Funk Leads Skins Game After Day 1

By Sports NetworkNovember 26, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Merrill Lynch Skins GameLA QUINTA, Calif. -- Fred Funk, who played one hole in a skirt due to his lack of length off the tee, rolled in a 20-foot eagle putt on the ninth hole Saturday to take the lead after the first nine holes of the Skins Game.
Funk captured six skins with the eagle and $225,000, the most ever on a Saturday at the Skins Game.
Fred Funk and Tiger Woods
Fred Funk and Tiger Woods walk down the fairway during the Skins Game in La Quinta. Calif. Funk is the one wearing the skirt.
Tiger Woods birdied the third hole to win three skins and $75,000.
Defending champion and Skins Game all-time money leader Fred Couples was shut out on Saturday. Annika Sorenstam, who held the old record of most money won on Saturday with $175,000 in 2003, also failed to win a skin.
Funk made a par at the third hole in a pink, flowered skirt after he failed to outdrive Sorenstam. There would be no skirt-wearing on the par-five ninth, though, as Funk reached the fringe with his second shot. He sank his 20-foot eagle try, but had to wait for one more player.
Couples hit the best shot of the quartet at the ninth. His second stopped 15 feet right of the hole, but his eagle putt moved right at the last second, making Funk the big winner of Saturday.
'That's a big comeback, coming back from a skirt,' joked Funk, who is making his debut in this event.
Funk, who is consistently atop the standings in fairway accuracy, but not long off the tee, outdrove Sorenstam by a few feet at the first hole. Sorenstam knocked her approach to six feet, while Funk was 15 feet left of the hole. Couples hit a terrible drive into the left rough and reached the green in three. Woods, who outdrove everyone by miles, hit his second to four feet.
The putters were not working for either of the three putting for birdie, so the skin and $25,000 carried over to No. 2.
The two most dominant players in the sport squared off on the par-four second. With Funk and Couples right of the hole, Sorenstam hit her approach inside two feet. Woods responded with a wedge to five feet and both Woods and Sorenstam converted their birdie putts.
Sorenstam finally outdrove Funk at the par-five third and the Swede had a gift for the winner of this year's Players Championship. She presented Funk with a skirt that the 49-year-old donned for the remainder of the hole.
The garment change did nothing for Funk's game as he and Sorenstam faced 20- foot birdie putts that neither made. Woods reached the green in two and Couples was right of the green. Couples pitched seven feet past the cup and Woods lagged his 60-footer to three feet. Couples' putt hit the left edge, but stayed above ground. Woods kicked his in the hole to win three skins and $75,000.
'No one will ever remember I made a skin here,' joked Woods, referring to Funk's new attire.
Woods and Couples both had the best chances for wins at four and five, but neither converted their birdie tries.
The par-three sixth was worth three skins and $75,000 and with the men all hitting relatively poor tee shots, Sorenstam hit a five-iron that rolled right past the hole.
Unfortunately for the Swede, Funk exacted some revenge from the skirt incident. Funk drained a 45-footer from across the green to halve the hole with Sorenstam and make seven worth four skins.
No one had a good birdie look at seven, and Couples badly missed a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe at the long, par-three eighth.
On Sunday, the final nine holes will be played with $700,000 on the line.
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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.