South Africa Takes World Cup Lead

By Sports NetworkNovember 14, 2003, 5:00 pm
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Rory Sabbatini and Trevor Immelman paired to shoot a 3-under 69 on Friday to give South Africa the lead after two rounds of the World Golf Championships-World Cup. The South African team is at 5-under-par 139 and own a two-shot lead over the United States and France.
 
The American tandem of U.S. Open winner Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard shot a 2-under 70 in Friday's foursomes, or alternate-shot, format. The French team of Raphael Jacquelin and Thomas Levet notched an even-par round of 72 at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort.
 
Saturday's action will be four-balls, or best-ball, but the format returns to alternate shot for Sunday's final round.
 
The German team of Alex Cejka and Marcel Siem, who led after the first round, struggled badly in Friday's second round. They teamed for a 5-over 77 and are tied for sixth at even-par 144.
 
Sabbatini and Immelman combined for two birdies on the front nine on another day when the Ocean Course showed its teeth. The wind that wreaked havoc on play on Thursday was not up on Friday but the course was still was demanding.
 
Sabbatini drove to the right side of the fairway at the 12th and Immelman knocked a shot from 194 yards out to 10 feet. Sabbatini drained the putt to take a one-shot lead at 5 under par but trouble loomed for the South Africans.
 
At the 13th, Sabbatini miscalculated the wind and hit a 4-iron into the reeds. Immelman did the best he could but the team managed a bogey and fell into a tie for the lead.
 
The South Africans took sole possession of first place on the leaderboard thanks to some serious bunker problems by the German team. It took Cejka and Siem three chances to get out of a fairway bunker at the 13th and they left with a double bogey, which included a 12-footer for the save by Siem.
 
Germany went two-over the rest of the way to plummet down the leaderboard.
 
The South African duo stayed steady. At the par-3 17th, Immelman hit a solid tee ball that landed 40 feet from the hole. Sabbatini got a good read on the putt and sank the long birdie try to reach 5 under par.
 
'That was kind of an unexpected one,' admitted Sabbatini, who won this year's FBR Capital Open on the PGA Tour. 'That's a hole that you are quite happy to make a three on, let alone in alternate shots. We picked one up on the field there for sure.'
 
They parred No. 18 to take a two-shot lead into Saturday.
 
'All in all, that was probably one of the best rounds I've played all year,' said Immelman, playing in his first World Cup. 'We played real solid all day and putted well too.'
 
The Americans birdied the par-5s on the front nine, two and seven, but Leonard, who finished second on the PGA Tour in putting, lipped out a two-footer for a bogey at the eighth.
 
The U.S. team had birdie putts inside 10 feet at 10 and 11 but failed to convert on either. They made their final birdie of the round at the par-5 16th when Furyk cashed in a five-footer.
 
'Overall, the second best round of the day, so I'm pleased with the way we played,' said Furyk. 'We want to go out there and keep it up, keep the momentum going and have a good weekend.'
 
The French pair had problems early with a double bogey, two bogeys and two birdies over their first 10 holes. They combined to birdie two of their final four holes to join the Americans in second.
 
'Both Thomas and I had a good feeling on the greens and we know that playing well in the foursomes is the key to the week,' said Jacquelin. 'After the first two days we are quite confident.'
 
Wales, in second after day one, are still in the hunt. Ian Woosnam, a last- minute replacement for Phillip Price, and Bradley Dredge shot a 2-over 74 but are alone in fourth at 2-under-par 142.
 
Argentina's Eduardo Romero and Angel Cabrera posted a 1-over 73 and are in fifth place at minus-1.
 
Germany was joined in sixth place by Sweden's Niclas Fasth and Fredrik Jacobson (72) and 1999 British Open winner Paul Lawrie and Alastair Forsyth of Scotland.
 
Japan, the defending champion, recovered from Thursday's 74 with a 1-under 71 on Friday. Shigeki Maruyama and Hidemichi Tanaka share ninth place with Michael Campbell and David Smail of New Zealand and Paraguay's Carlos Franco and Marco Ruiz at plus-1.
 
Related Links:
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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.