Nationwide Tour Year in Review

By Sports NetworkDecember 13, 2006, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourPHILADELPHIA -- Last year the Nationwide Tour made sporadic national headlines following Jason Gore's run at the U.S. Open, his 59 in the Cox Classic and his battlefield promotion to the PGA TOUR. This year might be remembered for its parity, with no player having more than two wins and with only $60,000 separating the No. 1 and No. 5 player on the money list.
 
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ken Duke gets the nod, but not just for winning the money title. He gets the nod because of the way he won the money title.
 
Duke claimed his only victory of the season at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in April, then posted just one more top-5 finish over the next three months.
 
But he chased down Johnson Wagner and eventually surpassed him for the money lead with a string of four top-5s in 50 days. The last was a runner-up finish at the PalmettoPride Classic, where he lost a Monday playoff to Michael Sim.
 
In the end, Duke also looked good as a top-10 player in nine Nationwide Tour statistical categories. He tied for the lead in top-10 finishes (9) and ranked third in scoring average.
 
Parity paints a muddled picture, and Duke just barely stood out.
 
TOURNAMENT OF THE YEAR
The Nationwide Tour Championship had all the necessary ingredients for a great tournament, including relevance, a good field and a dramatic finish. The season's swan song did not disappoint.
 
Craig Kanada began the final round six shots off the lead, and stepping onto the 17th tee he still trailed by two. Moments later, it looked even more desperate after Kanada knocked his approach into a bunker and then blasted his third into the rough.
 
But his next swing would set in motion an almost unbelievable chain of events.
 
Kanada holed a delicate chip to save par. Then, at the 18th, his approach landed short of the green, but it didn't matter -- Kanada pitched in for a birdie to finish off a round of 6-under 66.
 
Playing two groups behind, Matt Kuchar bogeyed the 17th and parred the 18th to hand Kanada his second title of the season.
 
SHOT OF THE YEAR
Kanada claimed his second win in 2006 without removing his putter on the 71st and 72nd hole at the Tour Championship. The victory moved Kanada from 32nd to 11th on the money list and secured him a spot on the PGA TOUR next season.
 
'[After 16] I decided not to use the putter anymore,' Kanada joked after the tournament. 'Those were two phenomenal chips and they gave me a memory that will last a lifetime.'
 
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
A 2005 graduate of Pepperdine University, Michael Putnam didn't wait long to make his presence known as a top rookie. At the Rheem Classic in May, a month before his 23rd birthday, Putnam fired a final-round 67 to force a playoff with Darron Stiles.
 
Putnam didn't win the tournament -- Stiles parred the first extra hole to take it -- but his 67 was the third-best score on Sunday and it signaled the arrival of a serious challenger.
 
It was also the first of five top-10 finishes for the youngster, who ended 17th on the money list to punch his ticket to the PGA TOUR -- where he placed fourth at last year's Buick Championship.
 
GOOD YEAR
Johnson Wagner - He didn't win the money title this season, he didn't collect the most top-5s or top-10s, and you probably don't know his name. But Wagner did finish second on the money list behind Duke and was one of five players who collected two wins. He was consistently good from start to finish.
 
Kevin Stadler - A golfing nomad this year, Stadler played events on the Nationwide Tour, the PGA TOUR and the European Tour. The son of a better-known father, Stadler held his own with two wins and three top-5 finishes while making the cut in 10 of his 15 Nationwide Tour starts.
 
Tripp Isenhour, Brandt Snedeker - Like Wagner, Kanada and Stadler, these guys both collected two wins this season. Isenhour was fifth on the money list, Snedeker was ninth, and they combined for eight top 10s.
 
BAD YEAR
Ben Bates - A two-time Nationwide Tour winner, Bates had the worst year among full-time players. He made only five cuts in 23 starts -- missing 12 of the last 13 -- and didn't finish higher than 30th in any event. He ended 183rd on the money list with just $10,335 in earnings.
 
  • 2006 Nationwide Tour Money List
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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.

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    Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

    “Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    “We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

    In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.