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Thursday, April 24, 2014         

GOLF NOTEBOOK


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23 from Hyundai will play the Sony

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:



KAPALUA, Maui » All but 10 of the Hyundai TOC players will be at Waialae Country Club next week for the Sony Open in Hawaii, the PGA Tour's first full-field event of the year.

Geoff Ogilvy was planning to play on Oahu until he injured his right index finger at the beach, forcing him out of this week's tournament at Kapalua.

Last year Ogilvy defended his title at Kapalua, then did not play Sony, and regretted it.

"Every time I leave here and don't go there (to Sony) I'm like, what are you doing?" Ogilvy said. "You're in Hawaii, stay there."

Apparently 23 of his colleagues agreed this year, including Jim Furyk, No. 6 in the World Golf Ranking, Steve Stricker (7), Ernie Els (12), Dustin Johnson (15), Adam Scott (23) and Zach Johnson (24). Furyk, Els and Zach Johnson have all won at Waialae.

Also on the final commitment list are defending champion Ryan Palmer and 2010 runner-up Robert Allenby, along with Anthony Kim, Hawaii's Dean Wilson and former Sony champions K.J. Choi, Paul Goydos and Vijay Singh.

A field of 55 will play in the Sony pre-qualifying tournament tomorrow at Turtle Bay's Palmer Course. That group includes Tadd Fujikawa, Ayaka Kaneko, Alex Ching and Nick Mason.

About 40 (top 75 percent) will advance to the Monday qualifier at Palmer, which includes Hawaii's Parker McLachlin and other tour players. The top four that day get the final exemptions into the field of 144. The Sony tees off Thursday at Waialae.

Dave Eichelberger (Aloha Section PGA Stroke Play champion) and David Saka (Hawaii amateur qualifier) earned exemptions this year, but no other Hawaii players did.

Exemptions went to Japan's Shigeki Maruyama, Michio Matsumura, Koumei Oda, Tadahiro Takayama and 18-year-old Asian amateur champ Hideki Matsuyama, along with Duffy Waldorf, Shane Bertsch and John Daly.

Daly, whose career has been filled with failed comebacks and high-profile problems, missed the cut last year on an exemption. His best finish in eight starts at Waialae is 27th.

 

Villegas disqualified

Camilo Villegas celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday with a disqualification, thanks to a television viewer who noticed he broke Rule 23-1 during Thursday's opening round.

PGA Tour rules official Slugger White said he got word of the possible infraction that night but couldn't do anything about it until he saw the tape on the Golf Channel.

"It was pretty obvious what happened," White said. "Unfortunately, Camilo gets the swap under the scoring rule, but he signed an incorrect scorecard for a score lower than he actually made."

Villegas was chipping at the 15th green when his ball started rolling back down the slope for a second time. While the ball was still moving, Villegas swung the club at a loose piece of grass near his divot. That's a two-shot penalty.

The Colombian watched the replay yesterday morning and concurred with the ruling.

"I went to him before I made any formal announcement," White said. "He said he'd like to see it just to learn. Obviously, he wasn't trying to do anything."

Villegas said, "After viewing the tape with Slugger White this morning, it was clear what happened. While it is obviously a disappointing way to start the season, the rules are the rules, and when something like this happens, it's important to me that you're respectful of the game and the people involved."






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