Diaz Earns Win No2 at Corning

By Sports NetworkMay 26, 2002, 4:00 pm
Laura Diaz used a chip-in par and a birdie at her 72nd hole to shoot a 2-under 70 Sunday and win her second career title at the LPGA Corning Classic. Her 14-under-par total of 274 was good for a two-shot victory over playing partner Rosie Jones.
'I think that winning any golf tournament, no matter if it's one or 38, I think they're all pretty tough,' said Diaz, who won in wire-to-wire fashion. 'I think the only difference is you're a little more comfortable in the position. So I think that until I get to that 38th win, I think I'll probably feel the same way I did in Tucson and I did here.'
Diaz earned her first LPGA Tour victory in March when she finished one shot better than Juli Inkster at the Welch's/Circle K Championship. The early-season win came after a breakout 2001 campaign that saw her post four runner-up finishes and crack the top-five in the rankings.
Marnie McGuire (67) and Silvia Cavalleri (70) shared third place at 11-under-par 277, followed by Jung Yeon Lee, who finished alone in fifth at minus 10.
Diaz held a one-stroke lead over Cavalleri when Diaz made a mess of the par-4 ninth hole at Corning Country Club. She left her second shot in the right rough and played her third to the tall grass left of the green. Diaz chipped in to save the par and maintain her advantage over the field.
'It was definitely a highlight,' said Diaz. 'I was frustrated after a bad tee shot and a few more bad shots to get to the green, and fortunately was able to chip a sand-wedge in, and it was great. It's always nice to chip one in. You like them better when they're for birdies, but I think they're a little sweeter when they're a par save.'
Cavalleri fell out of the hunt midway through the back nine but Jones hung around, keeping herself within two of Diaz. At the par-3 15th, Jones ran home a 20-foot birdie putt to reach 12-under and cut the gap to one with three holes to play.
Both Jones and Diaz had sizeable birdie tries at the 16th hole and Diaz nearly extended her lead. Diaz's putt fell one rotation short of dropping into the hole while Jones made a routine two-putt par.
Jones and Diaz parred the 17th hole but Diaz took advantage at the closing hole. She played a beautiful 8-iron approach out of the first cut of rough that landed six feet from the hole.
Jones' approach looked to be on target but she had too much on it and the ball rolled through the green. Her chip for birdie missed right and ran two feet past the cup.
Diaz rolled in the birdie putt for the two-stroke victory and the $150,000 first-place check.
'It feels good,' said Diaz. 'It was an intense day. I didn't hit it as close today as I had the rest of the week, but I'll take a win any time I can get it.'
Jones, a two-time winner of this tournament, quickly erased Diaz's one-shot lead at the start of the round with a birdie at No. 2. The tie atop the leaderboard did not last long as Diaz rebounded with a birdie at the third hole.
Jones never made a run the rest of the way, as the majority of her approaches were too far from the hole.
'I felt kind of flat out there,' said Jones, who shot a 1-under 71 Sunday. 'I really didn't have a lot of any momentum going, and really just tried hard to put some pressure on her. And neither one of us were really playing that great, and hitting it close and having good chances for birdies. I just didn't feel like I was on top of my game today.'
Pamela Kerrigan fired a 5-under 67 and tied for Beth Bauer and Michele Redman. The trio finished at 9-under-par followed by Leslie Spalding, Alison Nicholas and 2001 Corning Classic champion Carin Koch, who posted a final-round 68.
Final results from the LPGA Corning Classic
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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

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“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010. 

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Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

“That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

So was Woods.

DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

“His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

“He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.

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“The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

“Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

“Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.