Big News Brewing at Euro HQ

By Tom AbbottJanuary 22, 2008, 5:00 pm
There are murmurs on the European Tour that George OGrady and those in power at Tour HQ may increase the minimum number of events European Tour members must play to 13.
 
Currently the number stands at 11 which plays into the hands of those stars who chose to compete on both the European and PGA tours. With the Race for Dubai beginning next season this is a very important topic. The lucrative season-long competition, which replaces the Order of Merit, is currently open only to European Tour members, and one of the stipulations for membership is to play the minimum number of tournaments.
 
So who might have to change their schedule? Justin Rose, Anders Hansen, Luke Donald and Nick OHern played 12 events on the 2007 schedule. Sergio Garcia and Angel Cabrera were right on the proposed number with 13. Tiger Woods played nine European Tour events, but, and here lies the problem, only two of those were non-major/WGC events.
 
In order to give their membership more opportunities to balance their schedules, the European Tour includes all four majors and the three WGC events. The top players in the game all qualify and usually want to play those tournaments, so with 11 starts the European Tour gets a minimum four additional tournaments from the big boys. It seems like a good idea then to make those players who want to be European Tour players and want to compete for the $20 million on offer with the Race for Dubai to play more events on European Tour territory. We shall keep an eye on how this plays-out.
 
Martin the Magnificent:
He faltered on the final day, but overall Martin Kaymers performance last week in Abu Dhabi was first class. The 23-year-old German captured his first European Tour win in style with a four-stroke victory.
 
His rise to the winner's circle has been rather rapid, his presence only registering with the mainstream golf fans at last years Celtic Manor Wales Open where he led going into the final round, only to fall away and finish T14th. It was one of 10 top-15 finishes for the 23-year-old German in 2007, earning him the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.
 
His name, though, had first come to light on June 21, 2006 at the Habsberg Classic, an event on the EPD Tour, a German based mini-tour. Kaymer carded one bogey, four pars, 12 birdies and an eagle in that second round which added up to a 59. He then added a 62 the next day to capture his second win on the tour that season. He won three more events on the EPD Tour in 2006 easing to the No. 1 spot on their money list. His stellar form earned him an invitation to the Vodafone Challenge in August of 2006, a Challenge Tour event played in his home nation. He won. He then went on to win again that year on the Challenge Tour and eventually at seasons end, earned himself a card to the Big Time and the rest, they say, is history.
 
His victory in Abu Dhabi puts him inside the top 50 on the World Rankings. Watch-out for Martin Kaymer.
 
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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.