European Perspective

By Tom AbbottDecember 4, 2009, 2:16 am

Michelle Wie will play in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters next week. The newly crowned Lorena Ochoa Invitational champion will travel to the Middle East on Friday. Wie withdrew from the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship two weeks ago after the first round, sighting an obvious ankle problem, but her agent told Golf Channel that she’s feeling better and looking forward to her trip halfway around the world.

Hopefully Wie isn’t afraid of heights. Before the event begins, she will take a promotional trip up the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Dubai, and hit a golf ball from the 168th floor.

A handful of the LET members at this week’s LPGA Qualifying Tournament are due to join Wie in Dubai. Gwladys Nocera said she will rush to the airport on Sunday to catch a flight to Atlanta, then to Paris and onto Dubai in time for a light practice before Wednesday’s first round. The weather in Florida may put those plans in jeopardy as rain and possible storms are lingering in the forecast for Friday and Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Azahara Munoz, the Ladies British Amateur champion and winner of the Madrid Ladies Masters on the LET, her first professional start on the tour, will not be going to Dubai. She was under the impression she had to go through LPGA orientation for new members on Monday. What she didn’t realize was that the tour made an exemption for players in the field for Dubai.

On the men’s side, European Tour Qualifying School concluded Thursday with Simon Khan taking the top spot. Walker Cup player Sam Hutsby finished second to cement his playing rights to the tour next season. At 20 years of age, Hutsby falls into the “ones to watch” category. Among the notable qualifiers:

– Stephen Gallacher battled a viral infection this year that took him out of the game for six weeks but the Scotsman had a limited medical exemption next season and now is fully exempt.

– Anton Haig, the big hitting South African’s game deserted him following his breakout win at the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2007 and this year he finished 235th in the Race to Dubai. Haig carded a final-round 71 to finish T-16 and is in for next season which begins next week at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his homeland.

– Jarmo Sandelin, a five-time tour winner and ’99 Ryder Cup team member kept his playing privileges with a T-16 finish. Sandelin is one of the tour’s characters and his absence would have been noticed.

Despite promises to the contrary earlier in the year, the European Tour will again begin its new season in the preceding year when the Alfred Dunhill Championship begins on Thursday at Leopard Creek. The tour recently released a schedule through the Masters but expect the full European Tour schedule to be released before the Dunhill begins.

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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.

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Farmers inks 7-year extension through 2026

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:04 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance has signed a seven-year extension to serve as the title sponsor for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, it was announced Tuesday. The deal will run through 2026.

“Farmers Insurance has been incredibly supportive of the tournament and the Century Club’s charitable initiatives since first committing to become the title sponsor in 2010,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Farmers Insurance Open: Articles, photos and videos

“We are extremely grateful for the strong support of Farmers and its active role as title sponsor, and we are excited by the commitment Farmers has made to continue sponsorship of the Farmers Insurance Open for an additional seven years.

In partnership with Farmers, the Century Club – the tournament’s host organization – has contributed more than $20 million to deserving organizations benefiting at-risk youth since 2010.