Purtzer Eagles 18 for Victory

By Sports NetworkMarch 16, 2003, 5:00 pm
VALENCIA, Calif. -- Tom Purtzer sank a 58-foot eagle putt at the last hole Sunday to come from behind and defeat Gil Morgan at the SBC Classic. Purtzer shot a final-round, 4-under 68 to earn a one-shot victory at 9-under-par 135.
 
The win was Purtzer's first on the Champions Tour after joining the circuit in 2001. He won five times on the PGA Tour, including the NEC World Series of Golf in 1991.
 
'It's so strange how things turn around,' said Purtzer, who earned $225,000 for the victory. 'It was kind of slipping away on the back side. This game is so strange.'
 
Morgan held a two-shot lead after Purtzer landed in a greenside bunker at the 17th and failed to get up and down for par. The two headed for the 546-yard 18th at Valencia Country Club, a familiar spot for both as the pair tied for third last season, narrowly missing out on the playoff between Tom Kite and Tom Watson.
 
On Sunday, Morgan hit a 3-wood off the tee, then badly pulled his second shot with a 3-wood, landing it several yards left of the green. Purtzer smoked his drive down the fairway and from 255 yards out, landed a fairway metal close to 60 feet short of the pin.
 
Morgan hit his third from the heavy rough 30 feet over the hole. Purtzer rolled home his long eagle try to reach 9-under par and tie Morgan, who had a difficult two-putt awaiting him.
 
Morgan's tricky downhill putt that could have won the tournament slid seven feet past the hole, meaning he had to drain that putt to force a playoff. Morgan missed the seven-footer and handed Purtzer the win.
 
'I've seen strange things happen before on this course, so I wasn't ready to quit,' said Purtzer. 'I wanted to make a three to get to 9-under, but I never expected to see Gil back up. He just doesn't do that.'
 
Morgan spoke of his play on 18.
 
'The trouble was on the right and I just pulled my 3-wood too far to the left,' he said. 'Then when I hit up there with a 9-iron, I left myself a tough 30-foot putt.'
 
Purtzer trailed Morgan by two after Friday's opening round and Saturday's second-round action was washed away by rain. Tournament officials shortened the event to 36 holes and Purtzer was quick to take advantage of better conditions on Sunday.
 
He parred the first three holes but went on a birdie run. Purtzer holed a 45-footer at the fourth and sank a 12-footer for birdie at the next hole. He made a pair of 10-footers for birdie at six and seven for four birdies in a row.
 
Purtzer went 1-over par in his next six holes to fall to 8-under for the tournament. He dropped another shot on 17 before the unlikely eagle at the last.
 
'I played the par-5s so poorly until 18,' said Purtzer. 'I was trying to make a three to get to 9-under but you don't think you will.'
 
Sammy Rachels and John Schroeder tied for third place at 6-under par, followed by Jim Thorpe, Des Smyth, Hubert Green and Allen Doyle, who shared fifth at minus-4.
 
Ray Floyd, who returned to action for the first time following successful prostate cancer surgery, shot a final-round 70 and tied for ninth place with Tom Wargo and John Bland at 3-under-par 141.
 
Related Links
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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. 

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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.


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    “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.