just let me enjoy the moment? Davis, part catcher and part teacher, responds, The moments over.

  • Phil Mickelsons a good golfer.
  • Wednesday before the tournament Cypress Point might be the busiest of all the courses because so many pros and amateurs want to play the fabled gem.
  • In another passage from Bull Durham which sounds a lot like life on the PGA Tour, the lifelong minor leaguer, Crash Davis, informs his wide-eyed teammates that yes, he was in the show once for 21 days. You never handle your luggage, they have white balls in batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels have room service, the women all have long legs and brains, and the pitchers all have ungodly breaking stuff and exploding sliders.
  • If Mickelson were a pitcher, hed be Randy Johnson throwing a 19 strikeout, one-hit shutout.
  • Bill Murray, whos funny on his feet the way Mickelsons skilled from 105 yards out, really did make 2 at the 17th. In fact, the fairway wood he hit looked like Nicklaus 1-iron in 72. It never really left the flag. But its not the first deuce hes made there. His partner, Scott Simpson, remembers a classic episode. Bills on the fringe about 30 feet from the cup and some fan yells out, Hey Bill, Costner made birdie. So Bill walks right over to the gallery and says, Kevin Costner made Water World. The place goes nuts! Of course Bill walks back to his putt and knocks it in for a birdie.
  • Chris Bermans best golf nickname might well be David Ground Control to Major Toms.
  • Huey Lewis tells a good caddie story. Im off the first fairway at Spyglass and I ask my caddie if I should hit the 5-wood or 3-iron and he says f5-wood. I tell him I dont hit the 5-wood all that good. And he says, You dont hit your 3-iron that good either.
  • David Feherty lost a lot of weight over the winter. The brain cells, hed tell you, were lost years ago.
  • Crash Davis tells Nuke after Nukes been called up to the majors, You have to play with fear and arrogance.
  • After checking celebrity handicaps against the swings I saw my impression is as follows: Bill Murrays a great value at 15, Emmitt Smiths a soft 14, Chris Berman needs every one of his 18 pops, Costners a risky 14 because he admits he rarely plays, and while Samuel L. Jackson makes a decent move on the ball, Id be more comfortable with Sam at a 9 instead of his current 7.
  • A sneaky good restaurant is the quaint Monterey Fish House on Del Monte Avenue.
  • Reason 127 why golf is great: Im playing Pebble on Monday, which is like saying, Im taking batting practice at Fenway in a few days.
  • One last line from Bull Durham: Getting lost and disappearing from the face of the earth is a good thing. Easy to do at Pebble. Its just a few short steps from the seventh green.
    Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.