Hooks Cuts From Sony

By Rich LernerJanuary 15, 2009, 5:00 pm
  • I visited Olomana Golf Links Tuesday morning, where President-elect Barack Obamas played on several occasions. Its a pretty 40 year-old public track, 5,900 yards from the white bays and 42 bucks a round, including cart. The course is only 12 miles from his boyhood home in Honolulu.
     
  • Last week Boo Weekley introduced us to the camouflage Aldila shaft in his driver. Normally called the VooDoo, his is tagged, what else, the BooDoo shaft. Now I get word Clevelands unveiling camouflage wedges. They sold 20 in a day and a half at the companys eastern test site, Cartersville Country Club, north of Atlanta. What the hells camouflage got to do with golf? That question came from Boos caddie, Joel Pyland.
     
  • Tadd Fujikawa is back in the Sony Open field. His Friday finish in 07 was one of the happiest single days Ive ever witnessed in golf. Tadd joked that hes seen the replay too many times. Ive memorized every word. It was a fun time for all of us. Yes, all of us.
     
  • Jeff Sluman, tuning up for his Champions Tour season with a start at the Sony said, Ill be a young man next week but this week Im an old S.O.B.!
     
  • Peter Lonard on fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy: Hes a great chipper and putter and hits it miles. Thats a pretty good combination when you get your brain right.
     
  • Jeff Klauks beginning his first season on Tour just as dad Fred starts his retirement after two decades as superintendent of TPC Sawgrass. Hes so much more relaxed, said Jeff. Fred and wife Peggy are in Honolulu watching Jeff this week.
     
  • Rick Price is a rookie at age 40. He went through Q-School 19 times and beat the bushes on the old Space Coast Tour, Tommy Armour Tour, Gateway Tour and Golden Bear Tour. Did he ever get discouraged and think about quitting? No, because I figured I get to get up every day and do what I love to do.
     
  • Slumans advice for first timers: Watch the better players and see what theyre doing right ' and youre doing wrong.
     
  • Lonards caddie Scott Martin, who carried Fujikawas bag at Disney in 07, still believes in the mighty little Hawaiian: His martial arts background will be a huge factor in the long run. Hes physically and mentally tough.
     
  • Zach Johnson on the Sony Open: Its one of the more underrated tournaments we play ' nice amenities, classic golf course and great greens. And if theres any wind its difficult.
     
  • I asked Boo if hes surfed since landing on Waikiki. No way man, said big Boo.They got sharks out there. Im in the eatin business. I aint into gettin eatin.
     
  • Klauk likes the advice from Johnson, a Masters champ: Its just golf.
     
  • As for the President-elects famously cool, laid back demeanor, it is in part the result of his Hawaiian background. We call it local style, said the head pro at Olomana, Norman-Ganin Asao. In August, the President-elect showed up in shorts and sandals before putting on the golf shoes. Thats local style.
     
  • Look for a very funny ad from Srixon featuring Boo and Vijay Singh sometime during the Florida swing.
     
  • Watched something damn near as beautiful as the Waikiki sunset on Tuesday ' Brad Faxon on the putting green from 25 feet. No tension. So pure. So free.
     
  • The plan for Fujikawa, now 18, is to play mini-tours on more of a full-time basis. Its hard to get momentum when you only play one tournament a month, he explained.
     
  • Scotty Cameron, hanging at Waialae, has been making putters for a quarter century. His off-the-top-of-his-head list of best rollers of the rock hes ever seen, in no particular order: Tiger Woods; David Frost; Brad Faxon; David Graham; and Mark OMeara, pre-claw.
     
  • Five years ago Casey Wittenberg was being touted as a cant-miss star. He struggled, but here he is at 24, ready to start his first full season on Tour. Those days on the Hooters Tour make you appreciate this, he told me Tuesday.
     
  • Former Big Breaker Kip Henley, now on the bag for Brian Gay, marvels at his bosss ability to carve out a great living in the power era. Gay barely flies it 245-250 yards while the big boys blow it out there 290 plus. But man, from 110 yards and in, Henley tells me, this guy can really cover it.
     
  • Camerons a huge Fujikawa fan. Hes a grinder with a huge heart, a bulldog, said Cameron.
     
  • President-elect Obama shot in the high 90s at Olomana on December 21, according to the clubs pro, Asao, with a handful of pars to go with some big numbers. Someday the President-elect, a solid basketball player who came off the bench for the Punahou High team that won the Hawaii state title in the late 70s, would like to become a single-digit handicap in golf. For now, with the economy in a shambles and war on two fronts, he is, politically speaking, playing a 650-yard, uphill par-5 into a two-club wind... with hickory shafts.
     
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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.