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2012 Sony Open Discussion Thread

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The Sony Open marks more of the "official" start to the PGA Tour season with the first full field event.

Here’s a quick look at some of the notable threesomes in the first two rounds.  Who are you guys pulling for to start the season off strong?

Keegan Bradley/Stewart Cink/Vijay Singh – Three major winners, with Cink and Singh making their 2012 debuts and Bradley coming off a terrific ball-striking week at Kapalua

Webb Simpson/K.J. Choi/Ryo Ishikawa – Simpson and Choi both played well last week, and Ishikawa, the young Japanese star, will be one of the biggest draws this week

David Toms/Mark Wilson/Zach Johnson – Think these guys know how to play Waialae? Wilson won last year; Toms won in 2006; Johnson won in 2009

Steve Stricker/Sean O’Hair/Davis Love III – Only one player – Ernie Els in 2003 – has won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Sony Open in Hawaii on back-to-back weeks. Stricker will attempt to be the second.

And an article about Stewart Cink

Quote:

HONOLULU – Two dozen PGA Tour rookies start their season Thursday at the Sony Open.

In some respects, Stewart Cink feels like one of them.

“This is a fresh start,” he said Wednesday, walking down the 15th fairway at Waialae Country Club during the best part of the day as the warm sun started to drop toward the Pacific horizon.

Cink is 38 and about to embark on his 15th season. He is still saluted as the guy who spoiled an epic moment in sports by taking down Tom Watson at Turnberry to win the 2009 British Open. His home life has never been better. His oldest son, Connor, is a senior in high school who was recently made captain of his high school hockey team in Atlanta. Reagan will turn 15 on Sunday at the Masters .

His golf game? That’s another story.

Cink moved up to No. 9 in the world when he won at Turnberry. He starts this year at No. 147.

“I don’t feel like I belong there,” Cink said, conceding that he stopped paying attention after he slipped out of the top 100. “It’s very disappointing, but I’ve played about that kind of golf. I’ll never be one to argue about the ranking. I think the ranking tells you how you’re playing. You can’t hide from them.”

It seems as though Cink has been in hiding.

He had sinus surgery in November and the medication he was on kept him awake at night. He wound up watching the Presidents Cup, another reminder of how far he had fallen. Cink had played on the previous seven U.S. teams in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. He had to sit this one out.

He played in 23 consecutive World Golf Championships until last year at Doral. He starts this year not eligible for any of them. He still gets into the majors based on his win at the Open.

“I feel like I belong in World Golf Championships, playing late on Sunday. That’s where I’ve been my whole career,” he said. “It’s a little bit embarrassing. It’s a pride thing, almost shameful. Like it or not, golf – when you’ve done it as long as I’ve done it – becomes part of you. If you’ve got bad golf, that means something is bad inside of you. It hurts. When you play well for a long time, it’s frustrating.”

This is not a British Open hangover.

On paper, it would look as though Cink spent a year celebrating his major championship, then never got back on track. In fact, he says he had been playing badly and had an extraordinary week at the right time one week in July on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.

He traces the problem to his attempt at hitting a draw. Over the last five years, the path of his swing became more pronounced from the inside, to the point where he had to rely more on his timing. The result was a two-way miss, the worst feeling for any golfer on the tee, and an inadequate short game made it feel even worse.

Cink went from missing the Tour Championship in 2010 to missing the last two playoff events a year ago, finishing 98th in the standings. He was No. 101 on the money list, finishing outside the top 100 for the first time in his career.

Even so, his optimism level is right up there with the rookies.

Cink began working last summer with Chris O’Donnell, who also teaches Matt Kuchar , trying to get the club more square at impact. When he had himself videotaped in 3-D, he said his swing was coming from the inside at 7 degrees.

“This year is a test,” he said. “I want to see how I can respond to these changes.”

The biggest change might be his desire. Cink asked himself some serious questions during the offseason, one of them being what he wants to accomplish the rest of his career. He even questioned his own will, wondering if it might be better to simply ride out that five-year exemption he received from the British Open and just walk away.

He’s not ready for that, not at his age.

“It’s easy to lose drive and focus when you’re having a bad stretch,” he said. “Everything in my life, other than golf, has grown up. My kids have grown up. My relationship with (wife) Lisa has grown up. It’s easy to want to focus on other stuff when you’re struggling, and I battled through that a little bit.”

And he found a role model in Steve Stricker , who won last week at Kapalua for his eighth PGA Tour win in the last three years, the most of any player.

Stricker was in his mid-30s when his game started to go south. He was terrified off the tee, not sure where the ball was going. He lost his PGA Tour card. But through dedication and hard work, he pulled himself out the slump and now is arguably the best American player.

“That’s how I’d like to be,” Cink said.

It all starts Thursday in the first full-field event of the season, where Mark Wilson is the defending champion and Stricker is the star based on his performance last week on Maui.

Two dozen rookies get started, 11 of whom have never competed in a PGA Tour event. Optimism is never higher than it is on the shores of Waikiki Beach at the start of a new season. And yes, that includes Cink.

“I don’t call him Stewart,” caddie Frank Williams said. “I call him ‘Comeback Player of the Year.”’

Cink isn’t ready to go that far, at least not yet. He has four tournaments – Honolulu, San Diego, Phoenix and L.A. – to see if he can get his world ranking high enough go to the Match Play Championship at the end of February. This is a Ryder Cup year, and the last time Cink was not part of the U.S. team was at Brookline in 1999.

“Now it’s time to come out here and work,” he said. “And I’m really looking forward to seeing how I do.”

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I'm mostly interested in seeing how Seung-yul Noh and Sang-Moon Bae do this week. The Rookie of the Year will come from 1 of those 2 imo.

Bud Cauley putting a great round together so far!

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Just watched the segment on Eric Compton, really is an amazing story.  Surprised to hear to his resting heart rate is 104-112, according to Faldo.  Hope he plays well this year and can make some money on the course and through sponsors because who knows how long he can play at this level.

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Just watched the segment on Eric Compton, really is an amazing story.  Surprised to hear to his resting heart rate is 104-112, according to Faldo.  Hope he plays well this year and can make some money on the course and through sponsors because who knows how long he can play at this level.

It is an amazingly touching story. Sometimes I think about fighting adversity in life, and how sometimes you feel like it's just not worth it. Then to see a guy like Compton, and hear about his trials and tribulations just makes it seem like what I've gone through to be so frivolous.

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The first round leader is Graham DeLaet... They said he is playing on a Major Medical Extension due to back surgery. What is a Major Medical Extension? Is that like a medical redshirt in the NCAA's? Also what kind of back surgery did he have? That is pretty interesting that he had to have surgery. The dude looks fit. Like he is really lean and muscular. Kind of surprised he had to have back surgery as young and athletic as he looks.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

The first round leader is Graham DeLaet... They said he is playing on a Major Medical Extension due to back surgery. What is a Major Medical Extension? Is that like a medical redshirt in the NCAA's? Also what kind of back surgery did he have? That is pretty interesting that he had to have surgery. The dude looks fit. Like he is really lean and muscular. Kind of surprised he had to have back surgery as young and athletic as he looks.



Not sure about his medical history, but he only played 2 events last year, presumedly due to his back.

Bit of a Cinderella story (cue Bill Murray). Considering the amount of golf courses per capita, I'm surprised there aren't a few more of us (Canadians) on the tour. (yeah yeah ... I know ... short summers, long winters)

Definitely has my attention and I imagine all the Rider fans are tuned in.

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Just watched the segment on Eric Compton, really is an amazing story.  Surprised to hear to his resting heart rate is 104-112, according to Faldo.  Hope he plays well this year and can make some money on the course and through sponsors because who knows how long he can play at this level.

Yeah, I was doing some researching for a PGA Tour rookies article I'm working on it, and it's a pretty amazing story. I had heard and read about it before, but never very in depth. Hopefully once the network broadcasts start up we'll be hearing his story a lot.

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Originally Posted by jamo

Quote:

Originally Posted by mvmac

Just watched the segment on Eric Compton, really is an amazing story.  Surprised to hear to his resting heart rate is 104-112, according to Faldo.  Hope he plays well this year and can make some money on the course and through sponsors because who knows how long he can play at this level.

Yeah, I was doing some researching for a PGA Tour rookies article I'm working on it, and it's a pretty amazing story. I had heard and read about it before, but never very in depth. Hopefully once the network broadcasts start up we'll be hearing his story a lot.


I think I had seen that Rosaforte piece before and was interesting to hear more about the medication he takes.  His heart is foreign tissue so his body wants to reject but it's keeping him alive.  I don't want to get too political but makes you want to support stem cell research. I have a back up putter why not a back up heart?

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The first round leader is Graham DeLaet... They said he is playing on a Major Medical Extension due to back surgery. What is a Major Medical Extension? Is that like a medical redshirt in the NCAA's? Also what kind of back surgery did he have? That is pretty interesting that he had to have surgery. The dude looks fit. Like he is really lean and muscular. Kind of surprised he had to have back surgery as young and athletic as he looks.

I think he's playing on a medical exemption because he wasn't able to play most of a last year due to the back surgery for a herniated disk. Believe the original injury was sustained playing hockey. He did pretty well in his first PGA season in 2010.

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Originally Posted by Jmdmbike

I think he's playing on a medical exemption because he wasn't able to play most of a last year due to the back surgery for a herniated disk. Believe the original injury was sustained playing hockey. He did pretty well in his first PGA season in 2010.



He had a rough day today though.

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Originally Posted by deasy55

Awkward interview with Matt Every there.....



Yah awkward is right!  Ya figure Kelly would pick up on his body language to lay off, but she kept pressing and he didnt seem too happy about it....

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Originally Posted by deasy55

Awkward interview with Matt Every there.....

Yeah, absolutely. For those who didn't hear the interview, here are the relevant snippets (which don't convey Every's frequent pausing and shifting body language):

On Hawaii: “This is really just like South Florida or Puerto Rico.”

On being arrested for drug charges and suspended from the PGA Tour for three months: “It was all right. I just got three months off; it’s just golf. I don’t think I was doing anything wrong. But, you know, it happened, I’m the same person, I have the same friends, and I don’t think it’s that big a deal. You know, there’s a lot worse stuff that goes on out here than what I got in trouble for, and that’s all I’m gonna say about it.”

On what he learned from the experience: “I feel like I’m the same, I really do. Like, I’m maybe a little more responsible, but I’m not like a huge party animal — I mean, I’m married, I got a kid on the way. It’s, it’s, I just like to live … I just like to live , and, you know, whatever happened happened.”

Nick Faldo’s reaction: “My first advice to that man would be to get some PR advice, because I personally don’t think he did himself any favors in not being able to respond positively about himself, just sitting there going ‘well, I’m just the same’ is not … I personally don’t think that’s good.” It's hard not to agree.

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Every doesn't come off as overly bright, but to be fair, his big crime was smoking pot.

I didn't think it was even possible to get busted for smoking pot anymore.

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Matt Every basically said leave me alone and just let me play golf. For that I can't really blame him. He spoke his mind instead of giving a canned response to some ridiculous questions.

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