Just What Wie Wanted to Happen

By Sports NetworkOctober 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 Samsung World ChampionshipPALM DESERT, Calif. -- Michelle Wie's second round as a professional was much better than her first.
 
After starting her pro career with a serviceable, 2-under 70 on Thursday, Wie fired a 7-under 65 on Friday and is tied for second place behind Grace Park after the second round of the Samsung World Championship. Wie is at 9-under-par 135, two off the lead at Bighorn Golf Club.
 
Park, who led after the first three rounds in 2004, posted a 6-under 66 and has the lead at 11-under-par 133.
 
Wie has serious company in second place. Annika Sorenstam, the first-round leader, bogeyed her final hole after a spirited conversation with a rules official en route to a 1-under 71. Sorenstam and Rookie of the Year and two-time winner this season Paula Creamer, who shot a 3-under 69, matched Wie at minus-9.
 
Wie wasted little time in breaking into red figures on Friday. She rolled in a 5-footer for birdie at the first, then pitched her third to 2 feet to set up birdie at the par-5 third. Wie moved to 3 under for her round when she converted a 4-footer for birdie at five.
 
The 16-year-old found trouble at seven when she had to take a penalty for an unplayable lie. But Wie pitched in her fourth from short of the green to keep her bogey-free round intact.
 
Wie hit her tee ball to a foot to set up a tap-in birdie at the eighth. She missed a 3-foot birdie chance at nine, but still made the turn at 5-under 31.
 
On the back nine, Wie collected her first birdie at the 11th from 3 feet out. She made it back-to-back birdies as she two-putted the par-5 12th green.
 
Wie made a nice par save at the 13th, but did not give herself many looks at birdie the rest of the way. Her best chance came at the last hole as her approach stopped 12 feet from the stick. Wie's birdie putt lipped out, but the teenager felt more relaxed in only her second round as a professional.
 
'I was at ease today,' said Wie, who began her professional career with a 2-under 70 on Thursday. 'I was trying to make birdie and get back in there. I'm real glad I'm somewhere at the top.'
 
If Wie is to remarkably win in her first event as a pro, she'll have to get by Park.
 
Park four-putted the fourth green from 20 feet for a double bogey, but wasted little time in getting back into the tournament. She ran home an 8-footer for birdie at the fifth, then sank a 15-footer for birdie at seven to make the turn at even-par 36.
 
She began her ascent up the leaderboard with a 3-foot birdie putt at 10. Park made another birdie from 15 feet at the 11th, then made it three in a row with a chip-in birdie at No. 12.
 
Park was within striking distance after the three birdies early on her back nine, but it was her play late on the back nine that perched her atop the leaderboard.
 
At the 15th, Park hit a wedge to 10 feet and drained the birdie putt. She hit an 8-iron to 2 feet to set up birdie at 16, then played a 9-iron to 2 feet to complete another three birdies in a row.
 
Park had a decent look at birdie on the closing hole, but missed her 10-footer.
 
'I'm very excited to be in the position that I'm in,' admitted Park, who was overtaken by Sorenstam in last year's final round. 'Obviously, I had a sour finish last year, but I'm leading again and I hope to have a different story at the end of the tournament.'
 
Park has struggled since her final-round collapse last year. She has battled a disc problem in her back and even this week has found some health problems. Her overzealous pro-am partner got a little aggressive with a high-5 and strained Park's shoulder.
 
'One of those years,' said Park. 'I started out with injuries which kept me out for a month, then I just struggled a little bit and got injured twice more after that. I'm okay now.'
 
Sorenstam broke clear of the field with a short eagle putt at the 12th, but lost a stroke with a three-putt bogey at No. 16. Things got worse at the closing hole.
 
Sorenstam hit an errant drive right into a sand area. She wanted relief from the scoreboard, but the drop spot would not allow her to go after the pin. The rules official explained the ruling several times, yet Sorenstam still wanted a better place to drop. The rule only had to provide her a clear shot, which it did, albeit to the extreme left of the green.
 
The Swede finally dropped and nearly hit the scoreboard, but ultimately came to rest right of the green. She chipped 10 feet past the hole and missed the par save.
 
'I did not get the relief I wanted,' said Sorenstam. 'The scoreboard was in my way. I thought I could get complete relief. I thought that was the rule. They said, 'no, it's a straight shot.' We disagreed.'
 
Catriona Matthew made a big move on Friday. She posted a 6-under 66 and is tied for fifth place with Cristie Kerr, who shot a 1-under 71 in the second round. The pair is knotted at 8-under-par 136.
 
Reigning Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang (68), Rosie Jones (67) and Gloria Park (72) are tied in seventh place at 7-under-par 137.
 
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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.