Tag Archives: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Jan
11
2012

Choi shot 65 in the final round at Kapalua to surge up the leaderboard in the top-5

 

After finishing his practice session last week at Kapalua, K.J. Choi was kind (and patient) enough to take some time and chat with me for a solid half-hour (which to be fair, is more like 15 minutes because my questions and his answers are repeated via his interpreter/manager). Something people don’t know about K.J. (because he looks serious on the golf course) — he has a fantastic sense of humor, often cracking jokes (and yes, in English!). When the interview ended, he joked that we talked for so long he saw the moon rise and move across the tree line. I blamed his interpreter/manager, naturally.

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Jan
9
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Stricker = Mr. Congeniality

 

Steve Stricker was having a ho-hum day, but then pulled a Charl Schwartzel and birdied the final four holes on Sunday to maintain a five-shot advantage going into the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

“It was pretty stagnant out there for me today,” said Stricker in his post-round presser. “I wasn’t doing anything very special there for the first, I guess, 14 holes and then just, you know, hit a couple good shots at 15, the par 5, and kind of stole a birdie at 16 after spinning it off the green and chipping it in.

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Jan
9
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Nice tan, commish!

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem popped by the interview room at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for an annual chat with the media. He answered questions regarding all the (over-hyped) fuss over the no-show winners at Kapalua this year, the possibility of changing the locale and timing of the Tour’s season opener, the Monday finish decision, his fondness for Steve Stricker, Tiger’s win at Chevron, the Olympics and more.

Finchem made some very valid points, especially regarding– what I view as –the overreaction to the quality of the field and the missing players. Here are the highlights/excerpts from the presser (aka the parts where my eyes didn’t glaze over):

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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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Jan
6
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Apparently golfers are prone to injury in Maui waters

Another year, another golfer forced to withdraw from the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions due to a freak injury while enjoying the Pacific Ocean. Last Saturday 2009 U.S. Open champ Lucas Glover was paddleboarding when his foot caught the side of the board and caused him to sprain his right knee (MCL), according to the AP. Glover was forced to pull out, reducing the PGA Tour’s season-opener to 27 players –the smallest field in Kapalua since 1999.

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Jan
6
2012
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Adam Scott's turn to play HAB

Leading into the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, there’s been more talk about who’s not in the field rather than who is. Which has led to concern and chatter about changing things up or even moving the tournament to a different locale. Look, a few tweaks wouldn’t hurt — like making it so that winners are granted invites for two years instead of just the previous season. But I’m pretty sure moving the event away from Kapalua to a more “convenient” location on the U.S. mainland isn’t going to make a difference in who shows up and who doesn’t.

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Dec
19
2011

Faldo and Miller together? They're gonna need a bigger booth!

Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, arguably golf’s two most opinionated analysts, will appear together in Golf Channel’s season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, according to USA Today‘s Michael Hiestand. (Wait, Johnny is actually doing cable??) Which should certainly be intriguing — I don’t have to tell you that this could turn into really, really good television or a complete trainwreck. Either way, I think it’s a win-win and you now have a reason to watch golf in the first week of the year.

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Jan
13
2011

Justin Rose shares a laugh with his caddie Mark Fulcher

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: When athletes pen a guest column, they don’t usually write it themselves — a ghostwriter does. Here’s what happens: A journalist will interview the player, take their words and put them together to sound like the player (as much as possible). Sorry if that just felt like I told you Santa Claus wasn’t real!

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Jan
11
2011
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Graeme McDowell: New clubs? New ball? No problem.

Ed. note: I know this is a few days late, but better than never, right? Right.

Leave it to Graeme McDowell to steal the show on Sunday at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He’s been making a habit of creating excitement in the final round — staring down Tiger Woods at Chevron to beat him in a playoff, draining a huge putt in singles against Hunter Mahan to clinch the Ryder Cup victory for Europe, grinding it out at Pebble Beach to win the US Open, etc.

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