Woods Ends Drought Wins Third Buick

By Sports NetworkJanuary 23, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods finally returned to the winner's circle in a stroke-play event on Sunday. He ended a 15-month drought dating back to the 2003 WGC-American Express Championship, and posted a 4-under 68 to win by three at 16-under-par 272.
 
Tom Lehman, who battled with Woods down the stretch, missed a short par putt on 18 that dropped him into a tie for second place and cost him close to $170,000. Lehman, the American Ryder Cup captain, shot a 1-over 73 and shared second place with Charles Howell III (72) and Luke Donald (73) at 13- under-par 275.
 
Despite the three-stroke margin, Woods had to earn win No. 41 on the PGA Tour.
 
Woods and Lehman were tied at 15 under par when the duo reached the tee at the par-4 17th at the South Course at Torrey Pines. Both players found the fairway, but Woods stiffed his approach inside 5 feet. Lehman landed in the bunker on the right side of the green.
 
Lehman's bunker shot hopped over the hole and ran 15 feet past the hole. He missed the putt to fall one back of Woods, who seemed poised to extend his lead. Woods pushed his putt right, so Lehman had a chance at the par-5 closing hole.
 
Once again both players found the short grass with their drives. Lehman had a 262-yard carry over water, but decided to lay up short of the pond and make birdie from there. Woods went for the putting surface in two, but hit a poor shot that came to rest right of the pond.
 
Lehman did not hit his best wedge and his ball bounced back into the rough short of the green. Woods chipped his third 15 feet right of the hole, then sealed the tournament when his birdie putt fell into the cup.
 
'That was a great win,' said Woods, who won this tournament for the third time. 'It was a tough battle and I hung in there as best I could. It's a nice way to start out the year.'
 
Woods endured a sub-par year in 2004 as his only victory came at the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship. It took only two starts in 2005 for Woods once again to find the winner's circle.
 
'I felt like I had a chance at Mercedes, I just wasn't putting very good,' said Woods, who pocketed $864,000 for the win. 'This week the putter came around and I hit it decent.'
 
Woods also benefited from some bad breaks that plagued his runners-up.
 
Lehman bogeyed his final two holes to lose out on his first win since the 2000 Phoenix Open. He carded a 1-over 73 in the final round and settled for his best finish since last year's stop in Las Vegas.
 
Donald, who lost in a playoff to John Daly in 2004, held a two-shot lead through 12 holes Sunday. The problem came at 14 as his approach went long and left into a hazard. He did no better than double bogey, but had some more chances down the stretch.
 
Donald drove out of bounds on the left side at 17. He converted a long putt just to save bogey, but he was out of contention for his second PGA Tour title.
 
'I let it slip at the end,' said Donald. 'I was trying out there on every shot. A couple of bad swings - it's unfortunate. I still need to do a little work.'
 
Howell finished several groups ahead of Woods and Lehman. At the 18th, Howell took an aggressive line at the flag and his ball hit the stick and bounced back into the water. His fifth shot came up short of the green in the rough, but he chipped in for bogey.
 
Several fog delays pushed the tournament back and Woods and Lehman played 32 holes on Sunday.
 
Perhaps that helped the 29-year-old Woods. In the final round, he birdied the second hole, then missed the green with his second at the par-5 sixth. Woods chipped to 10 feet and sank the birdie putt, then converted a 15-footer for birdie at the eighth.
 
Woods found the right bunker at the 11th, and made bogey to fall two behind Donald. He birdied the 13th to get within one of then leader Donald, but Woods played solidly and benefited from the mistakes of his closest competitors.
 
'I'm sure they probably hit the ball better than I did, but I made a few more putts,' said Woods.
 
Bernhard Langer, who led the European Ryder Cup team to victory, shot an even- par 72 and came in fifth at 11-under-par 277.
 
Ernie Els (71), Scott McCarron (69), Pat Perez (71), Arron Oberholser (70) and Kevin Sutherland (72) shared sixth place at 10-under-par 278.
 
Vijay Singh, the No. 1 player in golf, struggled to a 3-over 75 and was part of a group tied for 24th place at minus-5. Phil Mickelson, who made his season debut this week, posted a 1-under 71 and tied for 56th at even-par 288.
 
Daly carded a 3-over 75 in the final round and tied for 72nd at plus-6.
 
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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.