Ryder Cup Roundtable

By Rich LernerOctober 2, 2010, 3:44 am

Ryder Cup

Editor's note: Rich Lerner sat down with Frank Nobilo and Steve Sands following the water-logged first day of the Ryder Cup in Wales.

Rich Lerner: It’s not close to being over but this is as bizarre as a Ryder Cup as I can remember, from the rain suit fiasco, to the [weather] delay, to the new format.

Steve Sands: The decision to change the format was progressive and brilliant.

Frank Nobilo: The nice thing is that everyone plays now. I always felt that if you get selected for your country or continent you should play. So now this is especially good for all the rookies. Whatever happens they will be involved.

Lerner: Who has the edge now?

Sands: U.S. in a big way. They’re deeper.

Nobilo: America does because their worst format is best ball. Now, not everybody has to play fourball. They all have to play alternate shot. Even though the point total is the same neither team can hide in alternate shot.

Lerner: It’s strange. Lousy weather usually favors the Euros but it turned out that it was so bad that America actually got a great break on Friday with the seven-hour delay.

Nobilo: Absolutely. They got off to their usual dismal start in fourball. But the weather was so lousy they had the chance during the delay to get some new weather gear and avoid the here-we-go-again mentality. In the last 12 cups they’ve won just one in three best-ball matches and they were on their way toward that again.

Sands: The Americans got a big break. They don’t play as well in adverse conditions as Europeans. They’re not used to playing golf with that many layers of clothes on.

Lerner: But the Europeans are actually playing in America these days. Does that hurt the Europeans in any way?

Nobilo: It does. They’re becoming more Americanized. Half your team is playing elsewhere.

Sands: How can it hurt to have Rory shoot 62 at Quail Hollow?

Nobilo: Look at it this way. Justin Rose played and won twice in America and didn’t get picked. So it already has hurt. And the seventh best player in the world, Paul Casey, didn’t make the team because he was playing in America and he didn’t get picked.

Sands: This is the last time you’re going to see the system the way it is.

Lerner: Corey Pavin’s getting picked on in some quarters because he’s not as glib as Monty. He also fumbled the Cink introduction because the sun blocked the name on the teleprompter. How’s Pavin’s captaincy so far?

Sands: That stuff aside, it’s too early to tell. They’re up 3-1 in the matches. You could make a strong case that it’s the most overrated position in sports. Tomorrow’s a big day though. There’s more emphasis put on the captains in terms of the choices they have to make with this altered format before the Sunday singles than any Ryder Cup I can remember.

Nobilo: My only issue as it relates to captains is that the PGA of America has never adequately explained why it bypassed Larry Nelson. He won two PGA Championships, a U.S. Open, had a phenomenal Ryder Cup record and on top of it all he fought for his country. I still scratch my head on that omission.

Lerner: The rain suit flub was really an embarrassment. Who’s to blame?

Sands: The PGA of America. The captain’s asked to pick it out, it didn’t work. He’s not a clothing manufacturer. The guy’s a professional golfer. It can’t be his fault. You could take issue with the design, which I thought was ugly.

Nobilo: I don’t know why you’d come to Europe and not use your European rain suit. European rain suits are typically thicker and warmer. Take your sweater off and you can play in it all day. It’s no secret that Europe’s performed well at home and there’s no reason to assume Europe would have anything less than the best suits. So why not do what they do. Why would you even risk not having the best wet weather gear when you know the chances of rain are rather high?

Lerner: Tiger’s blended in this week. He’s been almost under the radar. How’s he done so far?

Nobilo: I can’t figure out if he’s waiting for us to like him or what. The BBC ran a piece that was somewhat critical of Tiger for not giving in-depth or interesting answers, for just not saying much of anything. It’s kind of business as usual.

Sands: He’s okay. He’s hitting some nice shots. Made some putts. This event for him is about being comfortable. They gave him Steve Stricker, which he wanted.

Lerner: What are the keys going forward?

Sands: It’s a Ryder Cup, it’s a putting contest, always has been.

Nobilo: The first session isn’t even over. I mean, the Ryder Cup hasn’t really started. It’s been littered with all the crazy stuff, the unrelated stuff. But when you think about it’s only about an eighth of the way through.

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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.