Webb Ward Share Takefuji Lead

By Sports NetworkApril 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Karrie Webb and Wendy Ward each posted rounds of 7-under-par 65 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the LPGA Takefuji Classic.
 
Amateur In-Bee Park, who was the runner-up at the 2003 U.S. Girls' Junior, shot a 6-under-par 66 and is tied for third place with Nicole Perrot, Wendy Doolan, Catriona Matthew and Mi Hyun Kim at Las Vegas Country Club.
 
Park tied for seventh last year in Vegas and the high-school junior believes she can win.
 
'If I play like this tomorrow and the day after, I'm sure I can,' said the 16-year-old Park. 'I have nothing to lose. I just come out here and have fun. The pressure is on them actually because I'm only 16.'
 
Webb, who defeated Annika Sorenstam in a playoff at the first staging of this event in 2000, opened on the back nine Thursday and got off to a horrible start. She came up short of the green with her second at the par-5 10th, but chipped to 30 feet. Webb three-putted for an opening bogey.
 
She calmed down after the miscue at 10 with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 13th. Webb hit a 7-iron to 8 feet to set up his second birdie in a row at 14, then knocked a 7-iron to 20 feet for another birdie at the 16th.
 
On the second nine, Webb wasted little time in getting into red figures. She played a sand-wedge to 5 feet at the first, then collected her second birdie on the nine at No. 4.
 
Webb's second at the par-5 sixth fell short of the putting surface, but she chipped up to a foot and tapped in for birdie. She closed her round with back-to-back birdies from 15 feet and 5 feet, respectively.
 
'I was just trying to hit good golf shots instead of just trying to work on things,' said Webb. 'The biggest thing that happened today is I made some putts.'
 
Webb was once the top player in women's golf until Sorenstam jumped to the top. Webb has only two wins in the last two seasons, but the Australian believes she is ready to resume her spot atop the LPGA Tour.
 
'I'm really, really close,' said Webb. 'Obviously shooting 65 today gives me a load of confidence. I'm really good on the range and I'm just not taking it back to the course every day. I think I could be better than I was. That's why I made changes.'
 
Ward kicked off her round with an 8-footer for birdie at the first. Two holes later, Ward drained a 12-foot birdie try, then ran off three birdies in a four-hole span to close her front nine.
 
Ward used sensational wedge play to climb up the leaderboard. At the 11th, Ward hit a 58-degree wedge to tap-in range, at the 12th it was a 52-degree wedge to 8 feet and on 13 it was the same club to 10 feet.
 
The American was 8 under par for her round until she came to the 15th hole. Ward drove right into the trees and was forced to punch back into the fairway. She chipped to the fringe and two-putted for a bogey that dropped her down to minus-7.
 
'The neat thing about this course is that pretty much every hole is birdieable,' said Ward. 'One thing that I work hard on is to not put too much pressure on myself or get too disappointed when you miss a birdie opportunity. You know there is going to be another one facing you right on the next hole.'
 
Aree Song shot a 5-under 67 and shares eighth place with Sophie Gustafson and Mikaela Parmlid.
 
Defending champion Cristie Kerr opened with an even-par 72.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - LPGA Takefuji Classic
  • Full Coverage - LPGA Takefuji Classic
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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.