Defending Champ Back on Top

By Sports NetworkFebruary 17, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Defending champion Thongchai Jaidee fired an 8-under-par 64 Thursday to grab a three-stroke lead during the first round of the Carlsberg Malaysian Open.
Play was halted for two hours during the round due to a thunderstorm. Forty-five players will return to the course Friday to complete their first rounds. Meanwhile, the tee times for the second round will be delayed by 50 minutes.
Niclas Fasth heads a group of five players tied for second place at 5-under-par 67. He was joined there by Jarrod Moseley, Terry Pilkadaris, Emanuele Canonica and Pelle Edberg.
Jaidee, who aced the 16th hole in the final round last year en route to his win, was hot early in his round. He nearly holed his second shot to the par-4 10th, his first, and kicked in the birdie putt.
He came back at the 11th to convert another birdie opportunity. Jaidee parred 12, but quickly climbed the leaderboard after that. The 34-year-old birdied the par-5 13th and made it two straight when his birdie try at the next found the bottom of the cup.
Jaidee was not done. He drained a birdie on 15 to make it three straight, which moved him to minus-5 on the Palm Course at Saujana Golf & Country Club. The Thai rolled to six consecutive pars around the turn.
At the par-4 fourth, Jaidee cut a dogleg off the tee with his drive and watched as his tee ball stopped 6 feet from the hole. He drained the eagle putt to jump to 7 under. He picked up his final birdie at the par-5 seventh.
'I'm very happy,' said Jaidee. 'Everything was perfect. I hit my driver and irons well and putted nicely. I had a good feeling coming into this week. The drive on four was a great shot. It was definitely my best shot so far this season. I'm feeling good and this is a very good score.'
Fasth also began on the back nine and jumped to minus-2 as he eagled the 13th. He later birdied No. 17 to make the turn at 3 under. The Swede birdied the fourth, but dropped a shot at five. He recovered with birdies on seven and nine to cap his round.
'Last week I played possibly the best golf that I have ever played and to win it in that fashion, I was very proud,' said Fasth, a playoff winner last week at the Holden New Zealand Open. 'But the reality awaits. This is a new week. You're only a winner for a day or two. But coming off a really good week, it's got to be an advantage. You expect to hit a good shot and that's half the battle in this game.'
Pilkadaris ran off three straight birdies from the fourth to move into red figures. He dropped in birdies at 11 and 13 before tripping to a bogey at the 14th. He reclaimed that lost stroke with a birdie at the par-5 18th.
Moseley had an up-and-down opening nine. He birdied 10, but bogeyed the 12th. He picked up another birdie at the 15th, but stumbled to another bogey at the next. The Australian birdied 17 and 18 to make the turn at 2 under. He birdied three of his final six holes to share second place.
Canonica carded a bogey-free round as he spread three birdies over his front nine and two on the back side.
Edberg opened with a bogey at this first hole, the 10th. He picked up birdies at 13 and 15 to make the turn at 1 under. The Swede dropped in four birdies on the front side to join the crowd in second place.
Padraig Harrington, a two-time runner up at this event, was affected greatly by the thunderstorm delay. He was at 4 under before the delay, but returned to the course after the storm and promptly bogeyed three of his final four holes to end at minus-1.
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.