Press Connects http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com Golf Video, News, Scores and Updates Thu, 24 Jan 2019 04:04:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.12 Tiger Woods back to work with new clubs in practice round at Torrey Pines http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/tiger-woods-back-to-work-with-new-clubs-in-practice-round-at-torrey-pines/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/tiger-woods-back-to-work-with-new-clubs-in-practice-round-at-torrey-pines/#respond Wed, 23 Jan 2019 01:08:10 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/tiger-woods-back-to-work-with-new-clubs-in-practice-round-at-torrey-pines/ Tiger Woods tried out his new TaylorMade clubs during a practice round with Jordan Spieth Tuesday at Torrey Pines.

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SAN DIEGO – There’s always one shot that looks different from the rest.

Tuesday afternoon it came from the 18th fairway at Torrey Pines’ South Course, where Tiger Woods was finishing up a short practice round with Jordan Spieth ahead of this week’s Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods leaned into a fairway wood from well over 250 yards out and sent it on a great line, his ball carrying the water and landing safely on the green at the par-5 finishing hole.

It’s the same green where Woods made maybe the most clutch putt of his career at the 2008 U.S. Open, draining a 12-foot birdie to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate. His victory in the 18-hole Monday playoff was one of eight career wins at Torrey Pines, where Woods can soak up the good vibes to start his 2018-19 season.

At some point in the round, Spieth asked Woods how long he’d been coming to this course.

“’Well, 10 years longer than you’ve been alive,’” Woods told him. “This is the first PGA Tour event that I ever attended with my dad when this was the old Andy Williams tournament. To have won on this property and had the success I’ve had, it’s been a lot of fun and looking forward to getting out this week. The rough’s up after the weather they had last week and it’s going to be important to really hit the ball well.”

Fairways are definitely important here and Woods found a good number of them playing 10 holes with Spieth in the early afternoon. There’s a new driver in his bag, a TaylorMade M5 model, and he spent time getting it dialed in during the offseason. He hit a few different shot shapes off the tee Tuesday, including a piercing draw on the par-4 12th that almost ran through the fairway. That’s a shot he used more frequently during the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he was solid off the tee but rusty around the greens.

Woods’ must underrated turnaround last season was accuracy, which drastically improved after he started playing a high fade throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs and during the Tour Championship win at East Lake.

Few seemed to notice that Woods was living in the fairway all fall, and he’s hoping for more of the same to avoid the daunting rough at this place.

Woods also has a new M5 3-wood in the bag this week, along with updated versions of the new TaylorMade irons he put in play for the first time last season. The wedges are brand new but the specs are the same, and he was using the trusty Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter Tuesday after experimenting with two different flat sticks last summer.

Woods spent nearly all of last season getting comfortable with his clubs and swing again following spinal fusion surgery, but after 18 starts he knows exactly what he needs equipment-wise. He just needs to get back in the flow of tournament play after two months off.

“My feel is something I’m going to have to figure out,” Woods said. “Just like anytime I come back and start the season, it’s getting into the flow of the round quickly, how fast can I feel the flow of the round? The times I’ve struggled it’s been two or three holes and that’s too long. It’s gotta be on that first hole.”

Other than that, Woods has it covered. Conditioning made up a healthy chunk of his offseason prep, and he said he feels “a lot stronger” thanks to all that time in the gym. Now that he knows what to expect and roughly how much he’ll play this season, he’s confident he’ll hold up physically after a summer filled with uncomfortably hot rounds at jam-packed venues.

That wasn’t a concern Tuesday with temperatures in low 60s and a cool breeze flowing off the Pacific Ocean. Woods wore a black Nike sweater and black pants and spent a lot of time talking with Spieth after the two shared the U.S. Ryder Cup team room in Paris.

New rules were a topic of discussion early on, with Woods asking Spieth if he was a flag in or flag out guy now that leaving it in is an option. Woods said he likes having caddie Joe LaCava tend on longer putts and will probably keep doing that. He’s been toying around with leaving it in while practice back home in Jupiter, Fla., but it doesn’t sound like we’ll see much of it this week.

“I’ve been experimenting trying to hit putts downhill at home and see how that feels, and I didn’t find that I hit better putts,” Woods said. “It just felt like I could hit it more aggressively, which I did. Then I started running it eight, nine feet by … I understand why some of the guys are doing it. It might be more advantageous when we get on faster greens with a little bit more slope, i.e. at Augusta.”

Woods wasn’t thinking about the Masters when his comeback season officially began last year at this tournament. Maybe it was somewhere in the back of his mind, but the priority at that point was just making it through the week healthy. If it went alright, he’d start thinking about where to play in Florida and take it one start at a time.

Now he knows he’s qualified for all the big tournaments, his equipment is where he wants it and he can start the new year with more of a big-picture approach when he tees off for his first round of 2019 at 1:40 p.m. EST Thursday with Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau.

“I get to build my schedule around that and not have the uncertainty,” said Woods, who won’t match last year’s total of 18 starts. “There have been a number of years where I’ve only played 15-17 events. If I play well in the big events and win some here and there, that will take care of itself.”

This is always a big event for Woods thanks to his history here. Expectations are always sky-high because of it.

Thousands of screaming fans will arrive soon and calm, quiet mornings will be few and far between in the coming months.

The offseason is over and a foundation is in place. With no uncertainty and no confusion about the task at hand, Woods is finally back in business.

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Jason Day makes iron change in hopes of regaining top form at Farmers http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/jason-day-makes-iron-change-in-hopes-of-regaining-top-form-at-farmers/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/jason-day-makes-iron-change-in-hopes-of-regaining-top-form-at-farmers/#respond Wed, 23 Jan 2019 00:16:10 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/23/jason-day-makes-iron-change-in-hopes-of-regaining-top-form-at-farmers/ Jason Day makes iron change in hopes of regaining top form at the Farmers Insurance Open this week.

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SAN DIEGO — A two-win PGA Tour season would be a massive success for most players. For Jason Day, winner at the prestigious Wells Fargo Championship and Farmers Insurance Open in 2018, the rest of the year was a disappointment. 

“The way I finished the FedExCup championships, I didn’t finish well there, I finished 17th or 18th,” he said. “Even though I had won twice, I didn’t really compete where I really wanted to and that was in the big stuff.”

Looking relaxed as he prepares to defend his Farmers title this week, Day sounded self-assured and focused after implementing a very simple off-season adjustment: improved iron play.

Following a disastrous year approaching the greens (142nd in Strokes Gained), Day consulted TaylorMade and made a switch.

“Last year I struggled with the left shot, especially with the miss,” he said. “It would constantly go left and I struggled with that a lot. So with the 760s, we moved the CG (center of gravity) a little bit further to the toe with some tungsten weight in the toe.”

Often an analytical player who sometimes appears to get carried away with game improvement initiatives, Day exuded a calm confidence in the core strengths of his game: driving, short game and putting. The iron play goal for 2019 is simple: hit greens like it’s 2015.

“I averaged about 70 percent greens in regulation, I was No. 1 in putting. I think if I can just do that, then I should have a decent year.”

While he knew a change was needed, Day says the approach was codified in his annual stat review with coach Colin Swatton.

“He’ll come to me and say, ‘What’s your goals this year,’ and I’ll tell him. ‘What’s your goals greens in regulation, short game, putting?’ We go over things on the tougher side but still achievable and I know that I can achieve it as long as I put in the work.”

Work he has. Testing irons, fine-tuning his short game in Indian Wells and returning to Torrey Pines in hopes of regaining the all-around form and consistency that once made him the world’s best golfer. 

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2019 Farmers Insurance Open: Round 1 tee times, pairings http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/2019-farmers-insurance-open-round-1-tee-times-pairings/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/2019-farmers-insurance-open-round-1-tee-times-pairings/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 23:49:03 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/2019-farmers-insurance-open-round-1-tee-times-pairings/ Here are the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open: Round 1 tee times, pairings for the PGA Tour event beginning Thursday in San Diego.

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The featured groups and tee times have been set the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, which begins at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Among those featured: Tiger Woods, who is playing in his first tournament of the year, World No. 1 Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy.

Seven-time Farmers winner Woods is paired with two players he has never played alongside in a PGA Tour event – Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele – in the first two rounds.

Here are the featured groups for Thursday, along with their tee times. As always, all times are Eastern

Brandt Snedeker, Jason Day, Jon Rahm – 12:30 p.m.
Billy Horschel, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth – 12:40 p.m.
Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott – 1:30 p.m.
Tiger Woods, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau – 1:40 p.m.

And here are the complete Round  tee times:

2019 Farmers Insurance Open Round 1 Tee Times

Thursday – South Course (Hole 1)

 

Tee Time Players
12 noon Nick Taylor, Michael Thompson, Brandon Hagy
12:10 p.m. Alex Noren, Peter Uihlein, Denny McCarthy
12:20 p.m. Pat Perez, Jonas Blixt, Rod Pampling
12:30 p.m. Adam Long, Gary Woodland, Stewart Cink
12:40 p.m. James Hahn, Rory Sabbatini, Kelly Kraft
12:50 p.m. Carlos Ortiz, Ben Silverman, Wyndham Clark
1 p.m. Julián Etulain, Chris Thompson, Bruce Doucett
1:10 p.m. Ryan Palmer, Luke List, Whee Kim
1:20 p.m. Alex Cejka, J.J. Spaun, Bronson Burgoon
1:30 p.m. Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott
1:40 p.m. Xander Schauffele, Tiger Woods, Tony Finau
1:50 p.m. Martin Laird, Sam Saunders, J.T. Poston
2 p.m. Talor Gooch, Kyle Jones, Nick Hardy
Thursday – South Course (Hole 1)
Tee Times Players
12 noon Kevin Streelman, John Huh, Sungjae Im
12:10 p.m. Chris Kirk, Ben Crane, Cameron Tringale
12:20 p.m. Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Chris Stroud
12:30 p.m. Charles Howell III, Cameron Champ, Michael Kim
12:40 p.m. Fabián Gómez, Scott Brown, Nick Watney
12:50 p.m. José de Jesús Rodríguez, Joey Garber, Viktor Hovland
1 p.m. Nicholas Lindheim, Chase Wright, Cameron Davis
1:10 p.m. Ryan Moore, Danny Lee, Roberto Castro
1:20 p.m. Charl Schwartzel, Keith Mitchell, Joel Dahmen
1:30 p.m. D.A. Points, Cody Gribble, Jimmy Walker
1:40 p.m. Aaron Wise, Brice Garnett, Daniel Berger
1:50 p.m. Robert Streb, Alex Prugh, Trey Mullinax
2 p.m. Sam Burns, Stephan Jaeger, Braden Thornberry
Thursday – North Course (Hole 10)
Tee Time Players
12 noon Peter Malnati, Bill Haas, Bud Cauley
12:10 p.m. Brian Davis, Jason Kokrak, Beau Hossler
12:20 p.m. Brian Harman, Cameron Smith, Sangmoon Bae
12:30 p.m. Keegan Bradley, Grayson Murray, Russell Knox
12:40 p.m. Matt Jones, Josh Teater, Richy Werenski
12:50 p.m.
Adam Schenk, Anders Albertson, Doug Ghim
1 p.m. Wes Roach, Seth Reeves, Kramer Hickok
1:10 p.m. Morgan Hoffmann, Tom Hoge, Joaquin Niemann
1:20 p.m. John Senden, Chesson Hadley, Scott Stallings
1:30 p.m. Marc Leishman, Kevin Tway, Hudson Swafford
1:40 p.m. Jhonattan Vegas, Danny Willett, Jim Herman
1:50 p.m. Hunter Mahan, Sean O’Hair, Abraham Ancer
2 p.m. Dominic Bozzelli, Sebastián Muñoz, David Pastore

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Tiger Woods stronger, ready to dive into 2019 at Farmers Insurance Open http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-stronger-ready-to-dive-into-2019-at-farmers-insurance-open/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-stronger-ready-to-dive-into-2019-at-farmers-insurance-open/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:47:00 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-stronger-ready-to-dive-into-2019-at-farmers-insurance-open/ Tiger Woods said Tuesday that he feels stronger and ready to start the new season with the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

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SAN DIEGO – Tiger Woods is back where it all started.

The 2018 comeback season finished with a win at the Tour Championship but it started right here, at Torrey Pines, where Woods had no idea what to expect when he made his season debut at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Now he’s finally had time to reflect on all that went down in that wild seven-month stretch, and he showed up Tuesday morning ready to do it all over again.

“It was quite interesting to try and figure it all out as the year progressed and evolved,” Woods said. “This year I have a great understanding of what I can and can’t do. There’s not the uncertainty I had going into last year.”

Now there’s just a lot of anticipation.

Those were some of Woods’ first public comments in two months since the Hero World Challenge, when the 2019 prep was just picking up. He opted to begin the new year here, where he’s won eight times, skipping the Tournament of Champions in Maui to keep grinding away on the practice range and in the gym.

“A lot of it’s been training, trying to get stronger,” Woods said. “Last year toward the end of the season I got really tired, because I didn’t expect to play that much golf at the end and I didn’t train for it. This offseason I spent a lot of time in the gym and I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I feel like my legs are where they need to be, which they weren’t at the end of the season.”

He’d been planning that offseason work for a long time, knew what he needed to do even before the victory at East Lake. He mentioned that after a  T-6 finish at the BMW Championship, one of seven tournaments in a nine-week span that made for an exhausting end to the season.

Woods also said he was able to start scuba diving and free diving again this offseason. The tank put too much pressure on his back prior to spinal fusion surgery, but he’s good to go now and back to hobbies he picked up years ago.

“To be able to do that again, to be able to get in the water and free dive, put the fins on and load the body up and drop down like that, that was something I truly missed. I love being in the water.”

Dialing the schedule back a bit and getting in better shape for the weeks he does play was Woods’ biggest priority. That groundwork is done. The next step is seeing how it all looks and feels in an actual tournament, with Woods set to tee off at 1:40 p.m. EST alongside Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele.

Woods finished T-23 last year and missed the cut in his next start, at the Genesis Open. The three Florida events that followed – 12th at the Honda Classic, T-2 at the Valspar Championship, T-5 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational – put the golf world on notice and proved Woods was still capable of winning. The scores were great, the swing looked good, but it was still mostly a guessing game.

Now the equipment is dialed in, the swing is familiar, the body is stronger and the outlook is bright as Woods gets ready for another run in 2019.

“It’s totally different,” Woods said. “I know what I can do, I know what I’m feeling, so now it’s about finishing a little bit better and winning some events this year.”

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Tiger Woods comments before Farmers http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-comments-before-farmers/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-comments-before-farmers/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:46:02 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-comments-before-farmers/ Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger Woods reflects on his win at the Tour Championship.

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Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Tiger Woods reflects on his win at the Tour Championship.

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Xander Schauffele plays The Links at Petco Park http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-plays-the-links-at-petco-park/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-plays-the-links-at-petco-park/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:27:02 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-plays-the-links-at-petco-park/ Along with friend Carter Pool, area native Xander Schauffele competes on "The Links at Petco Park," a unique 9-hole course at the home of the San Diego Padres.

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Along with friend Carter Pool, area native Xander Schauffele competes on “The Links at Petco Park,” a unique 9-hole course at the home of the San Diego Padres.

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Tiger Woods’ top-20 shots at Farmers Insurance Open http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-top-20-shots-at-farmers-insurance-open/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-top-20-shots-at-farmers-insurance-open/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:26:01 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-top-20-shots-at-farmers-insurance-open/ Between 1998-2018, Tiger Woods amassed 12 top-10 finishes, including seven victories and a runner-up at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California.

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Between 1998-2018, Tiger Woods amassed 12 top-10 finishes, including seven victories and a runner-up at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California.

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Tiger Woods tee time set to begin 2019 PGA Tour run at Torrey Pines http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-tee-time-set-to-begin-2019-pga-tour-run-at-torrey-pines/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-tee-time-set-to-begin-2019-pga-tour-run-at-torrey-pines/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 20:54:18 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/tiger-woods-tee-time-set-to-begin-2019-pga-tour-run-at-torrey-pines/ Tiger Woods tee time set to begin 2019 PGA Tour run at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open.

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Tiger Woods will begin his 2019 PGA Tour season on Thursday at 1:40 p.m. Eastern time from the No. 1 tee at the Torrey Pines South Course in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Classic.

Woods is paired with 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau. He has never played with either golfer in a PGA Tour round. The group will tee off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Friday from the 10th tee at the North Course.

The tee times for the first and second rounds were announced Tuesday.

Here is a look at the tee times for the full field:

The Farmers Insurance Open will be televised by Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday from 3-7 p.m. Eastern. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be broadcast by Golf Channel from 1-2:45 p.m. before switching over to CBS from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday and 3-6:30 p.m. Sunday.

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Jason Day comments before Farmers http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/jason-day-comments-before-farmers/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/jason-day-comments-before-farmers/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 20:51:01 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/jason-day-comments-before-farmers/ Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Jason Day talks about his success here at Torrey Pines and the stress of being a defending champion.

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Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Jason Day talks about his success here at Torrey Pines and the stress of being a defending champion.

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Xander Schauffele comments before Farmers http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-comments-before-farmers/ http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-comments-before-farmers/#respond Tue, 22 Jan 2019 20:28:02 +0000 http://pressconnects.sportstonews.com/2019/01/22/xander-schauffele-comments-before-farmers/ Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Xander Schauffele talks about his reactions on playing in this weeks featured group and his memories at Torrey Pines as a child.

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Prior to the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open, Xander Schauffele talks about his reactions on playing in this weeks featured group and his memories at Torrey Pines as a child.

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