Atwal 54-Hole Leader in Panama

By Sports NetworkJanuary 26, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourPANAMA CITY, Panama -- Arjun Atwal shot a 2-under 68 Saturday to take the third-round lead at the Panama Championship.
 
Atwal was 6-under 204 overall at the Nationwide Tour's 2008 season-opener, one shot ahead of Chris Smith heading into the final round.
 
Smith also carded a 68 Saturday and was a 5-under 205. Scott Dunlap, the second-round leader, stumbled to a 73 and was alone in third place at 4-under 206.
 
Matthew Every (67) was another shot further back at 207, with Benjamin Alvarado (68) and Jarrod Lyle (69) sitting at 208.
 
In windy conditions, Atwal posted five birdies and three bogeys at a tough Panama Golf Club.
 
'It certainly didn't feel like five birdies,' Atwal said of his round. 'You just get so into it. You're trying to grind it out on every hole. I didn't hit it all that great today, but I tried to get it in the hole however I could.'
 
Dunlap surrendered three shots on his first five holes Saturday -- a stretch that was capped by a double-bogey six at No. 5 -- allowing the rest of the field to catch up.
 
His struggles weren't unique. Only eight of the 62 players who made the second-round cut were under-par after 54 holes.
 
'I missed it in all the right places I guess,' said Atwal, one of the lucky ones. 'This golf course is all about angles. If you do miss a fairway you've got to miss it in the right spots. The places I missed it I could somehow get it around the green where I could make a good up-and-down.'
 
Atwal, 34, gained experience in nearly 100 starts on the PGA TOUR over the last three seasons. But Saturday marked his first overnight lead since a 2003 tournament on the Asian Tour.
 
'I don't really know if it's good or bad that I haven't held the lead after 54 holes in a while, and I don't really care,' Atwal said. 'As long as I'm in this position, I love it. I like where I'm at. Obviously I'm doing something well.'
 
Smith carries some measure of experience into the final round. A one-time winner on the PGA TOUR (2002 Buick Classic), he made nearly $4.7 million on that circuit.
 
'I feel like I've tried way too hard lately,' said Smith. 'I've tried to force the issue when I get on the golf course ... I'm not going to do that this year. I'm just going to play and try to let the rounds come to me and let the tournaments come to me like I used to do. I'm going to enjoy the fact that I'm here and try not to get hung up on what I'm shooting.'
 
Related Links:
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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.