McLardy Fires Course Record for Early Lead

By Sports NetworkJanuary 11, 2007, 5:00 pm
European TourJOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Andrew McLardy fired a course-record, 9-under-par 63 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Joburg Open.
The event is being played on two courses - the East and West Courses of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. The East course is playing to par 71, while the West is a par 72. The field of over 200 golfers will rotate courses on Friday before the low 70 and ties play the East course the final two rounds.
McLardy is trailed closely by fellow South Africans Warren Abery and Mark Murless, who each posted rounds of 8-under-par 64.
Marc Cayeux, Chris Gane, Vaughn Groenewald, Louis Oosthuizen, David Park and Brandon Pieters all shot seven-under-par 65 on the West Course. They were joined in a share of fourth place by Edoardo Molinari, who carded seven-under on the East course.
McLardy got off to a flying start and also closed with a bang. He dropped in back-to-back birdies from the first. McLardy quickly got to minus-three as he also birdied the fourth.
The South African gave that stroke back with a bogey at the fifth. He parred the next four, before flying up the leaderboard around the turn.
McLardy birdied No. 10 to move back to minus-three. He collected birdies at the 12th and 13th.
The 32-year-old eagled the par-five 15th to jump to minus-seven. McLardy's tee shot on the 15th came to rest behind a tree, but he hit a remarkable recovery shot to within three feet and drained the short putt for eagle.
McLardy also collected an eagle on the par-five 18th to end one clear of the field.
'I scrambled well on the front nine and was lucky to get away with everything that I attempted,' admitted McLardy. 'But I changed my rhythm on the back nine and things went a lot better. I was delighted with the two eagles to finish and with my back nine as a whole.'
Abery, like McLardy, played the West course in Thursday's opening round. Abery got going with birdies at the second and fourth. He made the turn in minus- three after a birdie at the ninth.
The 33-year-old came right back with a birdie on 10 then made five consecutive pars. Abery birdied the 16th and 17th before closing out his round in style with an eagle on the par-five closing hole.
Murless carded three birdies over the first six holes on the West course. After tripping to a bogey on seven, he turned in minus-four thanks to an eagle on the par-five ninth.
The 30-year-old posted a birdie on the 10th. Murless also closed with a solid string of golf. After a birdie on 15, Murless posted back-to-back birdies from 17 to end one behind McLardy.
Among those tied for 11th place are - David Dixon, Thomas Aiken, Ariel Canete, Gareth Davies, Jamie Little, Henrik Nystrom and Patrik Sjoland. They each shot six-under-par 66 on the West course, while Sven Struver and Hennie Otto carded six-under 65s on the East course.

Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Joburg Open
  • Leaderboard
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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

    Getty Images

    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.”

    Getty Images

    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.