Category: Torrey Pines


January 31, 2011

Rookie says Tiger mailed in final round at Torrey Pines

Posted at 4:12 PM by Mike Walker

Tiger-sunday Rookie Brendan Steele didn't see eye-of-the-tiger intensity from Tiger Woods when he was paired with Woods in the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Sunday. Steele shot 70 en route to a T17 finish, while Woods shot 75 to finish tied for 44th. Afterward, Steele said that Woods appeared to lose interest in his round Sunday once he started to struggle, according to an article in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.

"I don't think he gave it ­everything today," Steele told SI. "Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention."

Throughout his career, Woods has been known as a grinder who brings maximum effort and focus to every shot on the course. However, that legendary intensity has appeared to flag at times, most recently during the second round at last year's Quail Hollow Championship, when Woods shot 79 and missed the cut.

More Coverage: PGA Tour Confidential | Torrey Pines Highlights | Tiger Woods Homepage

(Photo: Robert Beck/SI)

http://www.golf.com/golf/video/article/0,28224,2045192,00.html
January 29, 2011

What to Watch For: Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open

Posted at 11:41 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Phil Conservative Phil?
Phil Mickelson has never been afraid to take risks on the golf course. In fact it almost seems like Mickelson doesn't know how to play conservative. While everyone was yelling at their TVs for Mickelson to lay up on No. 13 last year at Augusta, Mickelson saw an opening and pulled off one of the most thrilling shots in Masters history.

So that's why it was surprising to hear Mickelson's reasoning behind his good play this week at Torrey Pines. After finishing tied for the lead with Bill Haas on Saturday, Mickelson credited a conservative approach to helping shoot rounds of 67, 69 and 68.

"I'm just playing it much more conservative, because the reward isn't there," Mickelson said. "This course doesn't reward you for taking on any challenge. And my more conservative approach into the greens, albeit boring, has led me to be on top of the leaderboard."

Just a Little Patience
Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan are tied for third, one shot behind co-leaders Mickelson and Haas. Watson and Mahan also both eagled the par-5 18th Saturday, proving a big move could be made on the last hole Sunday.

And that's why both players were stressing that patience will be the key to victory on Sunday.

"I've changed my attitude," Watson said on staying patient. "I'm trying to change my attitude and trying to get better."

"You can almost birdie any hole out here because the greens are running so pure," Mahan said. "So you've just got to stay patient and keep swinging."

More from Torrey Pines: Scores | Tee times | Photos | Video

(Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

January 28, 2011

What to Watch For: Saturday at Torrey Pines

Posted at 9:58 PM by Ryan Reiterman

Haas Big-Time Bill?
Bill Haas won twice in 2010, and he has come out on fire in 2011 with a top-10 finish at Kapalua and a playoff loss at the Bob Hope. Now, Haas is on top of a star-packed leaderboard at Torrey Pines. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it going while fighting off big guns like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

Both of Haas's wins, and most of his best finishes, have come in events with weaker fields. This weekend he has a chance to not only prove he has the game to hang with the game's top players, but that he also belongs in the conversation with the other top 20-somethings on Tour. But Haas said no matter what happens, he's comfortable where he's at.

"I don't look 20-something," Haas said. "I can't really pull off that look, so I'm happy with the regular slacks and solid colored shirts and flying under the radar ... Just trying to let my clubs do a little more talking than they've done in the past."

The good news for Haas is the last time he held a 36-hole lead (2010 Viking Classic), he went on to win.

Positive Signs
Tiger Woods got everyone buzzing when he made four straight birdies on the front nine Friday. However, instead of capitalizing on the early momentum, Woods struggled to get out of several bunkers, making bogeys on Nos. 11, 14 and 15.

Woods rallied over the final three holes to keep himself in contention, five shots off the lead. He birdied the par-3 16th, made par from a plugged lie in a bunker on 17 and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th.

Woods hopes to carry that momentum into Saturday. On 18, Woods said he hit his two best shots of the day -- a 314-yard drive down the fairway, followed by a 248-yard 5-wood that landed 40 feet from the hole.

"It's nice when I'm able to pull off shots like that, because I know it's in there," Woods said. "It's just a matter of doing it."

Fairways for Phil?
Phil Mickelson is struggling to find the fairways at Torrey Pines, but according to his coach, Butch Harmon, that's not always a bad thing. Speaking Friday morning on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive," Harmon said hitting fairways was one of the most overrated stats on Tour. His prize pupil is proving him right after only hitting eight fairways through two rounds, yet Mickelson finds himself only three shots off the lead.

More from Torrey Pines: Scores | Tee times | Photos | Video

(Photo: Gregory Bull/AP)

Phil Mickelson rips new North Course at Torrey Pines

Posted at 7:03 PM by Cameron Morfit

MickelsonSAN DIEGO -- Phil Mickelson was smiling after he made back-to-back birdies to post a second-round 69 on the newly lengthened North Course at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Friday. 

Still, he had some choice words for the course, which has been bulked up to 7,062 yards, with five new tees, 22-yard-wide fairways and wrist-breaking rough making driving more treacherous than ever.

"I think the North Course is probably a great example how longer is not always better," Mickelson said. "It's always been a fun golf course to play, and as you get longer and longer, it's no longer a fun course."

Mickelson hit just two of 14 fairways and was three strokes behind 36-hole leader Bill Haas, who fired a 6-under 66 on the South Course. All players who make the cut will play the South on the weekend.

Tiger Woods, who shot an uneven 69 on the South on Friday and was five shots off the lead, hit just five of 14 fairways on the North Course while carding a 69 on Thursday.

"It's harder to hit fairways on the North," said Haas, "but the second shots are still significantly harder on the South."

Mickelson's misadventures on the newly lengthened, 492-yard, par-4 11th hole spoke volumes. Perhaps leery of straying into the red-staked lateral hazard on the left, he duck-hooked his drive way right. From there he chopped out his second shot but watched as it caromed left and through the fairway, into the left rough. He gouged his third shot out to within 12 feet but missed his par putt.

"I'm looking forward to playing the South the next few rounds," he said.

Truth & Rumors: Amy Mickelson walks Torrey: “This is huge for me”

Posted at 11:13 AM by Alan Bastable

Phil Mickelson’s 67 on the South Course at Torrey Pines on Thursday matched the best score of the day on the tougher of the facility’s two tracks. But the real Mickelson story was Amy, who is recovering from breast cancer but felt vigorous enough to follow her husband for 18 holes. That’s the first time she’s done that since the 2009 Masters, according The San Diego Star Tribune’s Tod Leonard, who caught up with Amy out on the course:

Looking fit and healthy, Amy Mickelson put her palm up to the bright blue sky, the Pacific Ocean glimmering in the distance, and said, “This is the most perfect, beautiful day. I don’t remember a more beautiful day out here.”

“This is huge for me,” she said. “It’s just so fun to be out here. Of course, I watched all of Phil’s rounds on TV, but it’s not the same as being here.

“I think going through cancer, you have to look at it not day by day, week to week. We have to look at how far we’ve come in a year. It’s a long road.”

Of having Amy in the gallery, Phil Mickelson said, “I forget how much I’ve missed having her out here.”

His scorecard showed it.

Grey Goose and Soda, meet Fuzzy and Tonic

FuzzyGreg Norman has his own wine. So does Jack Nicklaus. And Arnold Palmer. And Ernie Els. And Annika Sorenstam. Fuzzy Zoeller? He’s a vodka man. At the Champions Skins Game in Hawaii—sponsored in part by Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka—Zoeller told Ann Miller of The Honolulu Star Advertiser how his label came to be: 

"It all started about five years ago," he said. "I was sitting in my office in southern Indiana. A lot of people had come to me to ask me to do wines. That wine business is so competitive, so many players have their own. I had to do something a little different because I'm a different type person."

A friend suggested vodka, and Frank Urban Zoeller, who now calls his drink of choice a Fuzzy and Tonic, jumped.

He found an American distillery that would make a private label and spent four years creating the taste he wanted. He did blind tastings at his club, which confirmed his belief.

Vodka tastings with the Fuz? Now there’s a prize for your next charity golf outing.

Gov’t appointee charged with finding sponsor for PGA Tour event

Parks and Rec departments assume all kinds of responsibilities, like maintaining historical sites, administering basketball leagues, and filling unsightly pits. South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism now has one other unusual duty: finding a sponsor for the Heritage, the beloved yet beleaguered PGA Tour event at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head. The governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, issued the mandate to new department head, Duane Parrish, a former hotel executive:

“She literally said, ‘You're the perfect person for the job, and we need a sponsor for the Heritage at Hilton Head,'” he said. “So I have my marching orders.”

Legislative proposals last year to borrow up to $10 million from the state Insurance Reserve Fund for the tournament or to allow local governments to collect a sales tax to pay for tourism-related projects failed to pass.

“The first priority we have given to Duane is we have to find a sponsor for that PGA event before June,” Gov. Haley said.

No pressure or anything.

Tweet of the Day

IMG_0686_bigger @stewartcink: Now that @Love3d has been named RC Captain, it's officially suck-up time! Tried to buy him dinner but he was too quick with the credit card.

January 27, 2011

2011 Farmers Insurance Open: Round 1, Tiger's Debut

Posted at 11:56 AM by Live Blogger

GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com Senior Editor Mike Walker live-blogged the first round of the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines from 12-5 today, with a special concentration on Tiger Woods's 2011 debut. Read about everything that happened below.

Leaderboard | Photos | Course Profile | TV Schedule

5:01 p.m. That's all for the Farmers Insurance Open Round 1 Live Blog today. The "Name Tiger's Next Bag Sponsor" contest entries were underwhelming to say the least, but if Kevin Barton sends an email to me via editor@golf.com we'll send him a hat. Special thanks to everyone who read and commented. You guys are great. Sports Illustrated's Farrell Evans will be here tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST. See you later!

4:57 p.m. Phil Mickelson makes a shortish birdie putt on 13 to get to 4-under. I'd put Mickelson at #3 on JLinkTX's wish list. I'm not sure anyone else under 50 is even on it.

Continue reading "2011 Farmers Insurance Open: Round 1, Tiger's Debut" »

January 24, 2011

Truth & Rumors: EA Sports says no nudity in Tiger Woods video game

Posted at 2:13 PM by Mike Walker

EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour '11 video game made headlines when the gaming giant revealed the latest version would include Augusta National Golf Club for the first time. Now, however, EA Sports is involved in controversy after a British gamer claimed her avatar in the game went topless. Wired News has the details:

... it appears that videogame giant Electronic Arts may have a similar sort of wrinkle on its hands involving Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. Jo Eley, who hails from Britain, claims she “spent ages” creating her Tiger Woods custom avatar only to have it suddenly tee off wearing only white pants. (Yup, “she” was topless.)

The Sun has the exclusive story on this, as well as video of the purported avatar in action (large NSFW photos, as you might expect).

EA, for its part, apparently issued a statement to the paper, saying in part: We have extensively investigated and have determined that this situation is not possible through a retail copy of the game. The player model is clearly modified as a result of hacking.

 

Harrington calls Kaymer ‘most formidable player in world’ when leading

Here’s Padraig Harrington on Martin Kaymer, who won the Abu Dhabi Championship by eight shots with a 24-under 264, according to The Glasgow Evening Times:

“He’s probably the most formidable player in the world when he is leading. He seems to intimidate the rest of the field into believing if he gets in front, he’ll win.”

Retief Goosen was impressed too:

"I've never saw anything above 20-under around here. The course, we were lucky, we didn't have any wind really all week, a bit of rain but no real wind. So if the wind blew like it normally blows over here, I'm probably thinking 15 and under would be the winning score. But yeah, he's killing us."

This is starting to sound familiar.

Unclear if the Man from Hope will save Classic

The Bob Hope Classic was buzzing about news that the PGA Tour was in talks with former President Bill Clinton about a partnership with two Clinton-led charities that would involve the Bob Hope Classic. That Clinton would be a boost to the Hope, which is still one of the Tour’s most enjoyable tournaments despite its star-challenged field, is a no-brainer, but The Los Angeles Times' Bill Dwyer advised caution after talking with tournament director John Foster.

Still, bigger-name players and a title sponsor are needed, and Sunday brought yet another wrinkle. The Desert Sun reported that former President Bill Clinton, an avid golfer, may be interested in using his leverage and that of his foundation to get involved in getting a sponsor and players. The details are unclear, and Foster's body language on the topic pointed to caution.

But can you imagine Clinton calling Mickelson to play in the Hope, and Mickelson saying no?

That may be a work in progress, much like the Bob Hope Classic itself.

Stray Shots: Things we saw while insisting the proper spelling is “Jhonny”...

Former USGA president David Fay is joining Golf Digest as a columnist. Personally, I hate it when estimable publications go tabloid to attract readers. (Via The Austin Statesman)

Some teenagers go bonkers after hitting an unlikely shot at a miniature golf course. Surprisingly, they don’t appear to have girlfriends. (Video via The Huffington Post)

Arnold Palmer’s garage has never once seen an automobile. (Via The Orlando Sentinel)

Why Martin Kaymer’s stint at No. 2 might be short-lived. Remember, Tiger is at Torrey Pines this week. (Via Eurosport.com)

Follow Mike Walker on Twitter.

January 04, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Stanford paper wants Tiger for graduation speaker

Posted at 1:40 PM by Mike Walker

Stanford Daily columnist Jordan Carr knows that a college graduation ceremony is only as good as the star power of its commencement speaker so he wants to bring in the ultimate high-watt celebrity to Palo Alto this May: Stanford man Tiger Woods.

Let's not pretend like we're above bringing in a big name just because of the attention it will attract. Oprah Winfrey hosts a talk show that airs while people with jobs are working. Tiger Woods plays golf while people are napping–same thing, basically. There is nobody–nobody–who would bring the same amount of attention to Stanford's 2011 commencement that Tiger Woods would.

Tiger has a unique perspective on things. He came to Stanford as a golf phenom, left as a blossoming superstar, rose to the top of his field, which he dominated to an unprecedented degree, suffered a humiliating downfall and now is trying to claw his way back to the top. I don't doubt that in time, Stanford will once again welcome Tiger Woods back. But why not now, when he is at his most downtrodden? We can show the world that Stanford will stand by its man, even when things are at their worst. I'm pretty sure that's in the Fundamental Standard somewhere.

So, do what you have to do to make this happen. Write petitions. Start a Facebook group. Those things have to be good for something.

If you can read this, then the clubs fell off
If you're like me, one of the biggest hassles about playing golf is carrying your clubs on the back of your Harley. Fortunately, a new company has solved this problem. Golfweek's Jim Achenbach has the details:

...Golf inventors and promoters often have a cryptic sense of humor. I could write a book about new golf products – the good, the bad, the bodacious and the ugly – and how they are introduced to the world.

Today, though, I will focus on just one product. It is called the Go-Go Caddy, and it is something I will never own or use. Why? Because it is designed to carry golf clubs on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I am a self-proclaimed motorcycle moron. Call me Uneasy Rider. If I ride on a motorcycle, I am worried about just one thing: That would be falling down.

I am fascinated by the Go-Go Caddy (www.gogocaddy.com) simply because I like the man behind it, 38-year-old Cameron James of Matthews, N.C.

Gogocaddy

Torrey Pines organizers expect to see Tiger
Some big names have already committed to the Farmers Insurance Open -- Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson -- and organizers sound confident that Tiger Woods will play the tournament, his usual start to his PGA Tour season, according to Tod Leonard of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Tom Wilson, tournament director and executive director of the Century Club, said six-time tournament champion Tiger Woods has not committed, but the expectation remains that Woods will be here for the first time in three years.

"I talked to Mark Steinberg (Woods' agent) last week, and he said unless something disastrous happens he feels Tiger will be here," Wilson said. "He's trying to get Tiger to commit earlier, as he did for some tournaments last year. What earlier means, I'm not sure. I hope it's sometime in the next week or two."

Stray Shots: Stuff we saw while wondering how bland, reticent Steve Stricker won the Golf Writers Association of America award for media accessibility...

An American Ryder Cup captain might get Brett Favred. (Via Deadspin)

A new drainage system at Kapalua should help the quality of play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions this week. (Via GeoffShackelford.com)

Tweet of the Day:

Ferguson dougferguson405: Jim Furyk makes his first PGA Tour media guide cover the year they stop publication of the media guide. Pity.

March 15, 2010

Farmers Insurance buys 4 more years at Torrey Pines

Posted at 4:36 PM by Gary Van Sickle

Despite the recession, the PGA Tour continues to have success finding sponsors. The latest came Monday with the announcement that Farmers Insurance will host the annual Tour stop at Torrey Pines through 2014.

Farmers stepped in this year at the 11th hour to host the tournament, which was formerly sponsored by Buick. Bob Woudstra, chief executive officer of the insurance company, said in a teleconference today, "It's a very big day for Farmers. When this opportunity came up for the 2010 event, we were very excited even though we had only eight days to prepare."

The PGA Tour announced that next year's event will have a purse of $5.8 million. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem added, "This agreement will allow incremental growth of the purse as well as of charitable contributions over the course of the deal."

Buick, which had sponsored the event since 1992, filed for bankruptcy last year. Landing what now appears will be a long-term sponsor at the last minute is coup for the tour and for the Century Club, the San Diego organization that operates the event.

"Earlier this year, Farmers Insurance rode into San Diego like a knight in shining armor," said Tom Wornham, Century Club president and general chairman. "This agreement adds a wonderful new chapter to this dream-come-true partnership. The Century Club and the city of San Diego are very grateful."

February 01, 2010

Daily Flogging: Ben Crane survives at Torrey; Phil Mickelson and others falter

Posted at 12:01 PM by Gary Van Sickle

With the likes of Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els and Robert Allenby in the chase, you weren't the only one who was surprised by Ben Crane's victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. So, too, was Crane, who up until now has been best known for being golf's poster boy for slow play.

Seriously, Crane two-putted the final green, holing a three-footer, and still didn't know he'd won. Take it from Mick Elliott of AOL Fanhouse:

That's when Crane turned quizzically to caddie Joel Stock, looking very much like a man suddenly realizing his pants were on fire.

"You know, I did not know that I had won when it was over," Crane said. "I didn't know who was playing well. I didn't know what was really going on in front of me. I had no idea what was going on. I'm thankful I didn't. Someone said, 'one-shot lead' when we were going to the last hole, so I thought he might be right."

Still, Crane insisted victory did not register until final-group playing partner Ryuji Imada made it official. "He goes, 'Congratulations,' and I go, 'Did I win?' " Crane said. "He kind of looks at me. I said, 'Did I win the tournament?' He's like, 'Yeah.' "

The funny thing was, the guys who didn't win got almost as much attention as Crane. The most noteworthy story belonged to Aussie Allenby, whose chances of winning vanished when his 7-iron approach shot air-mailed the green at the 14th hole. It was the dreaded flyer shot that everyone has been talking about -- a ball jumping farther than normal off the face of the club from the rough due to the new grooves.

On ESPN.com, Bob Harig focused on Allenby's wayward shot:

"I think it's still going," the Aussie said disgustedly afterward. "It's going for a surf."

Allenby was kicking himself for blowing his second chance at victory in two tournaments -- in both, a "flyer" cost him. He was very much in favor of the new rule in place this year that limits the space in grooves -- the intended consequences now biting Allenby twice.

"I think, if you really look at it, it's cost me two tournaments, definitely," Allenby said. "I was in the groove. And feeling ready to do it today. It was such a shame that it happened... You know what, I don't have a problem with it (the rule). Obviously, two shots have cost me two tournaments. But at least they're costing me tournaments."

Meanwhile, fellow Aussie Michael Sim (perhaps the leader of the up-and-coming-young-stars group) astonished the CBS telecast crew by not going for the par-5 18th green in two when he trailed leader Ben Crane by one shot. Instead, Sim played it safe, laid up and made a par, allowing Crane to win with a routine par.

No writers took Sim to task, but Brent Read let Sim explain himself in The Australian

"I think I could have got there, but I had to hit it flush, and I wasn't swinging that well and just decided to lay up to a comfortable number. I felt like I hit a great shot, landed in a perfect spot. I just had too much spin on it. I'm sure a lot of guys probably did the same on that last hole today... I won three tournaments last year on the Nationwide Tour, and it was just different out there today. You know, you're out there to try and win your first PGA Tour event, and I felt like I handled myself pretty good after getting off to such a rough start. I felt like I struggled with my swing, especially today and yesterday. It was a mentally tough week. So to finish in second place, (I'm) extremely happy."

Hometown hero Mickelson didn't get the job done in the final round, either. He shot 73 and dropped from fifth to 19th. His final-round charge never materialized after he opened with three straight bogeys. As the San Diego Union-Tribune pointed out, it was the ninth straight year he failed to win his hometown event and, coincidentally, it's been nine years since the South Course was remodeled by Rees Jones. The Union-Trib's Phil wrapup:

“Yeah, I would like to play better out here,” Mickelson said when asked if he’s frustrated by the victory drought here. “I’ve struggled on the course since it’s been redesigned, but everybody’s got to play it. I just haven’t played it as well as others. I still look at this tournament with a great fondness... I know where I want to go with my game. It didn’t feel as bad as the score reflected. I’m looking forward to L.A. I’ve had some good results there in the past."

Adding to yesterday’s frustration was that Mickelson’s coach, Butch Harmon, came to Torrey Pines for some pre-round work and Mickelson said he had a “good warm-up session.”

“He was so amped up and excited to play he almost was like a racehorse in the gate, biting at the bit to get out,” Harmon said. “To me he was so ready to play that he almost put too much pressure on himself. He was so anxious, more than anything. But he’s fine.”





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