Well the 1st event on the 2011 PGA Tour is complete. If week one was any indication of things to come it will be an exciting action packed year.
Let’s start by talking about what didn’t happen. Two time defending champion Geoff Ogilvy withdrew from the tournament after cutting his hand on some coral. The nasty cut took over a dozen stitches to close and will set Geoff back a few weeks .
The 2nd victim of the tournament was Camilo Villegas who was DQ’ed after Rd 1 for moving a loose impediment near the intended path of his ball as his ball was still rolling down a hill back to him after a less than stellar pitch shot. A fan viewing at home called him on it. Although the intention was admirable that nonsense just has to stop. See video and story below.
Another exciting moment from the fist round was when Bubba Watson let fly with a Driver from the deck from over 300 yards out on the 660 yard 18th hole at Kapalua and carved out a low running slice onto the putting surface.
The tournament was settled in a playoff when the long hitting (#1 in Driving Distance 2010) recent 1st time tour winner Robert Garrigus missed a 2-ft putt on the 2nd playoff hole allowing Jonathan Byrd to tap in for the victory, his 5th on tour. Byrd who also won recently in a playoff when he Aced a long par three to close the deal says he will be riding the hot streak into this weeks rain delayed event starting later today.
Other notable play at the Hyundai included the pairing of Carl Petterson and Robert Garrigus. Garrigus uses a 28” inch putter, the shortest on tour while Petterson brandishes a 48” monster that is at the extreme of the PGA Tour limits.
The affable and hugely popular Graeme McDowell gave his fans something to cheer about after a final round 62 (-11) left him at 23 under for the event and one off the pace. The man now simply known as GMAC has become an overnight sensation after winning his 1st major at last years US Open at Pebble Beach and then leading the European Ryder Cup team to victory over the US last fall.
3rd round co-leader Steve Stricker faltered on Sunday, but expect a huge year out of him in 2011. The straight hitting, even-tempered putting svengali is sure to grace the winners circle early and often.
One other tidbit from the tour was the public announcement that young long hitting tour stud Dustin Johnson is dating the always captivating Natalie Gulbis. This PGA/LPGA super couple is sure to provide entertainment in 2011 both on and off the course. If you have forgotten what Natalie looks like here is a little reminder.
In Good Health and Good Golf,
Terp Golf Dude