Category: Farmers Insurance Open

January 28, 2013

2013 Farmers Insurance Open Live Blog: Round 4

Posted at 9:20 AM by

Mark Dee made his 2013 live blog debut on Monday afternoon as Tiger Woods completed his eighth pro victory at Torrey Pines. Here's a recap of the action below.

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January 22, 2013

Phil Mickelson apologizes for tax comments

Posted at 7:54 AM by Ryan Reiterman

PhilA day after Phil Mickelson said he was considering "drastic changes" because of recent tax increases on the wealthy, the four-time major winner apologized for his comments.

(Live at noon: Debate Phil's tax comments and more in PGA Tour Confidential Live)

In a statement released by his spokesman, T.R. Reinman, Mickelson said, "Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

Mickelson made an estimated $60.8 million in 2012, according to, but he said Sunday that federal and California tax hikes had him considering a change. "I'm going to have to make some drastic changes," Mickelson said. "I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

(Related Gallery: Phil Mickelson's Life in Pictures)

Did that mean he would move his family from his home state of California to a more tax-friendly state like Florida? Or could it mean he would play fewer tournaments and semi-retire, like Steve Stricker?

Mickelson said Sunday that he would elaborate on his plans during his scheduled press conference Wednesday ahead of this week's Famers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which is near his home in Rancho Sante Fe., Calif.

But Lefty changed his mind and apologized. Here is Mickelson's full statement:

"I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I felt I needed to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now.

"I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I'm as motivated as I've ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.

"Right now, I'm like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I've been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don't have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.

"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

(Related Article: How Mickelson betters the lives of a wide variety of people)

(Photo: Thomas Lovelock/SI)

January 20, 2013

Mickelson plans 'drastic changes' in response to tax hikes

Posted at 10:38 PM by Mike Walker

Phil Mickelson and his caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, at the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs on Saturday. (AP)

Phil Mickelson said he will be making "drastic changes" because of recent tax increases, including California's new, highest-in-the-nation income tax on the wealthy, and he suggested that the tax was one of the reasons he withdrew from the investment group that purchased the San Diego Padres.

"There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now," Mickelson said after his T37 finish at the Humana Challenge in Palm Spring, Calif. "So I'm going to have to make some changes."

Unlike most of his fellow PGA Tour players who live in tax-friendly states like Florida and Texas, Mickelson chooses to live in high-tax California, his home state, where residents voted in November to raise tax rates to 13.3 percent from 10.3 percent for those making more $1 million.

Mickelson had mentioned politics earlier in the week when he was asked about Steve Stricker's "semi-retirement." Stricker, 45, is just three years older than Mickelson.

"I think that we're all going to have our own kind of way of handling things, handling time in our career, our family, handling what's gone on the last couple of months politically, I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us," Mickelson said earlier in the week. "And it's not surprising at all, it makes perfect sense for a number of reasons, not just the ones that he gave about spending more time at home. I totally get it."

Asked Sunday to elaborate on what he meant, Mickelson said, "It's been an interesting offseason. And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

Mickelson was also asked if these changes were the reason he withdrew his interest in the San Diego Padres ownership group. His response, "Absolutely."

However, Mickelson stopped short of saying what those changes would be; he added that he would likely talk in more detail about the issue this week at Torrey Pines, which is just minutes from his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

"I'll probably be in the media center, and I'll probably be a little more open to it because San Diego is where a lot more things, it's where I live, it's where the Padre thing was a possibility, and it's where my family is," Mickelson said. "And it just seems like a better fit than right here off of 18 on Palm Springs."

In addition to the state tax increase, Mickelson is also looking at a higher federal income tax. Under the new federal tax law just passed, married couples making more than $450,000 will pay a federal income tax rate of 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent.

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."'s Fortunate 50 estimated Mickelson's 2012 income at $60.8 million.

January 09, 2013

Tiger Woods to start PGA Tour season at Torrey Pines

Posted at 5:51 PM by Mike Walker

Tw600Tiger Woods will begin his PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, site of his historic 2008 U.S. Open win, after missing the event last year, according to a statement on

Woods will play his first event of the year next week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

"I'm excited to compete again," Woods said on his website. "I had a good break and went to see Stanford beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Hopefully my good practice sessions will carry over."

Last year, Woods skipped the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which he has won six times, due to a scheduling conflict with the Abu Dhabi event. Woods receives an appearance fee to play in Abu Dhabi; PGA Tour events do not offer appearance money.

"Obviously, I've had good success at Torrey Pines," Woods said. "I practically grew up playing the South and North Courses. The fans have always been supportive, and I look forward to returning."

Woods last played the Farmers Insurance Open in 2011, when he finished T44th.

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

(Photo: Robert Beck/SI)

November 21, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Tiger plans to open '13 PGA Tour season at Torrey

Posted at 11:56 AM by Mark Dee

Beck_2008_buickTiger Woods at the 2008 Buick Invitation in January 2008. (Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

Mark your calendars: Tiger is coming back to Torrey.

According to a report by San Diego's 10News, Woods will begin his 2013 PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open, held -- that's right -- at the site of his last major triumph, Torrey Pines.

Sources said Woods is expected to make just his second appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open since he won his most recent major championship at Torrey Pines -- the U.S. Open in 2008.

Woods is not expected to officially enter the tournament until January, but sources close to both Woods and the Farmers Insurance Open have been told to prepare for his appearance at the event, which would mark his 2013 PGA Tour debut.

Woods has only been back once since winning the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff over Rocco Mediate. He finished 44th in the 2011 event, but has a strong history in La Jolla: Tiger has won the Torrey tourney six times, including four straight from 2005 through 2008.

In 2012, Woods skipped the even in favor of the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi. This year, that tournament will take place a week earlier, allowing Woods to fly to California in time for the Farmers.

January 30, 2012

Robert Garrigus on Kyle Stanley: I wish I had his number

Posted at 11:49 AM by Cameron Morfit

Kyle-StanleyRobert Garrigus was nowhere near the scene of the accident when presumed Farmers Insurance Open champion Kyle Stanley [right] triple-bogeyed the 18th hole at Torrey Pines South on Sunday to fall into a playoff with Brandt Snedeker. (Not surprisingly, Snedeker won on the second extra hole.)

Garrigus, who triple-bogeyed the last hole to fall into a playoff he would eventually lose at Memphis in 2010, had struggled on Torrey's poa annua greens and bogeyed his last two holes to miss the cut at the Farmers, so he was back home in Scottsdale, Ariz., watching the back nine at Torrey on TV. 

"I left to go get a massage at 3:30 or 4 o'clock," he said by phone Sunday night. "I saw Kyle make a five-footer on 15 for par. I thought it was a lock; Brandt made bogey on 17. It was a four-shot lead with three holes to play."

Alas, just as Garrigus had buckled under the pressure of trying to win his first tournament in 2010, the enormity of what the winless Stanley was about to accomplish seemed to hit him all at once. He spun a wedge off the green and into the water, hit his fifth shot on the green and three-putted. 

"I saw what happened and thought, 'I'm one of the only guys in the United States who can relate to how he feels,' because I've been there and it's brutal," Garrigus said. "He'll win. It's not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it at the time."

Garrigus won at Disney at the end of 2010 and dedicated the victory to Tony Kornheiser, the co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, who had suggested fans might never hear from Garrigus again.

"He didn't know what he was saying," Garrigus said. "I got some good pub out of it. It was a lot of fun."

Similarly, he believes the first win for the shell-shocked Stanley might not be far off.

"I wish I had his number because I would call him," said Garrigus, who tied for third at the U.S. Open last summer and will make his first Masters start in April. "I'm sure I'll see him soon. I'll tell him, 'You've got to get there to blow it.' That's what Chris DiMarco said to me: 'You've got to get there to blow it, and you'll be there again. Don't worry about it. It's just golf.'"

(Photo: Kohjiro Kinno/SI)

January 27, 2012

Truth & Rumors: McIlroy slips up; New caddie for Els

Posted at 4:36 PM by Jillian Whalen

D'oh! Rory gets two-stroke penalty at Abu Dhabi
Rory McIlroy had a momentary brain lapse in Friday's round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship that cost him a two-shot penalty and left him tied for fourth instead of tied for the lead at the end of the day. McIlroy brushed away sand from his line when playing his shot from off the ninth green. The Irish Examiner has the story:

Ireland's US Open champion would have been alongside Dane Thorbjorn Olesen -- a rather less well-known 22-year-old -- but for brushing sand away from his line on the ninth hole of his second round.

That would have been all right if it had been on the green, but he was six feet off the putting surface and world number one Luke Donald instantly brought it to his attention.

"I wasn't thinking clearly and just made a very stupid mental mistake," McIlroy said.

Playing partner Luke Donald immediately brought the mistake to McIlroy's attention.

"Luke said: 'Don't think you can do that', and I was like: 'Oh yeah, I can't, can I? It happens and you just have to take it on the chin."

Despite the miscue, McIlroy was able to scramble back and finish the round with a 72. 

New caddie for Els
Ernie Els will be seeking the advice from a new caddie for the duration of this year's Farmers Insurance Open. According to Reuters, his long-term caddie, Ricci Roberts, suffered a freak accident after falling down a flight of stairs after a pro-am event in South Africa.

Roberts, who had competed in a charity tournament to raise funds for the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, broke his ankle after accepting a prize and will be out for at least two months.

"I called Ricci up on stage and he did a little speech but when he walked off he just kind of missed his first step and he went down," Els told Reuters before Thursday's opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

"It was so damn dark and this stage was about this high," the South African added, pointing six feet above the air. "The poor guy broke his ankle so he's out for a while.

Els's replacement caddie, Dan Quinn, is a former National Hockey League player and has caddied for Els before back in 2010, according to Reuters. Els said he expects Ricci to be back caddying for him by the middle of March. 

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January 23, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Phil Mickelson to skip WGC-Accenture Match Play

Posted at 11:41 AM by Mick Rouse

Following his tie for 49th place at the Humana Challenge, Phil Mickelson announced that he would be skipping next month’s WGC-Accenture Match Play. Alex Miceli has the story:

Mickelson, playing in the Humana Challenge for the first time in five years, has a conflict with his children’s spring break and, as in the past, will take the week off to vacation with his three children and wife, Amy, during the Feb. 22-26 Match Play.

“I'm going to end up missing the Match Play this year as we're going to go on a family trip,” Mickelson, No. 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, said Sunday after completing his third round here. “So as I miss that tournament, it was easier to add this one, too.”

Those wanting more of Lefty won’t have to look hard to find him. Mickelson will be making his rounds on the West Coast over the next few weeks, playing the Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Northern Trust Open before taking a week off with the family for a little R&R.

Coming to America

Chubby Chandler may have lost his brightest star in Rory McIlroy, but that hasn’t deterred ISM’s head honcho from seeking out new talent. Expect many of those new clients to bleed red, white and blue. While speaking with Golf Talk Central, Chandler stated that he would sign more American players this year than Europeans. 

Chandler recently set up shop in South Florida, ISM’s new American base, and has signed Peter Uihlein and Ben An in the last two months alone. 

Rex Hoggard of Golf Talk Central is also reporting that Steve Zika will take the lead on ISM’s descent into the American talent pool: 

GTC has confirmed through various sources that Steve Zika, a longtime tour representative for Ping, will be ISM’s American front-man. 

Zika was with Ping for a dozen years and worked with the company’s PGA Tour team since 2001. It was during this time that Zika fostered a relationship with Lee Westwood, No. 2 in the World Golf Ranking and a longtime member of Chandler’s stable.

Bubba gets a new ride

Contrary to what Christina Kim thinks, Bubba Watson apparently can have it all. This past weekend, Watson became the proud new owner of the original General Lee car from the “Dukes of Hazzard.” While at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., Bubba tweeted a photo of the legendary vehicle:  

Roughly five hours later, Watson sent out a follow-up tweet, exclaiming, “Just got my dream car!!!” 

Never one to shy away from the send button, Bubba has since continued to tweet about his new prized possession, including this picture of him gassing up the General: 

Watson has also contacted Notorious Whips with plans of customizing the classic Dodge Charger, including a complete restore of the inside. 

And before you even ask, yes, the horn still works. 

All in all, the General Lee set Bubba back a mere $110,000. Not too shabby considering he owns a watch worth more than four times that. Hey Bubba, just make sure you keep an eye out for Roscoe

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January 09, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Elin's termite infestation, Trump's sweetheart deal

Posted at 12:10 PM by Mick Rouse

The former Mrs. Tiger Woods has received much criticism for purchasing a $12.3 million mansion, only to tear down all 17,000 square feet of it. Turns out, Elin had good reason to demolish the Seminole Landing estate—termites.

Workers found extensive damage from termites and carpenter ants in the six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, kitchen and other areas in the two-story home with two elevators. County records show the home was built in 1932.

Don’t think that Elin just tossed away all of the mansion’s assets, either. According to Bill DiPaolo of the Palm Beach Post, Ms. Nordegren teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, allowing the non-profit organization to raid the estate, donating anything still salvageable.

Habitat workers removed cabinets, brick driveway pavers, five sub-zero refrigerators, chandeliers, 14 vanities, controlled-temperature wine coolers called EuroCaves, dozens of doors and one gas range, said Bobbi Blodgett, the director of deconstruction for the non-profit organization that builds homes for the needy.

"What a wonderful thing for (Nordegren) to do. She could have tossed this stuff in the trash. The negative publicity toward her has been very unfair," Blodgett said.

"No wonder she tore the place down. The infestation was all over. You could put your fingers right through the wood.”

The items removed are being priced and will be sold by Habitat for Humanity. Blodgett guesses Nordegren's donations will bring in at least $30,000, which will help fund future home building projects. According to Blodgett, aside from a hotel, Elin’s mansion will have the largest payoff for the non-profit organization.

Trump's super discount

Geoff Shackelford cites a New York Post report that real state mogul Donald Trump will receive a deep discount from the city on his new Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Bronx.

“We are paying [$184 million for] the project. Trump is getting a gift from a fellow billionaire, the mayor,” said Geoffrey Croft, of watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. “It’s unheard of that you don’t pay any money for four years.”

By year five, Trump will have to pay only 7 percent of the gross receipts, or a minimum of $300,000. And by year 16, he pays just 10 percent, or $420,000, to the city.

The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee is set to approve the deal today.

Overton pleads guilty

Last month, Jeff Overton was arrested for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement while in Bloomington, Ind. While Overton originally stated he planned to fight the case, Ryan Ballengee reported that he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct—the charges of resisting law enforcement and public intoxication were dismissed. Overton’s lawyer, Sam Shapiro, isn’t exactly thrilled with his client’s decision to plead guilty, though.

“It's hard to be too loud before an Indiana-Kentucky game. I would have liked to take this case to trial, but Jeff believed it was better for him to get this behind him.” 

Overton was probably right on that front. All in all, he was given a slap on the wrist—30 hours of community service and $165 in administrative costs. Even without a PGA Tour win to his name, Overton should be able to scrounge up the cash.

DJ’s Return

Dustin Johnson is set to make his return at Torrey Pines late this month at the Farmers Insurance Open, reports Alan Blondin of The State. Johnson is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee that has plagued him since July. According to DJ’s Twitter, his rehab #KNEEhab is in the rearview mirror.

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May 02, 2011

Zurich, Farmers donate $250,000 to charity for Bubba's win

Posted at 12:58 PM by

Bubba Watson got a nice trophy for winning the Zurich Classic golf tournament on Sunday, but families recovering from last week's severe storms received a gift as well.

Zurich Financial Services Group, sponsor of the Zurich Classic tournament in New Orleans, donated $250,000 to recovery efforts in the Southeast in honor of Bubba Watson winning the tournament.

"Zurich is committed to giving back to the communities we serve and we've had resources on the ground in the stricken areas since last week," said Paul Hopkins, Chairman of the Americas, Zurich Financial Services Group.

Hopkins added that the donation was also done to commemorate Watson's win at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego in January. Farmers Insurance is a subsidiary of Zurich

"Since Bubba won both tournaments, we thought it was fitting that we make a substantial donation to the victims of the storms that occurred during the week of the tournament," Hopkins said.

The Farmers Insurance Open and the Zurich Classic were Watson's second and third career wins. His first win came at the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn., in 2010.

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