PGA TOUR Regroups in Connecticut

By Sports NetworkJune 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
Travelers ChampionshipCROMWELL, Conn. -- J.J. Henry made this tournament his first win last year when it was called the Buick Championship, shooting a final-round 67 to hold off Hunter Mahan and Ryan Moore by three shots at 14-under 266.
 
Henry's weekend included a 63 on Saturday. After brutal Oakmont chewed up golf's best players at the U.S. Open last week, that score must look like candy to the players entered in this week's field.
 
Phil Mickelson is no longer among them, his nagging wrist injury forcing him to withdraw. He played Oakmont wearing a brace and missed the cut by a shot.
 
Mickelson had won this event twice when it was still known as the Greater Hartford Open.
 
Vijay Singh, David Toms, Chris DiMarco and Masters champion Zach Johnson are among the players who will be competing this week after also appearing in the U.S. Open. They will be getting a break: TPC River Highlands is 6,820 yards, more than 400 yards shorter than Oakmont.
 
The rough is sure to be less penal, too.
 
GOLF CHANNEL will have three hours of coverage on the first two days beginning at 3 p.m. (ET), and CBS is back this week with the same amount of coverage on the weekend.
 
Next week's event is the Buick Open, where Tiger Woods won his 50th PGA Tour title last year.
 
With GOLFCHANNEL.coms Tour Trade 2 fantasy game underway, here are some of the players who have fared the best in recent years at the Travelers Championship.
 

Kenny Perry
Starts: 18
Wins: 0
Top-10s: 6
Best finish: T4 (2003)
 
TRADE Talk: Perry, who underwent knee surgery in early 2006, went 38 consecutive events without a top-10 finish. That changed in his most recent start, at the Memorial, where he tied for third. Perry has three top-10s in his last five appearances at River Highlands. He also has had two weeks off and didnt wear himself out at Oakmont.
 
Stewart Cink
Starts: 9
Wins: 1
Top-10s: 4
Best finish: Win (1997)
 
TRADE Talk: After a two-year hiatus, Cink returned to Connecticut last year and promptly tied for fifth. This is the site of his first career TOUR title, earned a decade ago. Cink missed the cut last week at the U.S. Open, but has three top-5s over the last month-and-a-half.
 
Woody Austin
Starts: 9
Wins: 1
Top-10s: 3
Best finish: Win (2004)
 
TRADE Talk: Austin didnt have much success the first six times his played this event, missing three cuts and never finishing better than T41. That all changed when he won in 04. He followed that up with a tie for ninth in 05 and a tie for fifth last year. Austin captured the Stanford St. Jude Championship two weeks ago.
 
J.J. Henry
Starts: 8
Wins: 1
Top-10s: 1
Best finish: Win (2006)
 
TRADE Talk: Henry is looking to become just the second man (Phil Mickelson, 2001-02) to successfully defend his title. He won last years edition thanks in large part to a third-round 63. Henry was born in Fairfield, Conn., and made his first TOUR start at TPC at River Highlands as an amateur in 1998. He played admirably well at Oakmont, tying for 26th.
 
Corey Pavin
Starts: 14
Wins: 0
Top-10s: 5
Best finish: T2 (1991)
 
TRADE Talk: Pavin first played this tournament in 1984, when it was hosted by the late Sammy Davis, Jr. From 1991-93, he finished no worse than T4. More recently, though, he tied for sixth in 04 and was solo eighth in 05. Age is actually on Pavins side, too, as three of the last four winners of this event have been at least 40 years old.
 
Four more to keep an eye on this week at TPC at River Highlands:
 
Justin Rose
Rose has only played this tournament three times prior, and is sticking around this week after competing in the U.S. Open. He was in good position to end the European major drought at Oakmont, until a Sunday 76 relegated him to a tie for 10th. Though he missed the cut last year, Rose finished third at the Travelers Championship in 05.
 
Ryan Moore
A year ago, Henry earned his first TOUR win at this event. This year, Moore would like to follow in his footsteps. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but was runner-up in his previous start at the Memorial. He was also a co-runner-up here in 06.
 
Hunter Mahan
Just like Henry, Mahan made his first-ever TOUR start at this event, doing so as an amateur in 2000. He would certainly like to do what Henry did last year and make this his first TOUR win as well. Mahan shot 63-67 over the weekend in 06 to tie Moore for silver medal honors.
 
Notah Begay III
This will be Begays first start on the PGA TOUR this season. Begay, who is now spending the majority of his time playing on the European Tour, won this event in 2000. He was granted a sponsors exemption to compete last year and tied for ninth. Hes back in on a sponsors exemption this year.
 

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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.