Couples Wins Sorenstam Second

By Sports NetworkNovember 30, 2003, 5:00 pm
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Fred Couples, the all-time money winner in Skins Game history, picked up another $580,000 on Sunday to win the 21st annual Skins Game.
 
Couples finished the event with $605,000 and eight Skins easily defeating Annika Sorenstam and Phil Mickelson. However, it took Couples four extra holes to win the final 'Super Skin' worth $200,000.
 
Sorenstam, the first woman to play in this event, earned another $50,000 Sunday to finish the event with $225,000. Mickelson, like Sorenstam earned four skins, but earned just $170,000. Mark O'Meara, the 2002 Skins Game champion, was shutout.
 
'It was a fun day. I've been saying all along, every time I get in one of these things, you get embarrassed and you fail and you do a couple of good things and you make a 100-footer (actually 55) to win a couple of skins,' said Couples. 'It's pot-luck. I feel very grateful for what happened.'
 
Sorenstam, who had holed out for eagle at the par-5 ninth to win four Skins and $175,000 on Saturday, came out firing. She rolled home a 15-footer for birdie at the 10th to win another skin at Trilogy Golf Club.
 
'It was a great start for me,' said Sorenstam. 'I was happy to win another skin. It was a great day.'
 
Sorenstam, whose $175,000 on the first day set a new Saturday record in the made-for-TV event, was the only player to miss the green at the 11th, but all three players left with pars. Couples had short chances to win Nos. 12 and 13, but missed two putts from within seven feet.
 
Couples, who did not hit a fairway all day, drained an 18-footer for birdie at the 14th to win four skins and $265,000. All three of his foes had a chance to halve him on the hole, but none could convert.
 
Lefty got back on the board at the very next hole. After Couples, Sorenstam and O'Meara missed birdie tries, Mickelson sank a 12-footer for birdie and $70,000.
 
With three holes to play, all four golfers still had a chance to win the event. At the 16th, Mickelson, Couples and Sorenstam missed their birdie tries. O'Meara, who won $405,000 last year at the Skins Game, had a seven-footer to win his first skin, but his putt slid by the right edge.
 
The long par-3 17th was now worth $140,000. Sorenstam missed the green long and was unable to pitch in. Couples then won the event as he rolled in a bomb from 55 feet out.
 
Mickelson and O'Meara had birdie attempts from within 15 feet, but neither could make their putt. Couples' lengthy putt set the record for longest putt to win a skin.
 
The 18th hole's 'Super Skin' worth $200,000 created the best drama of the second day. Mickelson and O'Meara both made short birdie putts to force extra holes to determine the winner of the final skin.
 
The foursome returned to the 18th tee and this time around all four left with pars.
 
'I knew I had to make my putt because I knew that Phil was going to make his,' said O'Meara. 'I didn't hit a good putt obviously. It was disappointing, but it was great to play with these guys.'
 
'Well, I had the easiest putt, obviously - a three-footer to win $200,000 and I missed it,' Mickelson said.
 
It was back to No. 17 for the group. Sorenstam and O'Meara missed the green and were eliminated as Mickelson and Couples both sank short birdie putts.
 
Couples and Mickelson both made short birdie putts on No. 18, the third extra hole. Mickelson, who went 0-5 last week at the Presidents Cup, then joked with Couples, that the pair should just split the final $200,000 since he was getting tired.
 
Not to worry for Lefty, the playoff would be over shortly. Couples dropped a 3-iron within 18 feet of cup at the 17th, while Mickelson stuck his shot within six feet. Couples sank his birdie putt, his third straight birdie on the hole, and Mickelson's try slid past the right edge to give Couples the final skin.
 
'I stepped up and hit a good 3-iron and Phil hit his third prettiest iron of the day to six feet,' said Couples. 'I happened to make it and he just missed.
 
'I was just looking forward to playing with Annika. I think she played terrific golf. I certainly didn't play better than Annika. I just made a few more putts and hit a couple of lucky shots.'
 
O'Meara became the fourth defending champion to get shutout the following year. He became the 21st person in event history to be shutout at the Skins Game.
 
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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.