Garcia Wins in Switzerland

By Sports NetworkSeptember 4, 2005, 4:00 pm
CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland -- One day after holing out from the fairway for eagle, Sergio Garcia chipped in for birdie on the 16th hole Sunday. That birdie propelled him to a one-stroke win at the European Masters.
Garcia, who holed out for eagle on the 18th Saturday, closed with a 3-under 68 to end the tournament at 14-under-par 270 at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia celebrates after winning his first European Tour title of the 2005 season.
The Spaniard held off a hard-charging Peter Gustafsson. The Swede closed with a 7-under 64 to end one stroke back at 13-under-par 271.
Englishman Paul Casey posted a final-round 66 to take third place at minus-12. Luke Donald, the 2004 champion, carded a 2-under 69 Sunday to share fourth place at 11-under-par 273. He was joined there by Welshman Garry Houston.
Garcia led by one entering the round, but that small cushion was erased as Houston birdied the first to join Garcia at minus-11. However, Houston dropped a shot at the next and trailed the rest of the way.
The Spaniard birdied the fourth to move to 12 under, two clear of four players -- Houston, Gustafsson, Casey and Donald. Garcia got up and down for birdie on five to move three strokes ahead.
Garcia rolled home a birdie try on six to stay three ahead of Donald and Houston. He ran home a 35-foot birdie attempt at the next to go four up on those two.
The 25-year-old began to scramble from there. Garcia missed the fairway on nine and saved par. He missed the short grass again at 10, then left his second shot short in a bunker.
Garcia left 10 with a bogey that dropped him to 14 under. He missed the green at the par-3 11th, the fairway at 12 and the green on the par-3 13th. Garcia did save par on all three, but his lead was nearly gone.
Gustafsson played the front nine in 5 under. He dropped a shot at the 10th, but got that stroke back with a birdie on 12. The Swede rolled in back-to-back birdie tries from the 16th to get to 13 under.
Garcia three-putted for bogey on the par-5 14th and that dropped him to 13 under and into a share of the lead. As Gustafsson parred the last to get into the clubhouse at 13 under, he and Garcia were joined in the lead by Casey.
Casey bogeyed the 13th, but came right back to birdie 14 and 15 to move to 13 under. Garcia, playing right behind Casey, was all over the 15th. His drive landed in the rough, then he knocked his second into a greenside bunker. He pitched his third across the green into the rough before chipping to a foot to save par.
Gustafsson was sitting in the clubhouse watching as Casey fell back to 12 under with a bogey on 16. Casey still could have forced a playoff, but he could only par the last two holes to end two strokes back.
Garcia kept scrambling, but this time his wedge game saved him again. After missing the green long left at the par-3 16th, Garcia chipped in for birdie and a one-shot lead.
He missed the fairway again at 17, but saved his par. Garcia had a good look at birdie at the last, but left that putt just short and tapped in for par and his sixth European Tour crown.
'I started really well. I played a very good front nine' Garcia said. 'I got a bit unlucky with a bounce on that chip on nine, and I didn't birdie that hole. Then I went through a stretch where nothing good was happening to me and I was managing to make some good saves.'
Garcia dedicated this win to his agent, who passed away Friday evening.
'It was a hard day. It's been a tough week with the passing of a very good friend of mine,' said an emotional Garcia. 'My agent passed away Friday night and it has been difficult. I wanted to win for her so badly. I almost tried too hard. It was nice to give her that win.'
Pierre Fulke shot 3-under 68 Sunday to end alone in sixth place at 10-under-par 274. Philip Golding and Stuart Little were one stroke further back at minus-9. Jamie Spence, Paul Broadhurst, Emanuele Canonica and Steven O'Hara shared ninth place at 8-under-par 276.
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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.