Howell Perry Share Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 6, 2003, 5:00 pm
HOUSTON -- Charles Howell III and Kenny Perry posted matching rounds of 4-under-par 67 Thursday to take the first-round lead of the season-ending Tour Championship at Champions Golf Club.
 
The Tour Championship appeared to be a showdown between defending champion Vijay Singh and No. 1 player in the world Tiger Woods. They rank 1-2 on the PGA Tour money list, are the front-runners for Player of the Year honors and played together in Thursday's opening round.
 
On Thursday, neither really lived up to the match-up. Woods carded a 1-under 70 while Singh, currently tops in the money race, struggled to a 2-over 73.
 
Woods collected his first birdie of the round at the fourth when he knocked a 4-iron to six feet. He hit an even better 4-iron at the par-5 fifth as his ball stopped three feet from the stick to set up eagle and get Woods into a share of the lead at 3 under par.
 
Woods, the 1999 Tour Championship winner, parred five holes around the turn but fell apart, starting at No. 11. He missed a 20-footer to save par at the hole and made it back-to-back bogeys at the 12th when he hit a horrible shot out of a greenside bunker.
 
The five-time winner on tour this season drove through the dog leg at the par-5 13th but hit a nice shot to find a greenside bunker. His blast from the sand came up 35 feet short and his birdie try missed the hole. Woods left himself with four feet for par but that putt drifted left and it was Woods' third consecutive bogey.
 
Woods rallied with a birdie at the 14th and added a 25-foot birdie putt at the 16th to reach minus-2. Unfortunately, Woods three-putted from 20 feet for bogey at the last to fall into a share of 13th.
 
Singh never got on track Thursday with three bogeys and a birdie in his first 12 holes. He failed to give himself good looks on the back nine and is tied for 23rd place in the elite 31-man field, reserved for the top players on the money list.
 
Spoiling the much-anticipated showdown in round one were Howell and Perry. Howell, winless this season but 27th on the money list, mixed a birdie and bogey over his first five holes.
 
On the back nine, Howell hit a 3-iron to a foot at the 230-yard 13th to go 1 under for the tournament. He reached the green in two at the par-5 13th and two-putted for birdie, then sank a 10-footer to make it three birdies in a row.
 
Howell, who finished second to Singh last year, took the clubhouse lead at the 18th when he knocked a 9-iron to 39 feet. He canned the birdie putt to take a piece of the first-round lead for the second consecutive week.
 
'I guess I like Thursdays, I don't know,' said Howell, who tied for 24th last week in Tampa. 'It was a new wind blowing. We played two practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday with literally absolutely no wind at all. Today there was a bit of wind blowing and from a different direction. You have to kind of expect that, I think, in the Midwest.'
 
Perry had by far the steadiest round of the day Thursday. He was the only player in the field to go bogeyless and he tallied his first birdie at the par-5 ninth.
 
Perry recorded back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 to go 3 under and had some opportunities to go lower. He missed a four-foot birdie chance at the 15th then failed to convert a 12-footer at No. 17.
 
On the closing hole, Perry hit his approach to three feet and would not be denied this birdie. He rolled in the putt to match Howell in first place.
 
Perry was the hottest golfer in the world over the summer with three victories and impressive performances in both the U.S. Open and British Open. He has since fallen down the charts in the race for Player of the Year despite a possible fourth victory on Sunday.
 
'I'm probably the more feel good story of the year for the over-40 clan and playing so well,' admitted Perry. 'I've done so much more than I ever dreamed I would ever do in one year. It's voted on by the players. It's up to them to vote but it's just a phenomenal year for Kenny Perry.'
 
Chris DiMarco, Jerry Kelly and Fred Funk are tied for third place at 3-under-par 68. Chris Riley, Robert Allenby, Briny Baird, Justin Leonard, Jonathan Kaye, 2001 U.S. Open winner Retief Goosen and 2001 PGA Champion David Toms share sixth at minus-2.
 
Ernie Els joined Woods at 1 under par, U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk carded an even-par 71, Master champion Mike Weir shot a 1-over 72 and Davis Love III played poorly on the way to the clubhouse and finished with a 2-over-par 73.
 
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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.