Tiger Phil in Defense of Other

By Rich LernerMarch 15, 2007, 4:00 pm
Remember when Phil Mickelson got excoriated for saying that Tiger was winning with inferior equipment? Wednesday at Bay Hill offered a twist that served to underscore the real truth: both men are smarter and more informed than myriad flamethrowers on that and other subjects.
Mickelsons no novice in the public relations department either. Often burned by the press, he rarely opens up these days on meaningful topics in big media gatherings, discussions usually limited to whether Phils going to use one or two drivers. The good stuffs reserved for the major magazines which offer the widest audience and the biggest splash. So just inside the press center at Bay Hill on a table to the left, there was Phils face'that faint smile, no teeth shown---on the cover of ESPN the Magazine. Lefty Cuts Loose was the headline.
A quick perusal revealed that on the subject of inferior equipment Phil was joking, suggesting that Tiger dominates without having gone to the super high tech gear most players had already put in their bags---the longer drivers, lighter shafts and monster heads. He wasnt bashing Nike, but people took the ball and ran with it anyway like Steve Nash and the Suns.
In any event, in the parking lot after his pro-am round, Tiger did open up to a small circle of reporters and while talking about power in the modern game unintentionally exonerated Phil on the long ago inferior equipment comment. I dont use raw power, said Tiger. If I really wanted to use raw power Id go to a spinnier ball and a lighter shafted driver like most of the guys and get an extra 20 yards. So the verdicts finally been rendered: Phil Mickelson, innocent on all counts on the charge of defamation of a manufacturers character.
Now if Tiger unknowingly offered an indirect defense of Phil, Phil on another matter stepped up vigorously in support of Tiger. Tigers preference for his newly announced AT&T National this July in Washington D.C. is for a reduced field.
Ive always liked reduced fields, Tiger said. Obviously play moves along a lot faster. You get around in a much more rhythmical pace. I think thats important.
But the ideas rankled some of the rank and file PGA Tour members who want more playing opportunities. Mickelsons certainly not rank and file, but he is inclined to look at the big picture.
I think its important for the TOUR to be in Washington D.C. and I think its important for The Tour to have a strong relationship with Tiger, Phil began.
He went to say that it would be a mistake for players to be short sighted. In Phils view, heres why. Tiger, Phil explained, generates so much excess revenue for The PGA TOUR. That revenue supports the four conflicting or opposite events, like the one just played in Mexico, opposite The Accenture Match Play. Those tournaments, Phil hinted, might not even exist were it not for the excess revenues'revenues in large part generated by Tiger.
Thats maybe 450 spots in a field so if Tiger wants to take away 20 to make his tournament more prestigious we shouldnt be narrow sighted, Phil said.
No ones suggesting they should again try to team up at a Ryder Cup, but the rivals are on the same page, and the hunch is they know it.
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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.