Playing Favorites at the Wyndham Championship

By Sports NetworkAugust 14, 2007, 4:00 pm
Wydham ChampionshipGREENSBORO, North Carolina -- This is the last event for players to earn points before the FedExCup playoffs begin next week at The Barclays.
 
It was called the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro last year when Davis Love III shot four rounds in the 60s to beat Jason Bohn by two shots for his 19th PGA TOUR victory and first since 2003.
 
Love will not be back to defend this year, however, as he was forced to withdraw due to kidney stones.
 
Aside from the four major championships, this is the third oldest event on the PGA TOUR schedule. Forest Oaks has hosted this event since 1977. Love and his design team rebuilt all 18 greens and added 184 yards in 2002-03.
 
The tournament will be shown on the GOLF CHANNEL and CBS this week.
 
Next week, the playoffs begin at The Barclays. Only the top 144 players on the FedExCup points list qualify. Vijay Singh won The Barclays last June, his only victory of the 2006 season.
 
Here are our Tour Trade 2 favorites this week, with a look at their past performances in Wyndham Championship. We also offer up a few more guys worth keeping an eye on at Forest Oaks Golf Club.
 
K.J. Choi
Starts: 6
Wins: 1
Top-10s: 4
Best finish: Win (2005)
 
TRADE Talk: Even with a pair of high-profile wins this year at Jacks and Tigers events, Choi is still one of the more overlooked players on a weekly basis. But not this week. Given his record this season ' and at this event ' plus the fact that he is the highest-ranked player in the field, Choi is the man to beat in Greensboro.
 
Lucas Glover
Starts: 3
Wins: 0
Top-10s: 1
Best finish: T6 (2006)
 
TRADE Talk: The former Clemson Tiger has limited experience in this event, but has made the cut all three times he has played it. He is also playing well at the moment. Glover made the cut last week at Southern Hills and had finished 12th or better in four of his previous five starts. He should also be riding high after being named a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup.
 
Shigeki Maruyama
Starts: 6
Wins: 1
Top-10s: 3
Best finish: Win (2003)
 
TRADE Talk: Remember him? Maruyama was supposed to be the next great Asian player, before Choi took that role. Maruyama hasnt won on TOUR since this event in 2003, but an odd stat might be in his favor this week. After winning here in 03, the Smiling Assassin finished runner-up in 2005. He needs another great finish in another odd campaign to move into the top 150 on the money list and into the top 144 on the FedExCup points list.
 
Jonathan Byrd
Starts: 5
Wins: 0
Top-10s: 2
Best finish: T3 (2002)
 
TRADE Talk: Byrd has a good track record of winning tournaments with weaker fields, particularly around this time of year. In 2004, he won the B.C. Open, opposite the Open Championship. This year, he won the John Deere the week prior to the Open.
 
Four more players worth keeping an eye on at Forest Oaks Golf Club
 
Steve Flesch
The left-hander won two weeks ago at the opposite-field Reno-Tahoe Open. Hes never won twice in the same season, but he did tie for third at this event a year ago.
 
Eric Axley
Axley will be defending his title at the Valero Texas Open in October ' assuming hes not worn out by then. Axley has played 28 of the 32 weeks thus far this season, and hasnt finished better than tied for 19th. So why mention him this week? He tied for third at this event a year ago and guys like he are lightning-in-a-bottle kind of players.
 
Chad Campbell
Campbell is another guy who has had a miserable season and is in desperate need to turn it around in a hurry. The three-time TOUR winner hasnt had a top-10 since the Match Play in February. The $475,00 he earned that week comprises about half of his yearly earnings. But like Axley, he has a decent record around this track, having tied for third in 2002.
 
Brad Faxon
The veteran has played this event 18 times dating back to 1984. While hes never won it, he has twice finished runner-up. And as guys like Fred Funk and Jay Haas have recently shown, just because youre in your late 40s and above doesnt mean you cant be competitive.
 
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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. 

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    Woods impresses DeChambeau, Day on Tuesday

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 23, 2018, 11:27 pm

    SAN DIEGO – Bryson DeChambeau played with Tiger Woods for the first time Tuesday morning, and the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t overcome by nerves.

    “That’s what I was concerned about,” DeChambeau said. “Am I just gonna be slapping it around off the tee? But I was able to play pretty well.”

    So was Woods.

    DeChambeau said that Woods looked “fantastic” as he prepares to make his first PGA Tour start in a year.

    “His game looks solid. His body doesn’t hurt. He’s just like, yeah, I’m playing golf again,” DeChambeau said. “And he’s having fun, too, which is a good thing.”

    Woods arrived at Torrey Pines before 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, when the temperature hadn’t yet crept above 50 degrees. He warmed up and played the back nine of Torrey Pines’ South Course with DeChambeau and Jason Day.

    “He looks impressive; it was good to see,” Day told PGATour.com afterward. “You take (Farmers) last year and the Dubai tournament out, and he hasn’t really played in two years. I think the biggest thing is to not get too far ahead, or think he’s going to come back and win straight away.


    Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos


    “The other time he came back, I don’t think he was ready and he probably came back too soon. This time he definitely looks ready. I think his swing is really nice, he’s hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he’s got some speed, which is great.”

    Woods said that his caddie, Joe LaCava, spent four days with him in South Florida last week and that he’s ready to go.

    “Before the Hero I was basically given the OK probably about three or four weeks prior to the tournament, and I thought I did pretty good in that prep time,” Woods told ESPN.com, referring to his tie for ninth in the 18-man event.

    “Now I’ve had a little more time to get ready for this event. I’ve played a lot more golf, and overall I feel like I’ve made some nice changes. I feel good.”

    Woods is first off Torrey Pines’ North Course in Wednesday’s pro-am, scheduled for 6:40 a.m. local time.