Continentals Lead Big at Seve Trophy

By Sports NetworkSeptember 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
European TourBILLINGHAM, England -- The Continental Europeans took a 4-1 lead at the Seve Trophy on Thursday after dominating the Great Britain & Ireland team in the first round of four-ball matches.
Among the winners for Continental Europe was captain Jose Maria Olazabal, who teamed with fellow Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez for a 4-and-2 victory over Welshmen Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge.
'It was obviously a good day for us,' said Olazabal, who assumed captain duties for injured countryman and tournament namesake Seve Ballesteros.
Sweden's Niclas Fasth and Peter Hanson were 3-and-2 winners over David Howell and Paul Casey of England, while Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Sweden's Henrik Stenson were 2-up winners over England's Ian Poulter and Nick Dougherty.
In the final match of the day at The Wynyard Golf Club, Jean-Francois Remesy rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to give Continental Europe its 4-1 lead.
Remesy and fellow Frenchman Thomas Levet needed the putt to defeat Ireland's Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington, 1-up.
'The last match I think made a big difference in the day,' Olazabal acknowledged. 'If it had gone the other way, it would have been 3-2 and the difference would have been very slim.'
The only win for GB&I came from captain Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and partner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who roughed-up Dutchman Maarten Lafeber and Italian Emanuel Canonica 4 and 2 in the day's second match.
'We've had a bit of a meeting. The doors were closed,' said Montgomerie. 'We will come out hopefully fighting and get as close as we can to the European total tomorrow night, and you know, we have to play better, simple as that.'
Already down 3-1, Montgomerie was looking on sternly as Harrington made a 24- foot birdie putt at 17 to tie the last match before losing out to Remesy's putt on 18.
'The last game, I believe it was vital,' said Montgomerie, echoing Olazabal's sentiment. 'It could have gone either way...but we're sitting here [down] 4-1.'
Montgomerie and McDowell were the second group out and the first to finish.
They took the lead for good at the par-5 first hole, where Montgomerie rolled in an 18-foot putt for eagle.
The group halved seven straight holes after that before McDowell's birdie at the ninth allowed the GB&I team to make the turn with a 2-up lead. Montgomerie then tapped-in for birdie at 10 and drained a long putt for birdie at 11 to give the duo a 4-up advantage.
Lafeber and Canonica trimmed that deficit in half with birdies at the 12th and 13th, but McDowell and Montgomerie sealed the match with birdies on 15 and 16.
Bjorn and Stenson clinched their point moments later when Bjorn made a birdie at the par-4 18th to even the day's score at 1-1.
And the rest of the day belonged to the Continental Europeans.
'The Europeans played well today as a team,' Montgomerie said. 'They did very, very well, so all credit to them. We have to get on with things tomorrow and improve on all aspects of our performance.'
Jimenez and Olazabal, who led their match from the start after consecutive birdies at the first and second hole, finally closed out their opponents with Jimenez's birdie at the par-five 16th.
Hanson and Fasth won their match with three straight Hanson birdies from the 14th after the GB&I team had squared things at No. 13. Hanson made his final birdie from the tall grass next to the fairway at 16, nearly holing out with his third shot before rolling in a short putt to make it 3-1.
Afterwards, neither captain changed their pairings for Friday's fourball matches, but the order was altered so that there would be no rematches from Thursday.
'I was confident at the start of the day with my pairings,' admitted Montgomerie. 'I still feel the same way. We didn't score enough and I have to believe that those pairings can score better tomorrow.'
After Friday's fourball matches, the weekend will feature morning greensomes and afternoon foursomes on Saturday and 10 singles matches on Sunday.
The Continental Europe team will be looking to reclaim the Seve Trophy from Great Britain and Ireland after consecutive losses in 2002 and 2003.
'We're going to be fired up,' Olazabal said. 'Nobody wants to be losing this. I think we made that very clear.'
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.