Woods Routes Field Wins Fifth Grand Slam
Rich Beem, the PGA Champion, finished alone in fourth place at 1-over-par 145.
Woods's 61 broke the old course record of 65 at Poipu Bay Resort Golf Course. Ernie Els first shot the 65 in 1997 before Woods matched it last year. The 61 also set a new 18-hole record for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, besting Tom Kite's score from PGA West in 1992 by a single stroke.
The 36-hole total of 127 broke Woods' record from last season by five shots.
'I was surprised at a couple shots I hit out there,' said Woods, whose 61 matched his lowest 18-hole tournament round. 'I really couldn't mis-hit a shot today. Every shot I hit was right in the middle of the face.
'I was making shots, aiming at my shots and I was knocking down my putts,' he said. 'It's a lot of fun when everything works like that.'
Love shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday, while Leonard carded an even-par 72 to tie at 3-under-par 141. Beem posted a final-round, 1-over 73 to finish the 36-hole event at 1-over-par 145.
'What a phenomenal round Tiger played, and it was a lot of fun watching him,' Beem said. 'It's amazing how when somebody gets on a roll like he got on today, how fun it is to watch somebody, because everything clicks. The golf ball was just going right at the target all day.'
Woods held a three-shot lead at the start of Wednesday's final round and wasted little time in extending his advantage. He collected a pair of birdies in his first two holes then parred three and four.
His play over the next four holes put the tournament out of reach and turned it into an exhibition of the greatness of the top player in the game. Woods birdied the next four holes in a row to shoot a front-nine, 6-under 30.
'I needed to go out there and play a good, solid front nine and I just got on a roll,' said Woods, the PGA Tour's leading money winner in 2002. 'It just kept going.'
Woods kept it going on the back nine. He drained a 20-foot birdie putt at No. 12 and made it two in a row with a three-footer at the par-4 13th. He parred the par-5 14th but once again carded back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th.
He missed a 35-foot birdie try at the par-3 17th but two-putted for birdie from 45 feet at the closing hole to polish off the blow out and post his 61.
With the exception of winning the WGC-Match Play Championship, maybe the only thing missing from Woods' amazing resume is the elusive 59. The No. 1 golfer in the world claimed to have never thought about it Wednesday.
'I never thought about it,' said Woods. 'I just thought about playing it one shot at a time. When you start going low like that, you don't really think of numbers like that. You just get into the rhythm of the round.'
Leonard, who was alone in second after the first round never found that rhythm on Wednesday. His 72 included two birdies and two bogeys and several missed opportunities.
'I love Kauai, don't get me wrong, but I'm glad I'm not playing the golf course again tomorrow,' Leonard said. 'That doesn't mean I don't want to come back, and I hope to next year.'
Leonard took a fourth in his only other appearance in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf back in 1997. That was the same year Woods made his debut and Love was also in the field that year after winning the PGA Championship.
This event normally features the four major winners from 2002 but with Woods capturing The Masters and The U.S. Open and with British Open champion Ernie Els electing not to play, Leonard and Love were added to the field. Leonard is No. 1 on the major champions points list with 253.5 points while Love finished third with 188.5 points. Retief Goosen was second but like his fellow countryman Els, he could not play due to a scheduling conflict.
Love had it going on Wednesday with four birdies through 15 holes but ran into trouble at the par-5 16th. He landed in a lateral hazard and two-putted from 12 feet for bogey.
'I didn't play very well today again,' said Love, who shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday. 'I enjoyed watching Tiger's round. It was one of the better rounds I've seen in a long time.'
Beem started out with two birdies in his first two holes but a 7-iron into the water at the seventh thwarted his chances of making a move.
Woods won $400,000 for the victory while Leonard and Love each pocketed $225,000. Beem left with $150,000 for his fourth-place showing.
Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings
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.
Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut
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
Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements
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.”
Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back
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.