Casey Once Again in Good Position

By Sports NetworkMay 20, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Nissan Irish OpenMAYNOOTH, Ireland -- Thomas Bjorn, Paul Casey and Anthony Wall share the 54-hole lead of the Nissan Irish Open at the Montgomerie Course at Carton House Golf Club.
 
Bjorn, who matched the course record with a 6-under 66 in Friday's second round, posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday. Casey shot a 4-under 68 and Wall birdied the last in the final threesome to card a 2-under 70. The trio is knotted at 5-under-par 211.
 
The tournament finally caught up on Saturday after a six-hour wind delay wreaked havoc on the event Thursday. The second round was completed Saturday morning, the 36-hole cut was made and all 72 players who made the cut finished the third round on Saturday.
 
There is horrible weather in the forecast for Sunday, so the players will go out in threesomes off both the first and 10th tees. Times were moved up as the inclement weather is scheduled for the afternoon.
 
Darren Clarke shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and is tied for fourth place with Ross Fisher (69) and Peter Hedblom (70). This trio is only a shot back at minus-4.
 
Bjorn, who seemed out of the tournament with an opening round of 6-over 78, parred his first hole in the third round, then broke into red figures with a tap-in birdie at the second. The Dane made it two in a row at the 220-yard, par-3 third when his 3-iron tee ball stopped 2 feet from the flagstick.
 
He parred his next 11 holes before he came to the par-5 15th. Bjorn missed the green with a 3-wood, but chipped to 2 feet. He converted the birdie putt to reach 3 under par for the championship.
 
At the par-5 closing hole, Bjorn found the putting surface with his 3-wood. The ball rolled 40 feet past the cup, but Bjorn drained the long eagle putt to stake his claim to the lead.
 
'Today was even better than yesterday,' admitted Bjorn, who tied the record that was established in last year's event on Friday. 'It was very, very good. Yesterday I holed a lot of good putts. Today I holed one putt and that was on the last, which leaves me in a very good position for tomorrow.'
 
Bjorn is the most experienced of the co-leaders with eight European Tour victories and two Ryder Cup appearances. His last win came at last year's Dunlop Masters.
 
Casey, who played in his only Ryder Cup two years ago at Oakland Hills, flew out of the gate on Saturday. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the first, then collected back-to-back birdies with a 3-footer at the second. Casey blasted his third out of a bunker to 12 feet at the par-5 fourth and ran home the birdie try.
 
He reached five-under par with a 15-foot birdie putt at the driveable, par-4 13th. Casey fell out of the lead at 16 when his approach missed the green left and his chip stopped 15 feet short of the hole.
 
The Englishman got back into a share of the top spot at the last when he two- putted from 35 feet.
 
Casey has five European Tour titles, including a win at the first Volvo China Open on the 2006 schedule. He was in a similar position last week at the British Masters when he owned a two-shot lead with 18 to play. Casey ended up sharing fifth place, but learned some lessons.
 
'I try and learn something from every round or every tournament,' acknowledged Casey. 'I'm pleasantly surprised to be back up there. I feel like I've hit the ball nicely so far this week.'
 
Wall, whose only tour win came at the 2000 Alfred Dunhill Championship, was 2 over par through eight holes, but rebounded with a birdie at the par-4 ninth.
 
He got back into the tournament with back-to-back birdies from the 12th. That put him at 4 under par for the championship, but he squandered some chances coming into the clubhouse.
 
Wall missed a 15-footer for birdie at the 16th, then his 25-foot birdie putt at 17 died right of the hole at the very end. He elected to hit an iron off the tee at the closing hole, but the decision paid off with a 25-foot birdie putt to join Bjorn and Casey in first.
 
Jarrod Lyle is alone in seventh place after a third-round, 1-under 71. He completed 54 holes at 3-under-par 213.
 
Padraig Harrington (69), second-round leader Nicolas Colsaerts (74), Robert- Jan Derksen (68), Robert Karlsson (72), Ian Poulter (73), Tom Whitehouse (72) and 1999 British Open champion Paul Lawrie (71) are knotted in eighth place at minus-2.
 
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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.