Klein To The Top
The 27-year-old Klein posted a total of 11-under-par 205 to finish five shots ahead of Jill McGill and Annika Sorenstam. She collected $120,000 for the win and ended a nearly five-year victory drought.
'I've won so many times, I've never been scared to win,' said Klein, a two- time All-American at Arizona State who won the 1994 NCAA Individual Championship title. 'I've won so many times, I know how to do it.'
Klein, whose successful amateur career also included a win in the 1991 U.S. Junior Girls Championship and an appearance on the 1994 U.S. Curtis Cup squad, captured back-to-back LPGA titles in 1996, her second year on tour.
She fired a final-round 65 to win by two shots over Karrie Webb at the PING Welch's Championship in August that year. The following week she cruised to a seven-shot triumph at the Women's British Open at Woburn Golf Club in England.
But while Klein had three runner-up showings over the next two years, her highest finish in 1999 was third. She notched just two top-10s last year, with her best a tie for seventh at the Corning Classic.
'It's been very frustrating the last couple of years, especially when I'm finishing 22nd or 24th on the money list,' Klein said. 'The money doesn't mean anything to me. Winning means everything. I'm not out here just to play in golf tournaments, I'm just here to win golf tournaments.'
After opening Friday with what was then a course-record 64 at Fox Run Golf Club, Klein carded an even-par 72 Saturday that left her two shots ahead of Sherri Turner, who was seeking her first LPGA victory in 12 years.
But Turner struggled to a 75 Sunday and tied for 13th, eight shots back.
McGill collected nine birdies en route to setting a new course record with a bogey-free 63. Her 9-under-par score also tied the tournament record for 18 holes, a mark established in 1996 by Vicki Fergon at Forest Hills Country Club.
The 63 also eclipsed McGill's previous career-low round by two shots.
'I was never really in trouble out there today,' said McGill, who vaulted from 48th place after two rounds into a tie for second with Sorenstam. 'I had a lot of opportunities and made almost all of them that I had, which hasn't happened in a long time.'
Sorenstam, who leads the LPGA Tour with five victories this season but hasn't won since early May, closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 6-under 210.
'I'll take it,' said Sorenstam, who finished second for the third time this year. 'Golf-wise I have some things to work on. I hit some brilliant shots and some scary ones too, so it was definitely a roller-coaster for me out there today. I putted really well and my short game was great all week.'
The Swedish star, a four-time champion of the Michelob Light Classic, will get a chance to return to the winner's circle when she defends her title next week at the Big Apple Classic in New York.
Shani Waugh, Mitzi Edge and Denise Killeen shared fourth place at 5-under.
Webb, the winner of the last two majors on the LPGA Tour, tied for seventh with Jeong Jang, Leta Lindley, Amy Fruhwirth, Diana D'Alessio and Kris Tschetter.
The Women's British Open, the fourth and final major of the 2001 LPGA season, will be held August 2-5 at Sunningdale Golf Club in England.
Full-field scores from the Michelob Light Classic
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.