State Farm LPGA Series to Feature 11 Events
This marks the seventh year of the Series, which awards points to players finishing in the top 20 at State Farm LPGA Series events and a $100,000 prize to the points champion at the conclusion of the State Farm Classic.
The 11 events in the 2004 State Farm LPGA Series are: Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 18-21; Office Depot Championship Hosted by Amy Alcott, April 2-4; Chick-fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez, April 29-May 2; Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, May 6-9; Franklin American Mortgage Championship benefiting Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital, May 13-16; Sybase Classic Presented by Lincoln Mercury, May 20-23; Kellogg-Keebler Classic, June 4-6; Wegmans Rochester LPGA Presented by Lincoln Mercury, June 24-27; Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger, Aug. 5-8; Wendys Championship for Children, Aug. 20-22; and the State Farm Classic, Sept. 2-5.
This years State Farm LPGA Series will once again highlight a strong and impressive LPGA television schedule, said LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. State Farm has been one of the LPGAs most dedicated and loyal partners for many years, and the Series has grown into one of the most dynamic and compelling television packages in all of sports. The growth of the Series in recent years fulfills our brand promise in bringing the best in womens professional golf to households across the globe.
The 2004 State Farm LPGA Series will have 70 hours of televised coverage, up from 54 hours in 2003. With the addition of events in Nashville, Tenn., and New York, the Series broadcasts seven of 11 events from the countrys top 50 television markets, including events in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
In addition, the 2003 Series saw an eight percent increase in viewership from adults in the 25-54 age bracket.
The level of competition and entertainment value offered by the best women golfers in the world make for great viewing for our State Farm customers and fans of the LPGA, said Pam El, vice president of marketing at State Farm. We are extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the State Farm LPGA Series.
Points will be tripled at the Series-ending State Farm Classic. Koreas Hee- Won Han is the defending champion of the Series. Other Series winners are: Mi Hyun Kim (2002); Annika Sorenstam (2001); Pat Hurst (2000); Karrie Webb (1999); and Se Ri Pak (1998).
The Series was the first-ever umbrella-sponsored television series for womens professional golf, and this is State Farms fourth year as title sponsor.
State Farm Insurance Companies has been involved with the LPGA since 1992. In 1993, State Farm became the title sponsor of the State Farm Rail Classic, an LPGA event held in Springfield, Ill., which has raised more than $1.9 million for various charities.
The company will maintain its title sponsorship of the tournament, now called the State Farm Classic, through 2006.
Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba
Conor Moore is known for his impressions of golfers, and he is back with a new video just in time for The Open.
Moore even got the thumbs up from Ian Poulter.
This is hilarious..— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) July 16, 2018
Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite
Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.
Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.
Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.
Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:
12/1: Dustin Johnson
16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose
20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm
25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods
30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed
40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton
50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick
60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson
80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele
100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen
Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC
If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.
Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.
Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.
There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.
There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.
Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.
John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.
Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.
Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.
Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.
“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”
Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.
“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”
But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.
“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”