Blog 89, 1/12/11 - Sony Open Pick

Waialae Wednesday
Paul Stankowski tweeted this photo (left) from the Sony Open on Wednesday morning. The tournament's full name is the 'Sony Open in Hawaii', of course, but it looks like it could be happening right here in the Pacific Northwest. Okay, the palm trees might not fit into your typical Northwest scene and, although you can't tell from the image, it's probably 75 degrees. But the conifers and mountains are there, as are the dark, foreboding clouds and large, shin-deep puddles.
It's a bit of a disappointment for those players who thought they'd begin the season with a bit of Hawaiian sunshine. The sun emerged only occasionally at Kapalua last week and, according to the Weather Channel, today's persistent rain is expected to continue right the way through to Monday. Saturday's showers are forecast to be 'scattered', however, so let's hope officials are able to cram a lot of holes into what dry spells they get.
I'm not sure there are any players in the field known specifically for playing well in warm rain, but patience is obviously going to be necessary. If his form hadn't done so already, I'd say that pretty much rules out John Daly.
But if patience really is a telling factor, along with tenacity, resolve and doggedness, I suspect Jim Furyk will be a serious contender. The 2003 US Open Champion has a decent record at Waialae having played in the event 12 times since 1994, recording six finishes in the top 20. But actually you might expect Furyk, last year's FedEx Cup champion and Player of the Year, to have fared better on so tight and mentally challenging a course as Waialae which Seth Raynor designed in 1926-'27. You might put it down to Furyk being a slow starter, but in a dozen appearances at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions (formerly Mercedes-Benz Championship and Mercedes Championship), the 16-time Tour winner has nine top tens, including his 2001 victory. He finished tied for ninth at Kapalua last week shooting 14-under 278 for 72 holes, and goes out in rounds one and two alongside Ernie Els (who won here back-to-back in 2003-'04) and last week's winner Jonathan Byrd. Another with the proverbial 15th club in his bag is Steve Stricker who finished among the top four in three of the last four years.
Going for golfers ranked in the top ten in the world is a bit predictable though. Further down the rankings but still capable of leaving Oahu $990,000 better off are Carl Petterson who tied for fourth last week, Washington's own Alex Prugh who will be looking to build on his impressive rookie season, Tim Clark whose temperament seems well-suited to Waialae, and 2009 winner Zach Johnson who has recovered from the foot injury that saw him withdraw from last week's field.
All worthy of a few bucks/quid/shekels. But I think I'll stick with Furyk.

Yesterday, I mentioned that this year's dues for Lake Padden Men's Club membership would be $65. It's actually $60. And don't forget the upcoming WGT event - the Individual Mulligan Tourney - in which you will get one mulligan every hole. As the flyer says; 'Use it or Lose it'. The cost is green fee + $20. Call the pro shop on 738-7400, or mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to make a tee-time.



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