Hawaiian golf is great for scenery and apparently for competitive juices if the Sony Open was any indication. With an hour of play left, no less than four players were in the hunt.
Next week, the senior circuit takes over on the islands while the PGA TOUR heads stateside for the Humana Challenge in La Quinta, Calif. It's still another week before the LPGA starts the season in the Bahamas. Off the course, the PGA Merchandise show is just a little over a week away.
Can you smell it in the air? The 2014 golf season is just starting to bud. Now we need to come up with a plan to make sure that groundhog doesn't see it's shadow next month. Let's hit the links.
Hole #1: Dyn-o-mite!
Jimmy Walker claimed the 2014 Sony Open with a 7-under 63 to beat Chris Kirk by a stroke. That's two wins in six starts for the 2013-14 season for Walker, who is the early leader of both the FedExCup and Ryder Cup standings. Dyn-o-mite, by the way, was the catch phrase of comedian Jimmie "J.J." Walker on "Good Times," which ran its final episode in 1979, the same year that Jimmy Walker was born. [Link]
Hole #2: It Only Sounds Dirty
Louis Oosthuizen defends the Volvo. Oosthuizen birdied the last two holes at the Durban Country Club to beat his fellow South African Brandon Grace and repeat as champion at the Volvo Golf Champions. [Link]
Hole #3: Speaking of the Volvo
The Volvo Golf Champions tournament offered some interesting hole-in-one prizes. In addition to offering cars (yawn) on the first three par threes, the event rolled out a brand new $75,000 backhoe loader on the par three 15th and a $200,000 FH16 truck for anyone holing out their drive on the easily reachable, par 4 18th. [Link]
Hole #4: If the Shoe Fits
If you entered Nike's design a shoe for Tiger contest, you can stop checking the mail. We have a winner. Dane Thompson's patriotic design was picked by Tiger Woods himself. The red-white-and-blue trimmed TW'14 shoes are intended by the designer to be a nod to the U.S. team at the Winter Olympics, the 2014 Ryder Cup, and the U.S. Open. [Link]
Hole #5: One Caddie's Journey
Simon Clark first went to Japan with his wife some 20 years ago, because he wanted to learn the language and he saw an ad recruiting caddies for a golf club. The Australian is still at it, now working on the PGA Tour for Ryo Ishikawa. [Link]
Hole #6: Hard Work and Deer Antler Spray
Vijay Singh epitomizes practicing to excess while moving with a slow grace that could make Els look rushed. He served a two-year suspension from the Asian Tour for allegedly improving his scorecard to make a cut in 1985. More recently, he's reportedly turned down a large settlement offer from the PGA Tour for the deer antler spray affair because he wants to clear his name in court. How do you solve a problem like Vijay? [Link]
Hole #7: There Are No Words
Well, except for these: Stewart Cink's tan line is truly spectacular in a horrifying sort of way. [Link]
Hole #8: It's Callaway for Ko
Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old phenom turned pro has signed a deal to play a full bag of Callaway equipment and an Odyssey putter. The world #4 is looking to continue the success she enjoyed as an amateur. [Link]
Hole #9: The Big W
We just can't help it. Every time we watch the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club, we can't help but think of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and this scene. [Link]