Hnatiuk on Fire in Memphis

By Sports NetworkJune 29, 2002, 4:00 pm
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Canada's Glen Hnatiuk fired his third consecutive 6-under 65 Saturday to extend his lead to four shots after three rounds of the St. Jude Classic. His three-day total of 18-under-par 195 gives him the lead over Tim Petrovic, Matt Kuchar and Notah Begay III at the TPC at Southwind.
Pat Bates, who played in the final group Saturday with Hnatiuk, is alone in fifth at 13-under-par, followed by Tripp Isenhour (64), Neal Lancaster (64) and reigning PGA Champion David Toms (65). The trio is tied for sixth at minus 12.
Hnatiuk owned a one-shot lead after the second round but extended the lead as he went 2-under through his first six holes. At the par-4 seventh, Hnatiuk chipped in from the side of the green and two holes later he sank a 30-footer to make the turn at 16-under-par.
Hnatiuk missed a four-foot par save on the 10th to cut his lead to one over Bates. But Hnatiuk quickly increased his advantage, knocking an 8-iron to eight feet at 11 to set up birdie. He chipped in for birdie at the next hole after his approach spun off the putting surface.
With a three-shot lead, Hnatiuk parred the next three holes as Begay was charging to the top of the leaderboard. Begay, known for putting left-handed or right-handed depending on the break of the putt, ran home a five-foot birdie at the 16th to reach 15-under-par and cut Hnatiuk's lead to two.
Hnatiuk's second at the par-5 16th ran through the green into a chipping area behind the hole. His third shot landed inches from the hole and he tapped in the birdie to reclaim a three-shot edge.
Begay popped up his drive on 18, barely making it to the fairway. He had 193 yards into the hole and his 4-iron approach missed right of the green and wound up in a bunker. Begay failed to get up and down, bogeying the hole and giving Hnatiuk a four-shot cushion.
Hnatiuk missed a birdie putt on 17 and scrambled to make par at 18 after missing the green. Now the Canadian takes the lead into the final round of a PGA Tour event for the first time in his career.
'Obviously, I'm happy with the position I'm in. I don't know how to react because I've never been in this position with any kind of lead. I'm looking forward to it,' said Hnatiuk.
Begay has four victories on the PGA Tour and in three of those he had to chase down the leader. Begay thinks that Hnatiuk will have to battle his nerves Sunday if the Canadian is to make his first trip to the winner's circle.
'It's just a fact of life,' said Begay, who is returning to form after injuring his back before last season. 'Everybody who's won, who's been there, knows that. Now it just depends on how Glen handles it. He handled it great today. It didn't look like it affected him in the least.'
'Anybody in that pack has a chance to win I suppose. If I let it,' said Hnatiuk. 'I'm not going to do anything stupid, not going to take any crazy chances. But I still have to go on, go forward.'
Begay, the 2000 champion at the TPC at Southwind, shot a third-round 68.
Petrovic had an erratic round Saturday with nine birdies, four bogeys and five pars. He shot a 5-under 66 and will play with Hnatiuk in Sunday's final round.
Kuchar closed his round with four birdies in a row to shoot a 67 and get into the group at 14-under-par 199.
Full-field scores from the FedEx St. Jude Classic
Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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

Getty Images

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.”

Getty Images

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.