Pressure Packed Week Begins

By Sports NetworkOctober 28, 2003, 5:00 pm
What's at stake? Only your livelihood and a chance to play with the big boys in 2004. That's what the top-55 players on the Nationwide Tour's money list will be experiencing this week at the Nationwide Tour Championship, as they try to gain entrance to the PGA Tour next season.
 
The rules have changed for 2003, as the top 20 players on the season-ending money list (top 15 in 2002) will graduate to the PGA Tour next year. Only $8,542 separates number 20 from 25th on the money list, as Kyle Thompson holds down the 20th position. Players who finish 21-55 are exempt for the 2004 season on the Nationwide Tour.
 
Last season, weather played a key role in determining the champion, as the event was shortened to 54 holes. When it was all said and done, Patrick Moore came out on top, as he posted a two-shot win over Steven Alker, Mike Heinen and Jeff Klauk.
 
With the victory, he earned the automatic Battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour. Earlier in the season, Moore won the Richmond Open and Lake Erie Charity Classic. He became just the fifth player in history to receive the promotion. For the first time since 1993, a player in the top-15 on the money list entering this event wasn't bumped out.
 
Klauk is once again in need of a top finish, as he ranks 36th on the money list and must win or place second to gain his PGA Tour card for 2004. Among the notable players who won this event are: former British Open champion David Duval, who titled in 1993, Allen Doyle in 1995, who is once again having a sensational year on the Champions Tour and former U.S. Ryder Cup player Stewart Cink, who earned the title in 1996.
 
There has never been a wire-to-wire winner of this event. The first two years, Pumpkin Ridge in Oregon played host to this tournament while the event was held at Settindown Creek in Georgia in 1995-96. The 1997 event was held on the Lake Course at Grand National Golf Club in Opelika, Alabama, while the 1998 tournament was staged at Magnolia Grove outside of Mobile, Alabama. The 1999-2000 events were held at Highland Oaks, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has hosted this event since 1997.
 
This is the third consecutive year in which the Senator Course at Capital Hill is hosting the tournament. The state of Alabama is hosting the tournament for the seventh time in 11 seasons.
 
There have been two playoffs in event history, the last coming in 1999 when Bob Heintz defeated Marco Dawson. The 2001 winning total of 284 was the highest in event history, bettering the mark of 283 set in 1995 by Allen Doyle and John Maginnes, Bob Burns in 1998 and Heintz and Dawson in 1999.
 
The only two players who were outside the top 15 heading into the Tour Championship and jumped in by winning the event were: Bob Heintz and Steve Flesch. Flesch captured the event in 1997 and gained his PGA card after beginning the tournament 24th on the money list.
 
Heintz, who won in 1999, started the event in the 16th spot and shot up to sixth on the money list. The purse was increased by $25,000 from last year. Heintz is the only past champion of this event in the field this week.
 
The hottest player on Tour has to be Jason Dufner, who has surged into the top-20 with three consecutive top-five finishes. Dufner, who ranks 10th on the money list, is the only player in the top 19 without a win.
 
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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.


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    “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.