Morgan Vaults to the Top

By Sports NetworkMay 21, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Sybase ClassicNEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Becky Morgan fired a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a commanding lead at the halfway point of the Sybase Classic. Morgan finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 131 for a four-shot edge over her closest challengers.
 
'I played really well today. I hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways and putted really well,' said Morgan. 'I'm happy.'
 
Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Grace Park posted a 5-under 66 to share second place with Amy Hung and Young-A Yang at 7-under-par 135. Sherri Steinhauer was two shots further back at 5-under-par 137.
 
Morgan, who shared second at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship earlier this season, started on the 10th tee and picked up her first birdie of the day at the par-4 12th at Wykagyl Country Club.
 
She began her surge up the leaderboard with the first of three consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 15th. Morgan moved to 8 under around the turn to pass Park, who was already in the clubhouse at minus-7.
 
Morgan started to distance herself from the competition with a birdie at the par-5 first after her third shot landed within 8-feet of the hole.
 
The 29-year-old knocked her tee shot to 15 feet for a birdie at the par-3 seventh and followed that up with a birdie at the eighth to hold the 36-hole lead on the LPGA Tour for the first time in her career.
 
'Well, it doesn't happen very often but I'm getting more used to being on top of the leaderboard,' said Morgan, a native of Wales. 'Probably a good start for this weekend.'
 
Park had an early start on the back side to take the clubhouse lead before Morgan's afternoon run.
 
The Korean collected four birdies and two bogeys over her first nine holes and made a rally on the front nine, starting with a birdie at the second.
 
Park drained a 20-footer for a birdie at the seventh and dropped a sand-wedge within a foot of the hole at the eighth. Park tapped in for birdie for her share of second.
 
'The past two days my game has been very similar, just hitting really good tee shots,' said Park. 'The greens were a lot smoother and faster. So, I was able to have a little more confidence knowing that it's going to roll to where I intend it to.'
 
Yang, who was one of three co-leaders after the opening round, was cruising at 10 under with a chance to join Morgan in the lead before stepping onto the ninth, her last.
 
The 25-year-old sent her tee shot into the water and walked away with a triple-bogey to fall back into a tie for second after a round of 69.
 
'It's always bad to finish bad,' said Yang. 'It leaves a bad taste, but I still have something to work for tomorrow and Sunday.'
 
Silvia Cavalleri, who held a share of the lead after round one, managed a 1-over 72 to join Jeong Jang and Michele Redman in a tie for sixth at 4-under-par 138.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 5-over-par 147 with 79 players qualifying for the weekend. Defending champion Hee-Won Han survived at 4-over-par 146.
 
Se Ri Pak missed the cut badly at 9-over-par 151 after a round of 78.
 
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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.