Stenson Steals the Spotlight

By Sports NetworkDecember 14, 2006, 5:00 pm
2006 Target World Challenge pres. by CountrywideTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Henrik Stenson birdied three straight holes on the back nine Thursday en route to a 6-under-par 66 and the first- round lead at the Target World Challenge.
Tournament host Tiger Woods and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy share second place at 4-under-par 68.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is two back after the first round of his own tournament.
Fred Couples posted a 3-under-par 69. He is tied for fourth place with Paul Casey, John Daly and Colin Montgomerie.
Stenson trailed the leaders most of the day, but a late surge on the back nine at Sherwood Country Club gave him the first-round lead.
Ogilvy was atop the leaderboard most of the first round before Stenson pulled through in the end. Ogilvy opened with birdies on one and three, but dropped a stroke on the second.
The Australian carded three more birdies on the front side to make the turn atop the leaderboard in minus-4. Ogilvy climbed to 6 under with a birdie at 13 and a 12-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
However at the par-4 18th, Ogilvy missed the green right and had a terrible lie. He hit his third shot about 3 feet before pitching his fourth to 20 feet. Ogilvy two-putted from there for double-bogey which dropped him to minus-4 and a share of second with Woods.
'I played fairly well. I birdied the first hole and bogeyed the second, and after that it was pretty good, for the next 15 holes,' Ogilvy said. 'I hit it quite nicely, had a few bad shots I guess on the back nine, but I was chipping very well. I hit it in a bad spot on the 18th and made a double, which was annoying.'
Woods birdied the first and got to 2 under as his 8-footer for birdie at the fourth found the bottom of the cup. He came right back with a two-putt birdie on five.
The 30-year-old parred five straight before draining a five-foot birdie putt on 11 to tie Ogilvy in the lead at minus-4. Woods fell back to minus-3 with a bogey on 15. He rebounded with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th to share second.
'I had two careless three-putts. I really didn't have control on the speed of the greens at all,' Woods admitted. 'I made a lot of came-backers and left some short. It was kind of a struggle on the greens.'
Stenson meanwhile was biding his time. He collected his only front-nine birdie on the par-3 second. Around the turn, Stenson birdied Nos. 10 and 13 to move to minus-3.
The Swede flew up the leaderboard from there. Stenson converted a birdie try on the par-3 15th and made two straight as he birdied 16. He capped a run of three straight birdies at the 17th as he sank a 12-foot putt.
All of a sudden, Stenson was in the lead thanks to Ogilvy's double-bogey at the last. Stenson two-putted for par from 15 feet at the last to maintain the first-round lead.
'I just changed equipment about three weeks ago and finished second in Sun City and I'm having a a good start here,' said Stenson, who won twice on the European Tour in 2006. 'I played a lot last week at the World Cup, so things are going good.'
Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal opened with a 2-under-par 70. He was joined in eighth place by Chris DiMarco.
David Howell is the final player in red figures at minus-1. Defending champion Luke Donald struggled to a 4-over-par 76 and is alone in 15th place out of 16 golfers.
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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.