Immelman Repeats as Champion

By Sports NetworkJanuary 18, 2004, 5:00 pm
European TourSOMERSET WEST, South Africa -- Trevor Immelman fired a 5-under 67 Sunday to repeat as the winner of the South African Airways Open. He finished the event at 12-under-par 276.
Alastair Forsyth posted a 4-under 68 to move into a share of second place. He was joined at 9-under-par 279 by Steve Webster, who shot a 71. Darren Fichardt finished two strokes behind that duo at 7-under-par 281.
Overnight co-leaders Anders Hansen and Craig Lile fell apart down the stretch. Hansen double-bogeyed the 16th and triple-bogeyed the 17th en route to a 4- over 76. He finished at 5-under-par 283. Lile quadruple-bogeyed the 17th and bogeyed the last to fall to 4-under-par 284 after a final-round 77.
With the win, Immelman becomes the first person since Gary Player to repeat as champion of this event. Player, a 13-time winner here, claimed back-to-back titles here in 1976 and 1977. Ernie Els was the last European Tour player to defend a title when he won the Heineken Classic in 2002 and 2003.
'Those guys are legends in South African sport and it is fantastic for me to have done something each of them has done,' said Immelman.
Immelman began the day two strokes behind the overnight leaders and did not get off to a good start. He stumbled to a bogey at the second at Erinvale Golf & Country Club.
However, he responded with back-to-back birdies from the third to climb to minus-8, three behind Hansen, who playing one group behind Immelman had eagled the par-5 second.
Immelman continued to climb the leaderboard with consecutive birdies from the seventh to get to 10 under. Around the turn, Immelman notched his fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 10th.
The South African then birdied the par-5 13th for the second straight day to get to 12 under and a share of the lead. Moments later, Hansen bogeyed the 12th and the lead was Immelman's.
Immelman extended his cushion with a birdie on No. 16 to climb to 13 under and a four-stroke cushion on the field. He stumbled to a bogey at the last for the third straight round dropping his winning margin to three shots.
'It is wonderful to win,' said the 24-year-old Immelman. 'I definitely feel I am a better player this year than I was last year. I have gotten stronger and have more control over my game and my timing has improved dramatically.'
Forsyth burst out of the gate with birdies on each of his first three holes and came back with birdies on the fifth and seventh to move to 10 under. After nine straight pars, he bogeyed the 17th before a par at the closing hole.
'I have been working on my game over the winter with my coach Ian Rae and I thought I might be a little rusty,' Forsyth said. 'But I was delighted to come out and shoot 4 under on day one and I just took it from there. I'm very happy.'
Webster bogeyed the first, but battled back to birdie the third and fifth. He later dropped a shot on No. 13, then came back to birdie the 15th for a 71.
'I am a little disappointed to have finished second to be honest because I did fancy my chances this week,' said Webster. 'But you have to take your chances when they arrive in this game and I didn't. That's golf.'
Hansen, who held a three-stroke lead after his birdie on the 10th, collapsed down the stretch. He bogeyed the 12th and 14th to fall to minus 10. Things took a turn for the worse as he double-bogeyed the 16th and triple-bogeyed the 17th to tumble to minus 5.
Lile, who was searching for his maiden European Tour victory, never got on track. He bogeyed the first, but settled down with 11th consecutive pars. He moved back to minus 9 with a birdie on the 13th.
Down the stretch, he stumbled too. He quadruple-bogeyed the par-4 17th and bogeyed the par-4 closing hole to fall into a share of 16th place.
David Carter posted a 4-under 68 to finish the event at 6-under-par 282. He shared fifth place with Marcus Fraser (70), Raphael Jacquelin (73) and Miles Tunnicliff (69).
Hansen was joined in ninth place at 5-under-par 283 by Titch Moore, Stephen Dodd, Brett Rumford, Stephen Scahill, Sven Struver and Nico Van Rensburg.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - South African Airways Open
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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.