Crowded Leaderboard in South Africa

By Sports NetworkJanuary 22, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourDURBAN, South Africa -- Tim Clark, the 2002 champion, posted a 4-under 68 on Saturday to grab a piece of the lead after the third round of the South African Airways Open. Clark finished 54 holes at 9-under-par 207 along with fellow South Africans Tjaart van der Walt, Hendrik Buhrmann and Titch Moore.
England's Graeme Storm carded a 69 to finish one shot off the pace at 8-under-par 208. David Howell, a member of the winning European team at the Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, shot a 67 to join Gregory Havret, Bobby Lincoln and Neil Cheetham at 6-under-par 210.
Clark was four shots behind Moore to start the day at Durban Country Club and was steady over the tough opening holes. He coasted at even-par until he reached the par-4 third, a hole Clark had bogeyed and double bogeyed in rounds one and two, respectively.
This time around was different for Clark, however, and the 29-year-old birdied the hole that had troubled him in the early rounds. That birdied kickstarted Clark's round and he added birdies on the next two holes to move to 8 under.
Clark then ran off another string of pars, all the while residing just behind the leaders. He closed his round with a birdie at the par-4 18th and waited as his challengers faltered on the closing holes to force the logjam atop the leaderboard.
'The last time I was in this position I shot 7 under to win so I am certainly going to be very confident tomorrow,' said Clark, recalling the 2002 tournament. 'In the final round you can't be too conservative because you have to figure that someone is going to have a good round.'
Moore, who held a two-shot lead over van der Walt and Buhrmann heading into the weekend, picked up a quick birdie at the third to maintain his advantage. Moore found trouble with a bogey at the seventh, however, and dropped another shot with a bogey at the 11th to fall back to minus-8.
The 28-year-old countered with a birdie at the 12th and join Buhrmann at 10 under with a birdie at the par-5 14th. Moore then gave that shot back with a bogey at the 16th for a round of 72.
Buhrmann took the lead with a birdie at the 13th, but followed Moore with a bogey of his own at the 16th for his share of first.
'This week I have played very conservatively and it has paid off,' said Buhrmann, who shot a 70. 'It is the first time I have tried to play like that because I am an aggressive player and that has cost me in the past but I have really controlled myself this week and maybe that is why I am still here.'
Van der Walt had four birdies and four bogeys on his round before he reached the short par-4 18th. The 30-year-old's drive was a good one and he was left with a 10 foot putt for an eagle, his second of the week at the last and third overall, and a round of 70.
Charl Schwartzel, who won the dunhill championship in December, carded a 71 to share 10th place with Bruce Vaughan and Louis Oosthuizen at 5-under-par 211. Two-time defending champion Trevor Immelman followed at 4-under-par 210 along with Ian Garbutt, Jaco Van Zyl, Lee Slattery and Garry Houston.
Darren Clarke, who survived the cut on the number Friday, fired a 67 to finish six shots back in a group at 3-under-par 213.
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.