Montys Momentum Wave

By Tom AbbottSeptember 14, 2010, 9:16 pm

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie must be pretty happy. For the past five tournaments on the European Tour schedule, the winners have all been members of his team, a stretch which dates back to Martin Kaymer at the PGA Championship and includes Peter Hanson, Edoardo Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Kaymer again last week in Holland. Furthermore, Monty managed to dodge an embarrassing bullet when Paul Casey faltered to Dustin Johnson at the BMW Championship on the PGA Tour. Casey was a glaring omission from Montgomerie’s wild-card selections. Add to this the silencing of some potentially embarrassing allegations surfacing in the British papers, and Monty is going full speed ahead to Celtic Manor.

Surely it won’t be that easy, and I’m not buying the fact that Europe is such a huge favorite. On paper, yes the European team is stronger, but when the first tee shots are struck, scrunch-up that paper and throw it in the rubbish bin. All 24 of these players are tournament tested, and for that matter potential major winners on any given week. The things the Europeans have on their side:  all of them have been to Celtic Manor at least once in their lives and most have experienced some good, old-fashioned, nasty British weather. I am not a fan of the matches being played so late in the year, and I’m a little disappointed in the choice of venues. The decision these days seems to rest with money and logistics rather than quality of golf course. I just hope the European Tour and the British PGA, the two organizers of the matches on European soil, don’t get caught with their pants down, so to speak, if the heavens open, the wind blows and the players are left trudging around a saturated golf course in wooly hats and drab waterproofs.

The home side may have an advantage, but it's not really doing much to attract you, the potential golfing tourist, to visit Wales. It is a beautiful country. Drive north from Celtic Manor into the Brecon Beacons, through some of the old mining valleys, and you’ll see breath-taking views coupled with interesting historical sights. There are quite a few more authentic golf courses to experience as well. Take Royal Porthcawl, Southerndown and the Rolls of Monmouth, to name a few. We still have a few weeks left before Ryder Cup week begins, and, at present, the sun is shining for captain Monty. In South Wales, at least the for the next week or so, many people across the pond will be keeping their toes and fingers crossed that it stays that way.
On his way to the Walker Cup in 1995, there was a very good possibility Tiger Woods drove down the M4 motorway right past the entrance to Celtic Manor. It was during that event that England’s Gary Wolstenholme pulled off one of the biggest moments in his career. Short- and straight-hitting Gary beat the man that would ultimately become the most famous sportsman in the world, 1-up, in the Saturday singles. It's easily forgotten Woods recovered the day day, winning 4 and 3.

Sneak ahead 15 years, and we find that both are now professionals. Wolstenholme joined the paid ranks late in life having put together one of the best amateur careers in the history of the game. Professional life hasn’t been as easy. A satellite tour win is his only highlight. But in August, life took a turn for the better. His 50th birthday signaled new opportunity, and two weeks ago in his European Senior Tour debut, Wolstenholme placed T-3 at the Travis Perkins Senior Masters. This finish catapulted him to 64th on the money list and gave him a chance of gaining full privileges for the 2011 season without having to go through the dreaded senior Q-School. Wolstenholme is back in action this week at the Casa Serena Open in the Czech Republic. He is seeking another top-10 finish to give him a spot in the Cannes tournament in October to creep into the magical top 30 on the money list and gain a full card for next season. The week of the Ryder Cup, the seniors have the week off, but chances are he’ll be watching Woods, thinking more about his future than one of the great moments of his past.
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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.