PGA TOUR Ready to Drive into New Season

By Sports NetworkDecember 31, 2007, 5:00 pm
2007 Mercedes Benz ChampionshipKAPALUA, Hawaii -- Welcome back for the 2008 PGA TOUR season.
 
The Mercedes is the kick start of every year on tour with last year's PGA TOUR winners meeting in the 50th state. Well...almost all of the 2007 champions.
 
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the two biggest stars in the sport, are making it an annual tradition to skip the event at Kapalua Resort. Woods, a playoff winner in both 1997 and 2000, likes to skip the early part of the season, while Mickelson, who titled here in 1994 and 1998, apparently does not love the course.
 
No matter the excuse, the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world are on extended vacation. They aren't the only ones. Adam Scott and British Open champion Padraig Harrington, Nos. 7 and 8 in the rankings, also passed on the season- opener.
 
Despite the losses, you can't say this field doesn't boost winners.
 
Reigning champion Vijay Singh, Masters winner Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi and Steve Flesch all won multiple times in 2007.
 
Last year, Singh ended the three-year reign of Stuart Appleby with a two-shot victory over Scott. Singh shot a three-under 70 on Sunday to finish the event at minus-14.
 
The win in 2007 was significant for Singh since it was his 30th on the PGA TOUR. He became the 17th player in TOUR history to break that barrier. Singh also collected his 18th since turning 40, which established a new record for TOUR victories over 40.
 
Singh's $1.1 million first-place check sent him over the $50 million plateau in career earnings. He became the second to turn that feat and if you don't know who the first is, then stop reading.
 
This is the 10th consecutive year in which this event is being held at this site. Prior to Kapalua, the event was held at La Costa Resort and Spa in California the previous 30 years. The first 16 were played in Las Vegas; 14 at Desert Inn Country Club and two at Stardust Country Club. This is the only course on the PGA TOUR which uses a par 73. The Kapalua Resort was previously the site of the Lincoln-Mercury Kapalua International from 1982-97.
 
Jim Furyk, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3, was the last American to win this tournament when he titled in 2001. Singh, Appleby, Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia all hoisted the trophy since Furyk's victory almost seven years ago.
 
This tournament not only serves as the start of the season, but the start of the FedExCup v. 2, the 2008 edition. Singh's win here last year propelled him to second on the final FedExCup points list, but after the Playoffs, he finished 10th.
 
GOLF CHANNEL will carry the live action of all four rounds, starting at 6:00 p.m. ET. Next week is the first full-field event of the year at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Paul Goydos returned to the winner's circle last year 11 years since his first win at the 1996 event at Bay Hill.
 
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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.