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It’s official: Tiger Woods will make his PGA Tour return at the Farmers Insurance Open

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Tiger Woods announced Thursday he will begin his 2017-2018 PGA Tour season at the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 25 at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., as speculated. He’ll then play the Genesis Open, which his foundation hosts, Feb. 15 at Riviera Country Club.

Woods made the announcement via Twitter.

Woods, 42, played his first event on the PGA Tour as a 16-year-old amateur in 1992. He hasn’t competed at the famed Los Angeles course since 2006, however.

“I’m very excited to be back at Riviera,” Woods said. “I haven’t played at Riviera in a tournament in a very long time. To be able to play in an event that I used to come to as an amateur, as a junior and now as the tournament host, that is on one of the most historic sites in all of golf, it’s a dream come true.”

While he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open last year, Woods is nine times a winner at Torrey Pines (seven Farmers, 2008 U.S. Open, 1991 Junior World).

“It’s awesome,” Farmers Insurance Open tournament director Peter Ripa told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “There’s a feeling that this comeback is different, with the eye test we got at the Hero World Challenge. He hit shots, he looked strong. There’s a national anticipation for this.”

In his first action since spinal fusion surgery in April, Woods returned to competition at the Hero World Challenge at the beginning of December. He finished ninth in the 18-man field.

Woods’ Farmers start will be his first official PGA Tour event since carding rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut at the same tournament last year.

The 14-time major champion didn’t make any additional tournament commitments Thursday, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing him at the Waste Management Phoenix Open or the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, as they precede the Farmers.

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  1. Mower

    Jan 5, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Will actually start watching golf in 2018. Imagine that.

  2. Andrew

    Jan 4, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I said it when he announced that he was playing in the Hero and his bandwagon monkeys came out of their grave. “First things first. He needs to make the cut at the Farmers.”

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TaylorMade to be acquired by Korean-based private equity firm Centroid Investment Partners

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On Tuesday, TaylorMade Golf Company announced that its current financial sponsor, KPS Capital Partners, has signed a definitive agreement, through an affiliate, to sell TaylorMade Golf Company to Centroid Investment Partners.

According to TaylorMade CEO David Abeles, the focus of the new partnership will be to “keep on doing what’s made us the leader in our industry – the creation of best-in-class products, invest in our brand, and deliver incredible service to our customers and golfers of all skill levels.”

KPS acquired TaylorMade in 2017 from Adidas, and since then, TaylorMade has experienced substantial growth in revenue and profitability worldwide, and per the company is poised to have the strongest year in its history under the leadership of David Abeles, CEO of TaylorMade Golf.

On the sale to Centroid Investment Partners LC, Abeles further stated

“This transaction is a very important milestone as we continue to build upon our brand’s momentum around the world. Not surprisingly, the sale process for TaylorMade generated tremendous interest from a wide range of prospective buyers and resulted in an agreement that reflects the outstanding performance of our business today, as well as the outlook for the future.”

Established in 2015, Centroid Investment Partners LC (“Centroid”) is a Seoul-based private equity firm. Some of the equity firm’s most recent purchases include the South Springs Country Club, Kolon Advance Fiber, and Woongjin Booxen.

Speaking on the acquisition of TaylorMade Golf Company, Jinhyeok Jeong, founder and CEO of Centroid Investment Partners, said

“TaylorMade Golf is a transformational investment for Centroid. We are very excited to have the opportunity to invest in a global leader in golf. The industry is currently experiencing high demand, increased participation, with strong long-term opportunities around the world. TaylorMade is an iconic brand with continued momentum across the key golf equipment categories and regions, especially the Korean and wider Asian markets. We are equally excited to work with CEO David Abeles and his “exceptional senior management team to support continued growth and success.”

The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

 

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Tour Rundown: McHorses for McCourses at the Wells Fargo | Thailand treated to 1-2-3 finish in Honda LPGA

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May is here in full force, with a complete slate of professional events and a biennial amateur team golf event to boot. The guy who married a girl from Rochester came through in Charlotte, while a lad named Smotherman broke through on the Korn Ferry tour. We saw a first-time major champion on the Champions Tour, and a native daughter brought honor and glory to her country. Other than that, a dull week. Let’s wrap it up and run it down in this week’s edition of #GolfWRXTourRundown.

PGA Tour: McHorses for McCourses at the Wells Fargo 

Rory McIlroy’s first PGA Tour win came at Quail Hollow. So did his 11th. And despite a 72nd-hole rinse, so did his 19th. McIlroy had been on a winless run of 18 months, stretching to the HSBC in November of 2019. Pundits and golf fans had criticized everything from his distance-chasing to the buttons on his shirts. McIlroy went as far as adding a new instructor, the renowned Pete Cowen, to his team. Finally, the work paid off, but he didn’t make it easy.

McIlroy began the final round three shots behind Keith Mitchell. The one-time PGA Tour winner failed to summon his better game on Sunday, although for just a moment, he appeared to do that. Mitchell opened with birdie, but lost two shots midway through the outward half with a pair of bogeys at five and six. He added a third bogey at 17, along with a birdie at 13. For his efforts, a third-place tie with Viktor Hovland came his way. Abraham Ancer played a fine round of golf, advancing five places into second position. Ancer never should have been a factor in the event, save for the trio of birdies he made at 15 through 17. His attempt to reach double-digits under par, from 33 feet, just missed at the final hole.

It was McIlroy who brought Ancer back into contention. The northern Irishman made up all three shots on Mitchell on the outward half, posting two-under 33. Coming home, he added birdies at 14 and 15, giving himself a comfortable lead on the home tee. And then, he pulled a Rory, or nearly did. McIlroy wisely opted for three-metal from the tee.

Knowing that water left awaited on the entire stretch of the hole, and that only water would bring a playoff into the realm of the possible, Rory pulled his tee shot into the drink. His drop, in the rough, left him 200 yards home, and he did well to land the ball safely on the green. Demonstrating considerable nerve, McIlroy took two putts from over 40 feet, and breathed a sigh of relief upon escaping with a one-shot win.

LPGA Tour: Thailand treated to 1-2-3 finish in Honda LPGA

What a week to bet the home team! Fans in Thailand were treated to a 1-2-3 finish by a trio of homebred golfers. From a legend to a new power, to a relative unknown, three countrywomen challenged for victory in Chonburi.

Patty Tavatanakit jumped out to an early lead with rounds of 64-64 through 36 holes. The newly-minted ANA Inspiration champion struggled mildly on the weekend (70-70) and finished two shots out of first place. Atthaya Thitikul also opened with 64, and remained in contention until the final hole. Thitikul stood minus-five on the day, tied for the lead, when she made bogey at 17. Unable to source a birdie on 18, she finished one ahead of Patty T. and three others, in solo second at minus-21.

Winning the day with 63, and the week with 22-under par, was Ariya Jutanugarn. Winless on the LPGA Tour since 2018, Jutanugarn made her homecoming a victorious one, capping her time on home soil with a 72nd-hole birdie. With her 4 at the last, she flipped places with Thitikul and claimed her 11th title on tour. The two-time major winner (British and US Opens) posted 9 birdies and 9 pars on day four to secure a special title.

European Tour: Higgo wins second title in Canary Islands

Right around 28 degrees north of the equator, and 16 degrees west of the prime meridian, suits Garrick Higgo just fine. The young South African completed a three-week stay in the Canary Islands in resolute fashion, finish first-eighth-first during his three weeks off the coast of Africa, earning a great deal of fairway cred and cash along the way.

It’s a fun week when your worst 18-hole score is a 66. Higgo opened with that number, making just six birdies on the day. He improved with six more on Friday, and capped the round with an eagle-three at the last, for minus-eight for the round. A paltry five birdies on Saturday were set straight by a pair of eagles, and Higgo began to pull away from the field. On Sunday, the Joburg native crushed any doubters with an ace at the seventh, to go with his six birdies. His margin of victory was six shots over Australia’s Maverick Antcliff, with Finland’s Tappio Pulkkanen an additional shot back, in the third slot.

 

Korn Ferry Tour: Simmons Bank Open is Smotherman’s first big professional win

After playing some college golf in Dallas with Bryson DeChambeau, Austin Smotherman moved out into the great open spaces of the world’s golf tours. He won in Mexico in 2018, on the PGA Latinoamérica tour. In Tennessee this week, Smotherman caught lightning in a bottle and translated it into a 16-under par performance. The California lad opened with 65, two behind the leader, Harrison Endycott. When Endycott was forced to withdraw, Smotherman locked in on the number 69 and turned in three consecutive cards at that figure.

Smotherman carried a one-shot advantage over Carl Yuan and David Skinns into the final round, and turned in two-under 34. Yuan carded five birdies on the day, and made a brief run on the back nine with three saved shots in four holes. Bogey at 16 and 17 submarined his try at the title, but a birdie at the last brought him into a tie with Paul Haley II for second position. Skinns closed in even-par 72 and finished in solo 4th position.

Walker Cup: Team USA wins a close one at Seminole

It’s hard to carry the weight of a side on your shoulders. Alex Fitzpatrick learned that this weekend in Florida. The Wake Forest stalwart from England did his level best in each of four matches over two days at storied Seminole golf club, and came out on the wrong end each time. Fellow Demon Deacon Mark Power, also on the Great Britain and Ireland side, fared much better. He was 3-0 until running into a buzzsaw named Austin Eckroat, who dispatched him by 7 & 6. Thus did the host squad escape with a 14-12 win on home soil.

Who were the heroes for the Red, White and Blue? Begin with Eckroat, who won a pair of singles matches, despite not experiencing partner combat either day. Essentially coming in cold off the bench, Eckroat dispatched Power and Angus Flanagan, giving the USA team a pair of needed points. Cole Hammer a member of the 2019 team went 3.5-0.5. Ricky Castillo, who should have been a member of that 2019 squad, earned four points, the only member of either side to achieve that accolade.

The 2021 Walker Cup will also be remembered for a stomach bug. Both Mac Meissner (USA) and Jake Bolton (GBI) came off the alternate bench for the USA, when the original partners were unable to compete during that round. Ironically, each won a point with his newfound partner.

PGA Tour Champions: first major of the season goes to Cejka

Steve Stricker knows what it’s like to win your first major title on the Champions Tour. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t like to add another, and that surely means that he regrets his playoff loss to Alex Cejka at the Regions Tradition in Birmingham. It was Saturday when the two combatants proclaimed the 2021 playing to be a two-horse race, after posting 65 (Stricker) and 66 (Cejka). Robert Karlsson turned in a fine 64 on day three, but needed another on Sunday to enter the fray. He would settle for solo third place, four out of the playoff.

Through nine holes on Sunday, Stricker had opened up a three-shot advantage on Cejka. He gave two back through 13, and Cejka grabbed three more with birdies at 12 through 14. Suddenly with two strokes in hand, the German played conservatively home in par, giving Stricker an opening. The 2021 USA Ryder Cup captain made two more birdies at 16 and 18 to close the gap and send their match into extra holes.

Facing an awkward pitch from sidehill rough, Cejka lofted his third to about ten feet, just outside of Stricker’s birdie attempt. Leaving nothing to chance, he knocked the putt into the heart. When the reliable Stricker left his blade opened and missed to the right, the tournament belonged to Cejka.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (05/06/21): “Classic” Titleist 915 Fairway wood

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a highly desirable Titleist 915 fairway wood (wiener dog not included).

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Titleist, Odyssey, and Nike gear!
This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules
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