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LA JOLLA, Calif. – Tiger Woods emerged as the champion of Farmers Insurance Open Monday in his eighth win at Torrey Pines, which includes his playoff win in the 2008 US Open.

Fans flocked to the ninth hole Monday morning to watch the Woods tee off.  He started the day the same way he ended it – in first place.

For the first time ever, the tournament was free to the public.   According to tournament director Peter Ripa, the free entry brought in an estimated 15,000 -20,000 people on a Monday.  Large lines snaked through the course and surrounded each green.

“I’m a little star struck,” said golf fan Janelle Thompson.

Tiger Pic“I’ve been playing golf since the fourth grade,” said Adam Prell, Woods fan.  “I grew up right about the time he started getting big, so he’s been an idol of mine for a long time.”

“I came with my friend.  It’s just beautiful weather so we just came to watch Tiger,” said Kat Maloney, Woods fan.

Woods was very much in charge on the final day of the tournament.  The golf great has a few rough shots, but each time to the delight of fans he always brought the game back on course.

The conditions were perfect to take in another history making moment for Woods.

For his eighth victory, Woods won over a $1 million, not to mention a trophy and even a surfboard.  Fans said it’s a great start for the 2013 season.

“It’s just really cool to get to see him, one of those people who are really impressive,” said Prell.  “Obviously one of the best careers, players in golf.”

To the fans, Woods also had his own message.

“I’ll be back next year,” said Woods.

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Tiger Woods stumbled down the stretch but gained his 75th PGA Tour victory Monday, winning the Farmers Insurance Open at the Torrey Pines Golf Course for the seventh time.

Tiger Woods Wins FarmersWoods came into the day with a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney through seven holes of the fog-delayed $6.1 million tournament but bogeyed twice and double-bogeyed once between the 14th and 17th holes.

He completed an even-par final round to defeat Snedeker and Josh Teater by four strokes and collect the winner’s share of $1.098 million.

“It got a little ugly towards the end. I started losing my patience a little bit with the slow play, and kind of lost my concentration a little bit there but got it back on 18,” Woods told CBS after sinking his putt on the 18th hole. He later said he was frustrated by the three hours it took to play just over half the course.

A thick blanket of fog blanketed the seaside course on Saturday, allowing only about five minutes of play. The third round and part of the fourth round were played Sunday.

Woods, who shot 14-under-par for the tournament, climbed to within seven victories of all-tour winner Sam Snead, who had 82 between 1936 and 1965.

Woods’ first victory came in his fifth tournament as a professional, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. He won a second time that year, four times in 1997, once in 1998, eight times in 1999, nine times in 2000, five times each in 2001, 2002 and 2003, once in 2004, six times in 2005, eight times in 2006, seven times in 2007, four times in 2008 and six times in 2009.

Woods was winless in 2010 and 2011 following an early morning auto accident on Nov. 27, 2009 and his admission of infidelity. He ended a 924-day victory drought by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25. He also won the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National last year.

Woods’ seven victories at the Farmers Insurance Open are the most in its history. Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner, is the only other player to win more than twice.

Woods’ most recent victory came in 2008. The tournament was initially known as the San Diego Open and has been played all but one year since 1952.

Woods has won two tournaments seven times — The Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, Fla., and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

Because of the weather delay, golf fans got to watch Monday’s action for free.

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Admission will be free Monday at Torrey Pines Golf Course, where Tiger Woods is a heavy favorite to complete his 75th victory on the PGA Tour and seventh at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Tiger WoodsWoods holds a six-stroke lead over Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney through seven holes of the fog-delayed $6.1 million tournament, whose winner will receive $1.098 million.

“I’ve got to continue with executing my game plan,” said Woods, who is at 17-under-par. “That’s the idea. I’ve got 11 holes to play and I’ve got to go out there and play them well.”

With play limited to five minutes on Saturday because of fog, the entire third round and a portion of the fourth and final round were played Sunday.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. today, and play is set to begin at 11:10 a.m., with players restarting from the position where they left off Sunday. Parking at Lot A-Glider Port will be free until it fills.

When the Glider Port lot reaches capacity, fans will be diverted to Lot B (UTC-Executive Drive) and Lot C (Del Mar Fairgrounds Practice Track), where they will be shuttled to and from Torrey Pines Golf Course on a continuous schedule. Parking at both Lots B and C will cost $15, which includes shuttle transportation.

Tournament executive director Peter Ripa announced Saturday that admission on Monday would be free because “we felt it was the right thing to do because of the recent weather issues.”

Golf Channel will broadcast the completion of the final round from 11:10 a.m.-1 p.m., with the coverage shifting at 1 p.m. to CBS, which will air it to its conclusion.

History is on Woods’ side. He has held the third-round lead 53 times in PGA Tour play and gone on to win 49 times.

Woods began Sunday play with a two-shot lead over Billy Horschel, then increased the lead to four shots with birdies on the second and third holes.

Woods lost a shot off the lead by bogeying the fifth hole but got it back with a birdie on the sixth. He also had birdies on the 10th and 13th holes and a bogey on the 18th for a round of three-under-par 69, giving him a four- shot lead at 14-under-par 202 over PGA Tour rookie Brad Fritsch.

“I played really, really well,” Woods said . “I hit the ball pretty good today. It seemed like I was always in good position.”

Horschel shot a four-over-par 76 to fall into a seven-way tie for 22nd at five-under-par 211, nine shots behind Woods.

Fourth-round play began a short time later and Woods added to his lead with birdies on the third, fourth and sixth holes before play was suspended due to darkness. He is at 17-under-par for the tournament.

Watney, one of five golfers tied for fourth at eight-under-par 208 at the end of the third round, birdied the first, third and fourth holes of the fourth round and is three-under-par through eight holes to go to 11-under-par for the tournament, where he is joined by Snedeker.

Snedeker, who was in an eight-way tie for ninth at the end of the third round at seven-under-par 209, is at four-under-par through 13 holes of the fourth round, with five birdies and one bogey.

Fritsch is at one-over-par though seven holes of the fourth round and in fourth place at nine-under-par.

“I’ve got a long way to go,” admitted Snedeker, who overcame a seven- stroke deficit to win last year’s tournament.   “I’ve got a guy at the top of the leaderboard that doesn’t like giving up leads, so I have to go to catch him.”

Added Watney: “All I can do is I’m going to try to make as many birdies as I can. I’ve got 11 and 12 that are tough and hopefully, maybe he can help me out a little bit. I don’t know. But I can’t just hand it to him, as a competitor, so we’ll come out and see how close we can get.”

Woods’ 74 PGA Tour victories are second behind the late Sam Snead, who won 82 between 1936 and 1965.

His first victory came in his fifth tournament as a professional, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. He won a second time that year, four times in 1997, once in 1998, eight times in 1999, nine times in 2000, five times each in 2001, 2002 and 2003, once in 2004, six times in 2005, eight times in 2006, seven times in 2007, four times in 2008 and six times in 2009.

Woods was winless in 2010 and 2011 following an early morning auto accident on Nov. 27, 2009 and his admission of infidelity. He ended a 924-day victory drought by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 25. He also won the Memorial Tournament and AT&T National last year.

Woods’ six victories at the Farmers Insurance Open are the most in its history. Phil Mickelson, a three-time winner, is the only other player to win more than twice.

Woods’ most recent victory came in 2008. The tournament was initially known as the San Diego Open and has been played all but one year since 1952.

Woods has won two tournaments seven times — The Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, Fla., and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Can Tiger Woods hold the lead he took into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Sunday?

Will victory at Torrey Pines mark the start of a major-tournament Woods revival?

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods at Farmers Insurance Open 2013

Or, did that ungodly bogey on No. 18 to end his third round, followed by two hook drives to start his fourth, portend a frostier, unfathomable conclusion?

What about Brandt Snedeker? Can the man who came from seven shots down to win last year’s event somehow make Woods sweat?

What does Nick Watney have left in the bag?

Will they run out of hot dogs?

Did the crew of the Golf Channel find lodging Sunday night?

These are the days of their Torrey Pines tee times …

… to be continued.

A tournament that was supposed to end Sunday was turned into a sunset serial that threatened to hold everyone in suspended animation over the bluffs where skydivers take off.

The sponsors were openly cheering for a cliffhanger.

The more likely scenario is that an unclean tournament, which lost Saturday’s third round because of dense fog, will end up a very clean break for Woods.

The world’s No. 2 golfer needs only to mop up a few holes Monday to leave Torrey Pines with his eighth professional victory on these grounds.

Read more at latimes.com.

Final round is set to begin at 11:10 a.m. PST Monday.

SAN DIEGO — Nobody had the foggiest idea what was going on Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. The only thing that was clear was that Tiger Woods was in the lead and Mother Nature was in charge.

Pars and birdies weren’t the story. Visibility was. Nobody saw this coming. As the day went on, nobody saw anything.

Puffs of mist kept blowing in over the signature cliffs of Torrey Pines. A few players with early tee times completed about 10 minutes of golf. Those scheduled for later stood around the putting green and driving range for hours, telling jokes and booking new flights and hotel rooms.

Read more at latimes.com

fog golfLA JOLLA, Calif. – Fog delayed the start of play in Saturday’s third round of the $6.1 million Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club by three hours, then heavy fog rolled back in after five minutes, leading to a suspension of play, which was never resumed.

The round was scheduled to begin at 7:20 a.m., but did not start until 10:20 a.m.

Only two three-player groups teed off, with one group finishing its first hole before play was suspended at 10:25 a.m.

Play was called off for the day at 4 p.m. due to heavy fog and darkness.

“The low sun angle that we have and the elevation of Torrey Pines, it’s just a perfect scenario for the fog,” said Stewart Williams, the PGA Tour’s on-site meteorologist.

“The little bit of sun we did get today was overpowered by just the saturation of the atmosphere, so we just couldn’t overcome it today.”

If the tournament “were in any other location” in the San Diego area, “we’d have played a lot of golf today, but I think just the elevation of where we are here just really hurt us,” Williams said.

Visibility was reduced to one-eighth and one-quarter of a mile during parts of the day in Oceanside, Carlsbad and other parts of San Diego, “but a lot of the day, they were sitting at four- or five-mile visibilities,” Williams said.

This was the first time the Farmers Insurance Open had a suspension of play since 2005 when fog caused suspensions on the second and third days of the tournament.

“I knew it was going to get foggy out there, but I didn’t expect it to be this bad,” said Billy Horschel, who is in second, two shots behind Tiger Woods.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7 a.m. Sunday, but fog and rain are possibilities, Williams said.

“There is another system that’s going to be dropping southward and bring another shower chance,” Williams said.

“If it’s not raining in the morning, we’ll stay socked in and still have fog issues to deal with.”  Williams said he is “really hoping” it starts to rain because “that will mix the atmosphere some and that will help lift this fog deck.”

“Then we’ll play in some light rain, but as we go through the day, as this front progresses toward us and moves through us, the wind is expected to pick up, especially in the afternoon, 10 to 15 miles an hour, and that would definitely help us out a lot,” Williams said.

All Saturday tickets, including hospitality badges, will be valid for general grounds entry on Sunday.

Only fans with Sunday hospitality badges will be allowed entry into hospitality venues.

The tournament is set to conclude on Monday when “it’s going to be cold for Southern California standards, but we’ll play in that,” Williams said.

Admission will be free on Monday, with parking free on the Glider Port.

Shuttles will run from Del Mar (Solana Gate) and UTC executive lots for $15.

“We felt it was the right thing to do because of the recent weather issues,” said Peter Ripa, the tournament’s executive director.

Rain and wind couldn’t stop Tiger Woods from storming to the top of the leader board at the farmers insurance open and it didn’t stop thousands of fans from trekking thru the wet weather to see some of their favorite golfers.

The biggest draw was Tiger Woods.

Addressing his game and the weather, 7-time Torrey Pines Open winner, Tiger Woods said, “ the weather was supposed to lighten up today and it ended up getting heavier.”

Day two of the Farmers Insurance Open and mother nature was not cooperating. What started as a light drizzle in the morning, turned to a downpour by the end of day.

Fans, though still happy to be there, “the weather’s bad but that’s ok, it’s better than from where I’m from.”

And it certainly didn’t stop thousands of fans from turning out to see the crowd favorite Tiger Woods.

“We’ve been following Tiger around all day. We had a couple of chances to see him tee off right in front and make some good birdie puts.”

As they made their way on the north course, a sea of umbrellas, make shift raincoats and, like the players, just forced to deal with it.

Local favorite, Rickie Fowler, said he tried to protect Tiger from the rain.  “I tried cover him on the 9th hole, but he said he was already drenched.”

Tiger described the downpour like this, “we had it spitting most of the day but now its really coming down and getting tough out there.”

On the 6th hole, the soggy greens getting the best of Tiger, as he hit the ground with his club, showing a little frustration.

But said another fan, he made up for it, “the hole before he was pretty happy though, they all nailed it right down the green.”

Despite the rain, thousand of fans trudged threw the soggy grass and those from out of town said the weather’s not that bad. “I’m from Norfolk, Nebraska and it was minus 2 when we came yesterday.”

With two more days to go, Tiger finished the second round at 11 under par and said he’s looking forward to weather San Diego is famous for Saturday.

“We got a tough golf course tomorrow and I don’t know what the weather is supposed to be like tomorrow.”

Morning News
01/25/13

Around Town: The Farmers Insurance Open

Brad Wills finds out how tournament organizers plan to handle rain at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Defending champ Brandt Snedeker and K.J. Choi shot a seven-under-par 65 Thursday to take the lead in the $6.1 million Farmers Insurance Open after the first round at Torrey Pines Golf Club.

professional golfSix-time champion Tiger Woods, returning after a year’s absence, shot a 68 under cloudy skies and occasional drizzle.

Woods bypassed the tournament last year in favor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. There was no conflict this year, because that tournament was held last week, with Woods missing the cut by one shot, in part because of a two- shot penalty.

Tournament director Peter Ripa told U-T San Diego he expects a 30 percent increase in ticket sales over the tournament’s four days and a doubling of television ratings because of Woods’ presence.

Woods placed himself in a strong position since his opening round came on Torrey Pines South, considered the toughest of the two courses.

By contrast, San Diego-native Phil Mickelson, ensnared in a controversy over public remarks on California’s tax burden, shot an even-par 72 on the North course. He will have to make up ground on the more difficult links on Friday.

The co-leaders also played different courses — Snedeker on Torrey Pines North and Choi on the South.

Bubba Watson, the defending Masters champion and former winner at Torrey Pines, announced on his Twitter account that he backed out at the last minute because of the flu.

The winner will get $1.098 million.

The National Weather Service predicts rain Friday with more rain expected this weekend.

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