Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Patrick Reed Wins in a Play-Off

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Patrick Reed was four shots behind the leader with four holes to play at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, on the Plantation Course at Maui. He proceeded to make two birdies, and then holed out from 80 yards for an Eagle. He then closed out his unlikely rally by making an 18-foot birdie putt to beat Jimmy Walker in a sudden death playoff.

Patrick Reed & Trophy / Getty Images

Patrick Reed & Trophy / Getty Images

Patrick fired a final round -6 under par 67 to post -21 under par for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and then sat back to see if Jimmy Walker would catch or pass him, he could only do the catching after it seemingly appeared he would just walk away with this tournament. That all changed on the 14th hole, which he bogeyed, and then failed to make birdie on the two remaining five fives. In the end he carded a last round -4 under par 69 to equal the total set by Patrick, who then made birdie on the par five 18th, the first sudden death play-off hole, to win the tournament.

Patrick did not think he had too much of a chance of capturing a win here;

“I thought my chances were slim.”

“So I was just thinking to myself, `Let’s try to birdie three of the last four and get ourselves a chance to secure second alone, and give ourselves a chance, just maybe.”

“I just stayed patient, I tried not to get ahead of myself and tried not to make mental errors. Here at the last, I gave myself a chance and I made it.”

“The confidence level is really high and I continue working on my game. Everybody gets on a hot streak, the main thing is to stay consistent and keep moving forward.”

Jimmy admitted he should have wrapped the title up when he had the chance;

“It was there for me to win, it was a bummer I didn’t close the door on it.”

” You feel pressure, you’re trying to win a golf tournament. I hit good shots. I don’t know what else to do.”

Three players tied for third position, Jason Day, Russell Henley and Hideki Matsuyama, all just one shot off the pace at -20 under par for the tournament.

Jason equaled the course record of -11 under par 62, a feat that had been posted earlier in the day by Chris Kirk, he also equaled the course record with his last round -11 under par and finished T14 at -13 under par.

Next stop on the TOUR is the Sony Open in Hawaii, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, just a couple of days away, starting Thursday the 15th January.






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Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Walker and Matsuyama Tied at the Top

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Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama are tied at the top of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions leaderboard.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Hideki Matsuyama and Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy  fired his second bogey-free -6 under par 67 of the week to grab a share of the third-round lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at -17 under par for the tournament.

Hideki also finished on that -17 under par score at the top of the leaderboard with his third round -7 under par 66.

Jimmy admits to feeling comfortable on the Plantation Course, he has only made one bogey over the opening 54 holesbut still mentioned the differing wind speed and direction on the first hole;

It’s not hard, but it’s just enough to make a huge difference, the difference between the two drives is 120 yards almost.”

“I’m definitely more comfortable here this year than I was last”

“I was hitting it good. That’s all I was caring about was hitting it good, getting looks, because eventually I was going to make something.”

“It’s timing, it’s good play, it’s being prepared, it’s being ready when the door opens to step through. It’s hard to do. I was hoping I’d win again last year after the fact, but it’s so hard to do, and so many things have to go your way.”

“If there was that magic formula, somebody would be rich.”

Hideki is full of confidence, and is looking forward to tomorrow;

“After winning the Memorial, I gained some confidence, and I thought that would translate into playing better, and you know, I really didn’t get another chance to win.”

“So now I’m here, I have a chance, and so I want to be able to use that experience I had at the Memorial and hopefully have a good day tomorrow.”

Patrick Reed and Sang-Moon Bae are tied in third place, two shots back at -15 under par. Patrick carded a -5 under par 68 third round, while Sang-Moon shot -4 under par 69. He is playing calmly but the sound of marching boots must be ringing in his ears as the spat over his national conscription continues.

Patrick likes playing on a Monday;

“It’s Monday tomorrow, and I’m a pretty good Monday qualifier”

“I’m just going to take that same mentality going into it, and hopefully I can get going and go low and at least have something to look at.”

Tied in fifth place are Brendon Todd and Russell Henley, both players have a tournament total of -14 under par, and are still in touch with the leaders going into the final round tomorrow.

Defending Champion Zach Johnson had an even par third round and is now back at -11 under par, and probably too far adrift to catch up. He measured the differing wind speeds on a scale of 1-10;

“On a scale of one to ten, with ten being two years ago (the wind-delayed 2013 tournament), this week has had periods of ones and twos and periods of fours and fives, but nothing more than that. It’s been calm.”


Hyundai Tournament of Champions. 4-Way Tie at the Top

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There is a 4-way tie at the top of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation course in Kapalua. Defending Champion Zach Johnson, Sang-Moon Bae, Jimmy Walker and first round leader Russell Henley are all at -11 under par for the two rounds completed.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Defending Champion Zach Johnson / Getty Images

Zach posted a second round of -6 under par 67 to get to the top of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions leaderboard on the Plantation Course at Kapalua. He was joined at that score by Sang-Moon, -4 under par 69, Jimmy carded -5 under par 68 and Russell with his second round score of -3 under par 70.

Zach birdied the 18th, a par five  to get into a share of the lead, somewhat unconventionally, his drive was 294 and the three wood approach coming up short, his third flew past the pin, leaving him a 15 foot birdie attempt, which he made;

“I had a full shot, at the same time, usually you’ve got to play 15 yards from the hole. That’s strange and rare, but that’s the way it is. I don’t feel like it’s any easier.”

“We played a little early today. The ball just didn’t release. You have to pay attention there. As we get more wind the next couple days, I think this place will dry out.”

Russell spoke about the competitive nature of the tournament, and how good it would be to start the year with a win;

“I think it’s so competitive. I think the way guys look at it now, it’s a great opportunity to have a good finish and get off to a great start, if not win.”

Jimmy said how easy golf seems when your playing well;

“It’s nice when golf is like that, when you’re playing good, yes, golf feels easy.”

“When they are all playing good, I think it honestly doesn’t matter where you’re playing golf.”

Charley Hoffman, in the group at ten under, was the last player to qualify for this winners-only event with a victory in Mexico in November, he sits just one off the lead at -10 under par following his second round -7 under par 66. A double bogey on 17 spoiled what was a great effort, but equaled the low round of the day;

“Second round of the year, just trying to get my feet wet.”

“Made a bunch of birdies, hit a lot of good shots, and one unfortunate swing. You can get away with a few bad swings out here, but not on the 17th hole.”

Charley and four other players are all tied on -10 under par on this very tightly compacted leaderboard, this is turning out to be an exciting golfing start to the 2015 year.



Two Tournaments in Two Weeks in Hawaii; Seem Like Heaven to You ?

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Logo ImageDoes two tournaments in two weeks in Hawaii seem like heaven to you ? Well it apparently does not suit everyone.Twelve of the thirty players who teed it up at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course have opted to miss next weeks Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, a short island hop away.

2012 SOIH winner Russell Henley

Russel Henley, last years winner / Stan Bedz PGA

Last years winner Russel Henley carded  26 birdies against only two bogeys during the tournament, the only real defense the Waialae Country Club has is the wind. If it doesn’t blow then low scores are the order of the day.

Weather conditions this year are predicted to be similar to last years event, sunshine periodically shrouded by passing clouds and the occasional rain shower are expected, as are manageable trade winds and seasonable highs right around the 80 degree mark.

Excuses are the usual, Jonas Blixt ho has missed the cut and finished T-54 in his two tries at Waialae Country Club commented;

 “It just doesn’t fit me. I just don’t hit enough fairways to compete there. I’m just not very good at it. Honestly, we want to play, if I could play every tournament, I would, but you just can’t play them all.”

This from Martin Laird;

“It doesn’t set up well for me, if you don’t hit right-to-left you’re at a disadvantage. My high fade is not the ideal shot there.”

Apart from Jonas and MartinDustin Johnson has also pulled the plug. along with nine others who have chosen to play the Hyundai, but not the Sony. The missing in action list is pretty impressive;

Brandt Snedeker, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore, John Merrick, Kevin Streelman, Patrick Reed, and Billy Horschel.

Seems like John Merrick just likes to play on the mainland;

“I just really love the West Coast events, I’ll play Humana (the week after the Sony), San Diego, Phoenix, Pebble Beach, and LA. You just have to pick your spots.”

Ryan Moore also prefers to go home;

 “For me, it’s 100 percent a scheduling matter.”

Billy Horschel has a corporate commitment to CVS;

 “Six months ago we gave them some days for an outing at TPC Sawgrass for a military event, and we came up with next Friday.”

Patrick Reed just feels knackered;

“I feel like we’ve walked over Mount Everest this week, it’s just very hilly. Besides, the Humana (and Palm Springs) area is one of our favorite places, I’ve had success at Torrey and I want to be well-rested going into those.”

So, who is going to play the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club in lovely Honolulu, take a look at this bunch;

Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner, and Jordan Spieth, these guys alone are worth the entrance money.

To tell you the truth I could easily live in Hawaii, visited there four times and loved every minute.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions. A Zach Attack.

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Zach Johnson is the winner of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions after he attacked the course with a final round of -7 under par 66.


This time it's Zach

Zach Johnson / Getty

Zach eased his way round the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii, sticking to his game plan and not deviating from it one little bit;

“I just picked it apart, I didn’t deviate from anything I typically do on a golf course.”

Zach completed the tournament in -19 under par, a one shot victory over Jordan Spieth. Jordan had a final round -4 under par 69, for his -18 under par total. . This is the 11th win of Zach’s career. Since his rookie season in 2004, only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have won more PGA TOUR events.

Webb Simpson and Kevin Streelman tied for third place at -17 under par for the tournament. It was an exciting end to a fiercely contested competition, and at the end a Johnson won again, but not the defending Champion Dustin, this time it was a proud Zach.

Webb had borrowed Ted Scott to be his caddy, from Bubba Watson, because his usual man, Paul Tesori ,  was attending the birth of his son. There were some complications and everyone was asked to pray for little Isaiah as he struggled for life. Ted had inscribed Isaiah on the peak of his golf cap, to show solidarity with Paul and Michelle, and their infant son. They responded with this statement:

 “We are so blessed for all the support and prayers from our families, Webb & Dowd, Teddy (Scott), our friends and the entire golf community. In the mere 36 hours he has been with us, our perfect little boy, Isaiah, has not only touched our hearts, he has touched thousands of lives. We continue to ask for prayers for baby Isaiah’s brain, heart and body as we await many test results over the coming weeks as well as prayers for the nurses and doctors tasked with loving and caring for him. Regardless of the results, Jeremiah 1:5 assures us this is all part of God’s perfect plan, and we will embrace whatever lies ahead for our family.”
~ Paul & Michelle Tesori


Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Dustin Tied at the Top

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Dustin Johnson is at the top of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, in a three-way tie, and the end of play on day three.

Familiar face, familiar place

Dustin Johnson / Getty Images

Dustin shot a third round -4 under par 69, to share the lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth, all at -14 under par. Webb had a -5 under par 68 round, while Jordan equalled Dustin’s effort of -4 under par 69.

Defending Champion Dustin thinks if he plays the par fives well he is in with a good chance;

“I need to go out and just take advantage of the par fives. Got to play those well, and then, yeah, I think it’s going to take 6  or 7 under. That would be my guess. You can shoot that in any weather out here pretty much if you get it going.”

Webb had an emotional round, his usual caddie and friend, Paul Tesori, was in a hospital in Florida, with his  newborn son Isaiah in intensive care. Paul tweeted that he tuned into the telecast at Kapalua in time to see his son’s name on Scott’s hat.

“Paul sent me a text this morning, just told me he loved me and wanted me to go out and fight as hard as I would any other day. And that’s what Teddy and I did. I felt like we were out there playing for Isaiah. Paul needs something to watch there in the hospital. It’s been a long few days, so hopefully, we gave him something good to see on TV. But it was tough. I was thinking about him a lot out there.”

Jordan was really happy with his first ever 54 hole lead,  didn’t lose patience over a few bad breaks;

“This is a new position for me, I’ve never slept on a 54-hole lead. I’m excited about it and it’s going to be a fun time tomorrow to get to play with Webb for the third time this week.  I got to the seventeenth tee box and thankfully, that view kind of calmed me down a little bit and I was able to snag a birdie there.”

Alone in fourth place is Zach Johnson, who had a three shot lead at the start of play. On moving day Zach moved backwards, shooting a +1 over par 74, for a total of -12 under par.

Zach still said he was pleased with the result;

” I feel good, I feel good about my game and I feel good about the way I’m going about the day and the way Damon and I are attacking it.”

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Plantation Course at Kapalua / a golf fan

Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Zach Zooms To The Top.

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Zach Johnson zooms to the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the second round in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course Kapalua in Hawaii.

The Johnson’s, Dustin and Zach / Getty Images

 Zach Johnson needed to avoid the dreaded three-putt and score better on the par fives, he did neither during the second round on Saturday at Kapalua, but still managed to build a three-shot lead. His tournament total now -13 under par following his -7  under par 66.

His namesake Dustin Johnson, the defending Champion here, is one of three players tied in second place at -10 under par. Dustin also shot a -7 under par 66 second round, with birdies on all the par fives, which were tempered by two bogey’s on the back nine. He likes this course;

“This golf course sets up well for me, I can reach all the par 5s, and there’s a few short holes where you can drive it up close to the green. So if I chip and it and putt it well, I’m going to shoot a good score pretty much every time.”

Zach responded to that quote;

“I would say I’m up by three gross, and by eight or nine net, based on that rationale.”

And then just for good measure he mentioned coming from behind to beat Tiger Woods, last time out;

“When you’re talking about a guy that’s done what he’s done and raised the bar, any time you beat him, especially if you’re playing with him and come back from four shots with eight holes to go, it’s going to happen. So I can deal with that. I’ve played with him a number of times, too. I like watching him hit driver. He’s not a whole lot different than a lot of the other guys I play with because they all hit it a lot further than me it seems like, I don’t know. Dustin does not intimidate me.”

 Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth are tied for second place as the winners-only tournament started to show some separation between the leading players and the rest of the field.

Matt Kuchar likes it here in Hawaii so much that the whole family are staying on for a vacation after the two Opening tournaments.

“We love it here, we went for a week last year and we had such a good time. I took a look at my schedule, I needed kind of a mini-break; I have played a lot in October, November, December, so I was looking for a mini-break and just said, ‘Well, we’re over in Hawaii, let’s just stay there and enjoy ourselves. It’s the halfway point and I’ve posted two nice scores. Looks like I’m not too far off the lead, so that’s a good thing, but there’s a lot of guys still in this.”