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Sony Open Notebook

For Monday, January 17, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:45 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2011


Maintenance on the fly

Waialae Country Club's maintenance staff normally numbers 30, but there was nothing normal about the conditions at this week's Sony Open in Hawaii.

The club pulled staff from the cart barn and sought volunteers when the heavy rains hit Wednesday. By that afternoon, there were 45 workers trying to rebuild bunkers and pump and push water off the fairways.

The result was "a pretty amazing feat," according to head pro Kevin Carll and pretty much every tour pro you talked with.

The course estimated it needed an additional 300 hours of work from its staff.

There was one last miracle yesterday. Officials followed the last groups off the tees in the morning to change the pin placements for the final round.

"They literally chased the last group around," Carll said. "As soon as they finished the hole, the crew cut the new cup."

 

Wilson feels Masters nerves

Mark Wilson, who gets a spot in The Masters with yesterday's Sony Open victory, can finally return to Augusta National. This time will be his first as a competitor.

"I was there, 14 years old the first time ... my dad and I went there, and we were following Freddie Couples around there when he was a young kid, so that was 1989."

Wilson returned to watch a few other times, but not since around 2001.

"I didn't want to go back until I was playing in the tournament," added Wilson, who has never made a cut in a major. "You know I'm anxious to play. Maybe a little scared about the length, though, from what I've heard.

"I always think that the next step is playing well in majors and the next step after that is being part of the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams. I feel like I'm ready to make that step, and this is a good start to it."

 

Love gets another top 10

Davis Love III's third top 10 in eight tries at the Sony Open in Hawaii wasn't his only significant number of the week.

Love shot four rounds in the 60s to finish in a ninth-place tie, marking the 300th time in his career he's finished in the top 25 of a PGA Tour event.

Nearly half (300 out of 622) of his starts have been top-25 finishes, including at Waialae, where he holds the course record of 60 shot in the second round of the 1994 United Airlines Hawaiian Open.

Love has 20 tour wins and one major title at the 1997 PGA Championship.

 

Champions begins Friday

Friday, the seniors take over when the Champions Tour opens its season on the Big Island with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

The 42-man field includes the winners from the past two seasons, major champions since 2006 and eight invited golfers. Tom Watson will defend his title against the likes of John Cook, Fred Couples, Fred Funk, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Nick Price, Loren Roberts, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin and Corey Pavin.

The 54-hole tournament begins Friday at approximately 10:30 a.m. All three rounds will be broadcast on The Golf Channel.

Watson will also defend the following week, at the 24th Ka'anapali Champions Skins Game. Watson and Jack Nicklaus won the alternate-shot team format last year and play together for the sixth time Jan. 29-30 at the Royal Ka'anapali Course.

The other teams are 2009 champions Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller, Mark O'Meara and Langer, and Couples and Price.

Nine holes will be played each day, with The Golf Channel live broadcast tentatively scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. each day.

 

Cuts hurt past champions

When rain swamped the opening round Thursday, PGA Tour officials moved the cut from low 70 and ties to the nearest number to 60, which would make it possible to finish two rounds on the final day.

The 27 golfers who would have normally made the cut still got a paycheck. Those at 2-under won $11,880 and those at 1-under $10,395. They were classified as Made Cut, Did Not Finish. That group included former champions Vijay Singh and Zach Johnson.

A few more of the usual suspects here fared better.

Steve Stricker tied for ninth, giving him eight top-15 finishes in 12 starts. In 46 rounds at Waialae, Stricker has failed to shoot par or better just five times.

Two-time champion Ernie Els fired 67 in the morning, but closed with a 74 to drop to 42nd. It was his worst round ever at Waialae, by two shots. Els has been at par or better in 29 of his 32 rounds here.

 

Inside the numbers

Waialae Country Club's relatively narrow fairways tend to reward accuracy over length, particularly with the rain making the roughs a bit trickier this weekend.

Mark Wilson ranked 24th in driving distance but was second in accuracy on his way to claiming the title. He landed 73.2 percent (41 of 56) of his tee shots on the short grass, including 13 of 14 in yesterday's morning round to fuel a 65 that pushed him into the lead.

Co-runners-up Tim Clark and Steve Marino were among five golfers who shared the top spot in greens in regulation at 77.8 percent (56 of 72).

"I think that everyone that comes here enjoys playing this golf course because it does test everything and you have to hit it straight," said Clark, who hit just six fairways on Saturday but was 20-for-28 yesterday as he moved 30 spots up the leaderboard. "It's definitely a nice way to start the year and see how the game is."

Brian Gay led the field in driving accuracy at 83.9 percent. He had a tougher time with his irons, ranking 38th in greens in regulation, and closed the tournament with a 64 to finish at 9 under.

 

Scoreboard

At Waialae Country Club
Purse: $5.5 million
Yardage: 7,044; Par 70 (35-35)

Final Round
Mark Wilson (500) $990,000 65-67-65-67 — 264
Tim Clark (245) $484,000 68-68-66-64 — 266
Steve Marino (245) $484,000 65-67-66-68 — 266
Jimmy Walker (135) $264,000 68-65-66-68 — 267
Matt Bettencourt (105) $209,000 68-65-68-67 — 268
Matt Kuchar (105) $209,000 65-68-66-69 — 268
Shigeki Maruyama (88) $177,375 65-65-70-69 — 269
Roland Thatcher (88) $177,375 67-65-68-69 — 269
Chris Riley (73) $143,000 66-69-66-69 — 270
Jerry Kelly (73) $143,000 68-67-69-66 — 270
Steve Stricker (73) $143,000 69-67-68-66 — 270
Davis Love III (73) $143,000 68-66-67-69 — 270
Rory Sabbatini (55) $94,286 69-66-67-69 — 271
Anthony Kim (55) $94,286 71-64-68-68 — 271
Chad Campbell (55) $94,286 67-67-68-69 — 271
Tag Ridings (55) $94,286 68-67-68-68 — 271
Justin Rose (55) $94,286 65-68-68-70 — 271
Stuart Appleby (55) $94,286 64-66-69-72 — 271
Brian Gay (55) $94,286 69-68-70-64 — 271
Brendon de Jonge (48) $57,357 68-67-66-71 — 272
Jeff Overton (48) $57,357 67-68-68-69 — 272
John Senden (48) $57,357 71-65-67-69 — 272
Jason Day (48) $57,357 69-67-66-70 — 272
Kevin Na (48) $57,357 67-67-69-69 — 272
Cameron Beckman (48) $57,357 69-67-68-68 — 272
Alex Prugh (48) $57,357 70-67-66-69 — 272
Fredrik Jacobson (43) $40,700 68-66-69-70 — 273
Boo Weekley (43) $40,700 68-66-69-70 — 273
Marc Leishman (43) $40,700 65-69-73-66 — 273
Arjun Atwal (40) $34,925 67-68-69-70 — 274
Chris Kirk (40) $34,925 68-67-70-69 — 274
John Merrick (40) $34,925 69-67-72-66 — 274
Chris DiMarco (40) $34,925 67-67-71-69 — 274
Daniel Summerhays (34) $26,606 71-64-70-70 — 275
D.J. Brigman (34) $26,606 70-66-71-68 — 275
Jarrod Lyle (34) $26,606 68-65-71-71 — 275
Colt Knost (34) $26,606 68-69-68-70 — 275
Steven Bowditch (34) $26,606 67-70-69-69 — 275
Aaron Baddeley (34) $26,606 73-64-70-68 — 275
Jonathan Byrd (34) $26,606 69-68-68-70 — 275
Spencer Levin (34) $26,606 70-67-71-67 — 275
Ernie Els (28) $19,800 70-65-67-74 — 276
Nate Smith (28) $19,800 65-68-69-74 — 276
Brandt Jobe (28) $19,800 67-70-70-69 — 276
Kevin Chappell (28) $19,800 70-67-68-71 — 276
Charlie Wi (24) $15,593 68-68-70-71 — 277
WC Liang (0) $15,593 66-70-70-71 — 277
Webb Simpson (24) $15,593 68-69-68-72 — 277
Jason Bohn (24) $15,593 68-69-72-68 — 277
Michael Connell (21) $13,860 65-69-68-76 — 278
Billy Mayfair (20) $13,530 67-70-70-72 — 279
Ryan Palmer (19) $13,200 68-69-70-73 — 280
Michael Sim (18) $12,980 68-67-72-74 — 281
Jesper Parnevik (17) $12,705 70-66-73-73 — 282
Matt McQuillan (17) $12,705 68-69-71-74 — 282
Jason Dufner (15) $12,540 69-67-72-79 — 287

 

MADE CUT BUT DID NOT PLAY YESTERDAY
Kent Jones (9) $11,880 67-71 — 138
Alex Cejka (9) $11,880 70-68 — 138
Zach Johnson (9) $11,880 72-66 — 138
Vijay Singh (9) $11,880 70-68 — 138
Rocco Mediate (9) $11,880 70-68 — 138
Ben Martin (9) $11,880 65-73 — 138
Jim Herman (9) $11,880 69-69 — 138
Scott Gutschewski (9) $11,880 67-71 — 138
Fred Funk (9) $11,880 69-69 — 138
Jhonattan Vegas (9) $11,880 71-67 — 138
Alexandre Rocha (9) $11,880 68-70 — 138
Ryuji Imada (1) $10,395 73-66 — 139
Jeff Klauk (1) $10,395 69-70 — 139
Pat Perez (1) $10,395 69-70 — 139
Fabian Gomez (1) $10,395 70-69 — 139
Michio Matsumura (0) $10,395 70-69 — 139
Kyle Stanley (1) $10,395 71-68 — 139
Joseph Bramlett (1) $10,395 71-68 — 139
Steve Flesch (1) $10,395 71-68 — 139
Jim Renner (1) $10,395 69-70 — 139
Duffy Waldorf (1) $10,395 69-70 — 139
Heath Slocum (1) $10,395 69-70 — 139
Marc Turnesa (1) $10,395 71-68 — 139
Charles Howell III (1) $10,395 68-71 — 139
Keegan Bradley (1) $10,395 70-69 — 139
David Hearn (1) $10,395 71-68 — 139
Joe Affrunti (1) $10,395 73-66 — 139

 






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