Tag Archives: Kapalua

Jan
6
2014
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Bro hug!

Bro hug!

Zach Johnson put on a short-game clinic at Kapalua’s Plantation Course to capture his third victory in four months on Monday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Similar to what we saw at last month’s World Challenge, where he took down Tiger Woods in a playoff, Johnson’s precision with his wedges helped him on his way to a final-round, seven-under 66.

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Jan
2
2014
The first tee at Kapalua's Plantation Course: Always a beauty!

The first tee at Kapalua’s Plantation Course: Always a beauty!

Welcome to the first tournament of 2014 and my first day of work for the year! It’s a beautiful day here in Kapalua and I’m not annoyed at all that I’m sitting inside a cart-barn-converted media center — not at all! Fine, I know I can’t complain, especially since it seems like it’s snowing in many places on the mainland.

Well, let’s get started into all the insider bytes you need to know. 

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Jan
9
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Stricker

Stricker eyes semi-retirement…

That headline isn’t exactly breaking news. Everyone knows Steve Stricker is an incredible human being, but now with the recent announcement of his semi-retirement already in effect at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, I’m feeling sentimental. At least he’s easing into it, so we won’t have to worry about extreme withdrawals.

When I think of veterans that I look up to and respect the most, first two names that come to mind are Stricker and K.J. Choi.

Stricker is your genuinely nice and down-to-earth Midwesterner. As a person and a golfer, Stricker never ceases to amaze me. The more you’re around him, the more you like him. He’s one of those guys who remind me the world doesn’t totally suck, and there is, in fact, hope for human kind.

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Jan
9
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
DJ: I don't lay up.

DJ: I don’t lay up.

After days wondering when the golf would start–and count officially–the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions ended on a high note under sunny skies with long-hitting Dustin Johnson winning by four shots over the defending champ Steve Stricker, who announced his semi-retirement his pre-tourney press conference last week. Johnson, who has now notched seven victories on the PGA Tour, overpowered The Plantation Course, which, as a beast of a track, holds its own. 

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Jan
7
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
DJ and Bubba enjoying the breeze at Kapalua during the first round

DJ and Bubba enjoying the breeze at Kapalua during the first round

Rickie Fowler stepped up to the first tee at The Plantation Course and hit the opening drive to kick off the 2013 season for the third time in four days. Difference on Monday morning? It was actually official. Beforehand, Fowler tweeted, “Scene 1…take 3.”

Fowler, who played with Jason Dufner, got the opening event off to a nice pace, completing the first 18 in less than four hours, which is very impressive on this track. As you may have heard, it’s not exactly the easiest course to to walk. In fact, it’s the most strenuous of the year. But after the week that would never end — or should I say, start — the players were ready to get things going.

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Jan
6
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Bubba Watson and his caddie Ted Scott have some fun: Teddy assists Bubba by holding the ball in place.

Bubba Watson & his caddie Ted Scott have some fun: Teddy assists Bubba by holding the ball in place.

The forecast at Kapalua’s Plantation Course continues to plague the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions with strong winds and gusts up to 50mph. Not much has changed from Friday when the PGA Tour’s season-opener was supposed to kick off. For the third day in a row, play was delayed, suspended, and eventually called at 12:12pm on Sunday.

The new (tentative) plan? To return on Monday morning and play 36 holes and 18 on Tuesday. The goal is to complete 54 holes — otherwise it’ll count as an “unofficial” event, meaning it won’t count as an “official” win and the champion won’t get the chance to defend his title in 2014, but it will reward “official FedExCup points/money/75% OWGR points. In other words, it would cause more harm to the already endangered venue for the event. Which would really suck.

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Jan
4
2013
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Scott Stallings weathering the extreme conditions

Scott Stallings weathering the extreme conditions

The 2013 PGA Tour season didn’t exactly start with a bang. Well, depending on how you see it, and actually, it technically hasn’t officially began. Usually–at least in the past two years I’ve covered the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua’s Plantation Course–it’s 80 degrees and sunny with beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean with the wind blowing around 10-15mph and gusts of maybe 20mph.

Not this year, unfortunately. At least not since January 1st when golf in Maui felt more like Scotland. (It was gorgeous last week. I played last Friday and there was virtually NO wind, which was strange, and the sun was almost too hot.)

24 of the 30-player field had teed off on Friday morning before play was suspended. Due to gusts up to 42 mph, sideways rain and balls blowing off greens, PGA Tour officials decided to not only cancel play but completely wipe out the scores and start anew on Saturday morning. That’s right — bizarre, huh?

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Jan
9
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Always happy to see Stricker hoisting the trophy

Steve Stricker began the day with a five-shot lead going into the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but it didn’t turn out to be as much of a runaway victory as we expected. The 44-year-old veteran (who turns 45 next month) encountered a few bumps before shooting three-under 69, 23-under total to win (for the ninth time in his 40s) by three shots.

Martin Laird, Webb Simpson and Jonathan Byrd all got off to hot starts, while Stricker looked shaky (similar to Sunday’s third round), missing short putts early in his round. He failed to hit the green on No. 6, pushing it in a “gnarly” area and then fumbled the short putt to post a bogey — at which point his lead had dwindled to just one stroke. Standing behind the sixth green, he shook his head in disappointment.

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Jan
8
2012

Na: What's with the pornstache, Johnson??

 

Through the first 26 holes at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Kevin Na was plodding along — not striking the ball that well or that bad, but making 10-15 footers for par (on the comeback because it’s easy to misjudge the very, very grainy and difficult greens). Then he rolled in a 15-footer on No. 9 that turned around the momentum and went on to fire 29 on the back nine (nine-under in last 10 holes), highlighted with an incredible eagle-eagle finish.

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Jan
7
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Sabbo and Sean: BFFs

Rory Sabbatini and his caddie Mick Doran didn’t exactly get off to an ideal start in the second round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Before Sabbatini even hit his first tee shot, he was already over par for the day because he received a two-shot penalty for missing his 11:35am tee time at Kapalua by two minutes.

The first tee already was probably going to be a tad awkward with Sabbatini and Sean O’Hair paired together for the first time since their near on-course brawl during the second round of the Zurich Classic last April — the two have mended things, but I doubt they play practice rounds together. (Robert Garrigus had a pretty funny tweet. So did Brian Gay’s caddie Kip Henley. This one made me chuckle, as well.)

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