Stat attack!: Farmers Insurance Open preview

By John AntoniniJanuary 22, 2014, 3:30 pm

This week’s Farmers Insurance Open marks the 2013-14 PGA Tour debut of Tiger Woods. And what better place for the world No. 1 to return to the Tour than at the course on which he has won eight times professionally. With his seventh win at the Farmers in 2013 added to his 2008 U.S. Open title at Torrey Pines, Woods became the first player to win on the same course eight different times. He tied his own record twice more in 2013.

Most victories on the same course in PGA Tour history

Wins Player Course Years
8 Tiger Woods  Torrey Pines South (Farmers/U.S. Open)  1999, '03, 2005-08, '13 (U.S. Open, '08)
8 Tiger Woods  Bay Hill Club & Lodge (API)  2000-03, 2008-09, 2012-13
8 Tiger Woods  Firestone CC South (WGC-Bridgestone)  1999-01, 2005-07, '09, '13
6 Sam Snead  Miami Springs G&CC (Miami Open)  1937, '39, '46, 1950-51, '55
6 Jack Nicklaus  Augusta National GC (Masters)  1963, 1965-66, '72, '75, '86
6 Alex Ross  Pinehurst Resort (North/South Open)  1902-04, 1907-08, '10

*Source: PGA Tour Media Guide

Woods has won his season-opening event on Tour seven times in his career, but his victory at the 2013 Farmers ended a slide in which he was outside the top 10 in his debut in three of the previous four years. They were the only times in his career in which he did not finish in the top 10 in his season-opening tournament.

Tiger Woods season-opening events on the PGA Tour since 1997

 1997  Mercedes Championships  Won
 1998  Mercedes Championships  T-2
 1999  Mercedes Championships  T-5
 2000  Mercedes Championships  Won
 2001  Mercedes Championships  T-8
 2002  Mercedes Championships  T-10
 2003  Buick Invitational  Won
 2004  Mercedes Championships  T-4
 2005  Mercedes Championships  T-3
 2006  Buick Invitational  Won
 2007  Buick Invitational  Won
 2008  Buick Invitational  Won
 2009  WGC-Accenture Match Play  T-17
 2010  Masters  T-4
 2011  Farmers Insurance Open  T-44
 2012  AT&T Pebble Beach  T-15
 2013  Farmers Insurance Open  Won

Woods doesn’t dominate the statistics when he wins at Torrey Pines. In fact he hasn’t led the field in distance, accuracy, greens in regulation or strokes gained-putting in any of his victories. All he does is score. His career average at Torrey Pines is 68.61. In 51 rounds, he has 35 rounds in the 60s, 43 rounds under par and only three rounds over par.

Woods statistical ranking in his victories at the Farmers Insurance Open

 Year  Distance  Fairways Hit  GIR  Strokes gained-putting
 2013  7  T-17  T-34  28
 2008  11  59  T-2  6
 2007  4  T-55  T-5  11
 2006  3  T-55  T-9  27
 2005  3  T-68  T-49  7
 2003  10  T-67  T-11  N/A
 1999  N/A  T-57  T-33  N/A

Woods dominates the par-5 holes at Torrey Pines, which has become a trait of the tournament champion regardless of his name. The Farmers winner has had a scoring average of less than 4.5 on the par-5 holes seven times in the last eight years.

Farmers Insurance Open champion’s scoring average on par-5 holes

 Year  Player  Average  Event Rank
 2013  Tiger Woods  4.25  T-2
 2012  Brandt Snedeker  4.44  T-16
 2011  Bubba Watson  4.19  1st
 2010  Ben Crane  4.69  T-41
 2009  Nick Watney  4.31  2nd
 2008  Tiger Woods  4.44  T-2
 2007  Tiger Woods  4.31  T-6
 2006  Tiger Woods  4.19  1st

Woods isn’t the only superstar making his 2014 calendar-year debut on Tour at the Farmers Insurance Open. Phil Mickelson is also back after a week in the Middle East, where he finished T-2 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. It was a tournament he could have won if not for a triple bogey-7 on the par-4 13th hole Sunday. He did make birdie on three of his last five holes to finish one back of winner Pablo Larrazabal. Mickelson, who did have two top-20 finishes in the PGA Tour events in Asia at the end of 2013, is looking for his first win on Tour since the British Open. Like Woods, he has had success at the Farmers, but all three of his victories came prior to the Rees Jones redesign of the South Course, which was completed after Mickelson’s victory in 2001. Mickelson has played this event 24 times, 12 times prior to the redesign and 12 after. Here’s a breakdown.

Mickelson at the Farmers Insurance Open

 Years  Starts  Wins  Top-5s  Cuts Made  Weekend Avg.
 1988-01  12  3  5  9  69.47
 2002-13  12  0  3  10  71.35

When you look at the nearly two-stroke difference in Mickelson’s weekend scoring average, you must remember that he finished second in 2011, losing to Bubba Watson by one stroke, and that he was one stroke out of the John Daly-Luke Donald-Chris Riley playoff in 2004. It’s fair to say the Jones redesign cost Mickelson two more titles at Torrey Pines.

Woods and Mickelson have combined for 10 of the last 21 wins at the Farmers Insurance Open, but several other players have had amazing success on the Torrey Pines courses. Here’s a sampling of other players to consider if you’re in a fantasy golf league this week:

 Rickie Fowler  T-6 in 2013 was fourth straight top-20 at Torrey.
 Bill Haas  Three top-20s from 2005-09. Has been in top 10 since '11.
 Charles Howell III  Second to Woods in 2005 and '07. No missed cuts.
 Hunter Mahan  Finished T-6 in 2011 and '12, and was T-15 in '13.
 D.A. Points  Had three straight top-10s before MC in '13.
 Brandt Snedeker  Second twice (2010, '13). Won in 2012.
 Jimmy Walker  Led field in par-5 scoring average last two years (T-8, T-4)
 Nick Watney  2009 champ. Also finished T-4 in '13.
 Bubba Watson  2011 champ, with two other top-10s.

ONE FINAL NOTE: Torrey Pines South can play more than 600 yards longer than the North and the scoring average between the two courses last year reflected that difference. During the first two rounds (when play was held on both courses) the North averaged 70.67 strokes and the South came in at 72.42 strokes. The South was a little harder on the weekend, averaging 72.87 strokes over the final two days.

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Watch: Na punctuates caddie tiff with hole-out

Microphones captured a fascinating and testy exchange between Kevin Na and his caddie, Kenny Harms, on Na's final hole, No. 9.

Na was in the right rough, 185 yards from the green, which was guarded by water. He vacillated between a hybrid and an iron, but with either club he would have to hit "a 40-yard cut," as Harms termed it.

"Over the green's dead," Harms warned.

"It's not gonna go over the green, Kenny," Na replied.

Na finally settled on an iron and said to Harms, "As long as you're OK with this club."

"I'm not," harms replied. "I'm not OK with either one of them."

"I'm going with this," Na ended the discussion.

He missed the green with his approach shot, but avoided the water. After taking a free drop away from some TV cables, he had 92 feet 3 inches to the cup and of course, holed the pitch shot for a birdie-3, a 62 and a one-shot lead at the end of the first round.

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Na (62) leads Hoffman by one at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 24, 2018, 10:38 pm

Kevin Na leads the Fort Worth Invitational by one over Charley Hoffman following a first-round 8-under 62. Here's where things stand through 18 holes at Colonial.

Leaderboard: Na (-8), Hoffman (-7), Emiliano Grillo (-6), Jhonattan Vegas (-6), Andrew Putnam (-6), Beau Hossler (-6)

What it means: The veteran Na is in search of just his second PGA Tour victory in 367 events played. The 34-year-old's lone victory came at the 2011 Shriners to go along with nine runner-ups, the most recent of which was a tie for second at this year's Genesis Open. Na missed three straight cuts in April but has rallied back with a weekend stay at The Players and a T-6 at last week's Byron Nelson. Ranked 75th in the world, he is not currently qualified for the U.S. Open or the Open Championship. 

Round of the day: Na turned in a clean card Thursday with six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 first, his 10th hole of the day. He closed with a chip-in birdie at No. 9 following a friendly disagreement with his caddie (more on that below). 

Best of the rest: Hoffman was likewise bogey-free, drawing seven circles. The four-time Tour winner and typically steady performer has yet to register a top-10 finish this season.

Biggest disappointment: Not that a round of 1 under is tragically disappointing, but Jordan Spieth has a pretty solid history of going low at this event and contending for the title. He's seven back through Round 1.

Shot of the day: Satoshi Kodaira recorded the second albatross in tournament history when he holed a 3-iron from 234 yards at the first.

Honorable mention: Na got into a pretty good back-and-forth with his caddie about whether to lay up or try to clear the water from the right rough at No. 9. Na went for it, avoided hazard, and holed this chip for birdie. 

Quote of the day: "I told you." - Na, after his chip-in

Golf Channel's NCAA Golf Coverage Continues Mon-Wed., May 28-30 With the NCAA Men's Golf Championships

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMay 24, 2018, 10:24 pm

Two National Championships to be Decided Over a Three-Day Span – Individual (Mon., May 28) and Team (Wed., May 30)

 Eight of the Top-10 Ranked Programs in the Country Set to Compete; Reigning NCAA Men’s National Champions Oklahoma and Current Top-Ranked Oklahoma State Paired Together Starting Friday

 Buick and Stifel Co-Presenting Sponsors of Golf Channel’s Coverage of the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships

ORLANDO, Fla., May 24, 2018 – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s dramatic championship match where Arizona defeated Alabama in a playoff to claim their third women’s golf team national championship, Golf Channel returns to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. next week for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships. Taking place Monday-Wednesday, May 28-30, Golf Channel’s coverage will feature nearly 30 hours of live tournament and on-site wraparound news coverage, showcasing the top men’s college golf programs in the country.

NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage: Coverage begins on Monday, May 28 to crown the individual national champion and to track the teams attempting to qualify for the eight-team match play championship. Golf Channel’s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29-30 will include all three rounds of the team match play, ultimately crowning a team national champion.

In addition, Golf Central will surround live tournament action with pre-and post-event news coverage produced on-site at Karsten Creek Golf Club, as well as daily news updates on Morning Drive and online via Golf Channel Digital. News and tournament coverage also will be live streamed on Golf Channel Digital. College Central, Golf Channel’s online home for college golf, will provide comprehensive editorial coverage throughout the championships.

Golf Channel NCAA Men’s Golf Championships Coverage (all times ET)

Monday, May   28

Individual   National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Tuesday, May   29

Quarterfinals,   Team Match Play

11   a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live)

Tuesday,   May 29

Semifinals,   Team Match Play

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Wednesday, May   30

Team Match   Play National Championship

4-8 p.m.   (Live)

Stifel and Buick Sign on as Co-Presenting Sponsors for Golf Channel’s NCAA Golf Championships Tournament Coverage: New for 2018, Stifel Financial Corp. and Buick have signed on as co-presenting sponsors for Golf Channel’s tournament coverage of the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. In addition, Stifel has extended its partnership with the Fred Haskins Commission, Golf Channel and Golfweek as presenting sponsor of the Fred Haskins Award, given annually to nation’s outstanding male collegiate golfer.Golf Channel will announce the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel following the conclusion of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, on a live edition of Golf Central, Wednesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. ET. The show will include profiles on the top candidates for the award and a live interview with the winner, who also will receive an exemption to compete in the 2018 Greenbrier Classic on the PGA TOUR. The Haskins Award honors the nation’s most outstanding male Division I collegiate golfer as selected by his peers, coaches and the golf media.

Semifinal Teams in Match Play to Receive Invitations to Compete in East Lake Cup: The East Lake Cup, taking place in late October at historic East Lake Golf Club, will feature the top-performing teams from the 2018 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Golf Championships. Invitations for the field have been extended to Arizona, Alabama, Southern California and Stanford – semifinalists in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, and also will be extended to the semifinalists in the Men’s Championships. Modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships, the format for the East Lake Cup consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. Golf Channel will air live coverage of the East Lake Cup Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31.

College Central – Golf Channel Digital Coverage: Golf Channel will provide comprehensive coverage via College Central,Golf Channel Digital’s home for college golf. Led by Jay Coffin, and Ryan Lavner, College Central will be the source for all things college golf, including tournament results and scores, features and columns, video highlights and breaking news.

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Country singer Owen shoots 86 in debut

By Will GrayMay 24, 2018, 7:51 pm

Country music star Jake Owen struggled in his Tour debut, shooting a 14-over 86 in the opening round of the Nashville Golf Open.

Owen, who played as a 1 handicap earlier this year while teaming with Jordan Spieth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, put three balls out of bounds over his first nine holes, including two en route to a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 18th hole. After making the turn in 46, Owen came home in 40 without making a single birdie.

Owen is playing as an amateur on an unrestricted sponsor exemption, the same type used by NBA superstar Steph Curry on the Tour last year and by former NFL quarterback Tony Romo this year on the PGA Tour. Curry missed the cut after rounds of 74-74 at the Ellie Mae Classic, while Romo shot 77-82 at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship.

Full-field scores from the Nashville Golf Open

Owen tallied nine pars, six bogeys, two doubles and a quad in his opener and was the only player from the morning wave who failed to break 80. The closest player to him in the standings was two-time major champ Angel Cabrera, who opened with a 79.

While Owen struggled against a field full of professionals, he took the setback in stride and even took to Twitter in the middle of his round to fire back at some of his online critics: