Davies Crushing Defeat Playing with Annika

By Tom AbbottApril 19, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editors Note: Tom Abbott is the host of Golf Central UK. He will be filing a bi-weekly column on thegolfchannel.com with news, opinions and his inside knowledge of the European Tour.
A Crushing Defeat
For those of you watching the final round of the Ginn Open, youll know the madness which unfolded on the 17th and 18th holes -- Laura Davies finishing double-bogey, triple-bogey to miss a playoff by three and Lorena Ochoa running-up a double-bogey 6 on the last, handing Brittany Lincicome the victory. Laura Baugh and I were in the studio hosting coverage for the United Kingdom. After going off the air having watched this drama unfold in front of us, we sat speechless unable to fathom what had just happened to arguably the best golfer in the world, Ochoa, and the crafty veteran, Davies. The Englishwoman needs two regular LPGA victories or one more major win to stamp her ticket to the tours Hall of Fame. Afterwards, she told reporters that she must take the positives from the week, but one has got to wonder how a player of Davies' magnitude gets back to business knowing how close she was to obtaining one of those two wins. My hope is she can bounce-back quickly. The sport owes a big debt of gratitude to Laura and all she has done in boosting the profile of the womens game in Britain. Shes a character, unafraid of breaking the status quo, but at the same time an extremely nice lady wholl give you the time of day when asked for an interview or an autograph. Thankfully, the LPGA Tour will take a break for a couple of weeks before some meaty tournaments begin in May. Davies will go away and ponder this past week and with the right attitude come back and gain the two victories she rightly deserves.
Inspiring a Nation
Markus Brier, the only Austrian on the European Tour, claimed his second victory last week at the Volvo China Open. Meanwhile, Norways Suzann Pettersen has been coming awfully close to claiming her first LPGA victory with two runner-up spots in recent weeks, and Mexican Lorena Ochoa is the No. 1 player on the LPGA rankings. What do all these players have in common? They are inspiring their nations to play golf. Isnt that wonderful? The small gallery following Pettersen on Friday at the Ginn Open included a camera crew from Norway who follow the national star providing the country with her latest highlights. Brier must now be a national hero in his home country; one wonders how many young Austrians are now going to hang-up the skis and beg their parents for a set of golf clubs because theyve seen or read about their fellow countryman Brier. Ochoa enjoys absolute fame in Mexico. She is one of the countrys most dearly loved people and she is without a doubt bringing golf to her nation.
I was lucky enough to spend the day at the Annika Academy opening on Monday. It's truly a world-class facility, with a top-notch staff. But what I like about it, is the fact that it seems so friendly. You can walk into the building and for some strange reason you feel at home, not intimidated in anyway. Annika herself will be spending time there and for the right price you can spend the day with her. Just think about that for a moment. Is there any other athlete at the pinnacle of their sport with whom you can book a lesson. It's remarkable, and if youre lucky enough to have the spare cash, do it, thats all I can say.
Seves Back
After leaving us hanging for a couple of weeks, Seve Ballesteros has agreed to play in a Champions Tour event. He will tee it up at the Regions Charity Classic in Birmingham, Ala. from 18th-20th May. He became eligible for the seniors circuit earlier this month.
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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.