Crane Clubhouse Leader In Milwaukee

By Sports NetworkJuly 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Scott Verplank held the clubhouse lead for a while, but Ben Crane was too good again.
Crane continued to impress with a 5-under-par 65 Friday, putting together his second bogey-free round in as many days to claim the second-round lead at the U.S. Bank Championship.
After finishing one shot off the course record with an 8-under 62 on Thursday, Crane completed his second round before play was suspended due to darkness. He stands at 13-under-par 127, two strokes clear of Verplank and Jeff Sluman at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
Verplank was one of 93 golfers who completed their first round Friday after nasty weather -- including lightning and high winds -- forced lengthy delays and an eventual suspension of play on Thursday. He fired a 5-under 65 in the second round and was 10 under on the 32 holes he played Friday.
Sluman, who was one of the lucky few to complete his first round Thursday, didn't have the same luck Friday. Play was suspended before he could complete his second round, and he is 5-under through 17 holes to stand at 11 under overall.
Tommy Armour III, Chris Smith and Brad Faxon are one stroke further back at 9-under-par. Faxon has three holes remaining on his second round.
Kenny Perry is through two rounds and sits alone in fourth place at 8-under-par 132. He shot a 1-under 69 in his second round Friday.
Verplank was in the clubhouse with the lead when Crane birdied three of his first five holes Friday to reach 11 under. He strung together seven straight pars after that before a birdie on the par-4 13th gave him the lead again.
The 29-year-old Crane, who is looking for his second career PGA Tour victory, collected his fifth birdie of the day at No. 15 to move to 13 under. He then finished off his round with three straight pars.
Verplank began his second round on the back-nine, and after a birdie at No. 13 -- his fourth hole of the round -- he stumbled to consecutive bogeys at the par-3 14th and the par-5 15th.
But Verplank strung together three straight birdies after that to make the turn at 8 under. Then, at the par-3 third, he fired a 6-iron within 10 feet to set up yet another birdie.
'That was kind of just a three-quarter 6-iron, and obviously it was the right club,' Verplank said.
The 19-year professional then collected two more birdies at the par-3 fifth and the par-5 sixth, where he rolled in a downhill left-to-right putt to reach 11 under.
'I was very pleased with that was actually a tough little downhiller,' said Verplank. 'You'd rather have uphill all day and I hit a nice little putt there, so I was really happy with that.'
Verplank dropped a stroke with a bogey at No. 8, but he finished his round with another birdie at the par-4 ninth -- his eighth birdie of the round.
'I think I took a little sigh of relief that I was done,' admitted Verplank.
The 41-year-old Verplank hasn't won on tour since the 2001 Bell Canadian Open. His best finish this year is a second-place tie at The Players Championship.
'I think I've played good for three and a half days a couple of times,' he said. 'Really, I think I need to just keep doing the things I'm doing.'
The 47-year-old Sluman, who fired a 6-under-par 64 in the first round, mixed in five birdies and an eagle with two bogeys Friday. He has six career PGA Tour victories.
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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.