Low Scores Reign in Spain

By Sports NetworkApril 25, 2003, 4:00 pm
COSTA ADEJE, Canary Islands -- Paul Casey and Miles Tunnicliff shot matching 65s to share the 36-hole lead of the Canarias Open de Espana. The duo moved to 15-under-par 129 with a two-shot lead over the field.
 
Jose Maria Olazabal, who has never won this event, posted a 67 to finish in a tie for third at 13-under-par 131 along with fellow Spaniard Santiago Luna, Simon Khan of England and Ireland's Peter Lawrie.
 
Casey, who earned his second career victory on the European Tour at the ANZ Championship in February, put together a solid round amid the friendly confines of Golf Costa Adeje.
 
The Englishman played the back side first and picked up four birdies over his first nine holes to make the turn at 12-under. Casey added a birdie at the first and then birdied the sixth to grab a share of the lead at minus-14.
 
The 25-year-old found trouble on the green at the par-3 seventh en route to a bogey but responded well over the closing holes. Casey two-putted for birdie at the par-5 eighth and drained a 15-foot putt at the ninth to enter the clubhouse in the lead.
 
'I've not usually performed well after a break before, but I've been playing a lot at home in Arizona. It's kept me sharp,' said Casey. 'It was almost a relief when last season ended because I was tired, but then I played with Justin Rose in the World Cup and finished third and possibly that was the turning point.'
 
Casey was soon joined by fellow countryman Tunnicliff, who completed a stellar round of his own moments later. Tunnicliff started on the front nine and birdied four of his first six holes until a bogey at the seventh.
 
Tunnicliff countered with back-to-back birdies from the eighth and reached 14- under with a birdie at the 11th. The 34-year-old dropped his second shot of the round with a bogey at the 12th but bounced right back with a birdie at the following hole.
 
He coasted at even par down the stretch until a birdie at the last granted him a share of the halfway lead.
 
'I've never been 15-under par after two rounds before,' said Tunnicliff, who earned his first career victory at last year's Great North Open. 'But I feel comfortable with my game and I'm looking forward to the weekend.'
 
Olazabal started on the back nine with a burst. The two-time Masters champion birdied five in a row from the 11th before a bogey at the 16th. Olazabal picked up two birdies and a bogey the rest of the way to finish two shots back.
 
'The way this course is playing, anyone who plays well from tee to green is going to have chances to make birdie and that is what it will be all about this weekend,' said Olazabal. 'The guy who makes the most putts will win.'
 
Marten Olander, who held a share of the opening-round lead with Charl Schwartzel, carded a 69 to finish three shots off the pace at 12-under-par 132. Olander was joined by Andrew Marshall, Paul McGinley, Julien Clement, Nicolas Vanhootegem, Soren Hansen, Kenneth Ferrie and Mikko Ilonen.
 
Schwartzel was one shot further back in a group at 11-under-par 133.
 
Defending champion Sergio Garcia shot a 5-under 67 to finish in a tie for 45th at 8-under-par 136.
 
A total of 82 players survived the 36-hole cut which fell at 6-under par, a new low on the European Tour.
 
Three-time champion Seve Ballesteros came close to playing the weekend but ultimately fell short with a round of 71. Ballesteros finished one shot off the cut line at 5-under-par 139.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Canarias Open de Espana
  • Full coverage of the Canarias Open de Espana
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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.