PGA Tour fields may move from Who’s Who to Who’s That?

HONOLULU (AP) – Exercise on the observe vary in Waialae was anticipated. As an alternative of standing behind the gamers to look at their swings, the most typical transfer was to face to the aspect and attempt to look indistinctly on the entrance of the golf bag to see what identify was on it.

This was the case this 12 months in Sony Openregardless that it was the eleventh session of the PGA Tour’s final winding season.

It was the primary time the tour had moved from a high-profile occasion (the Sentry Match of Champions at $15 million in purse) to a daily occasion (the Sony Open at $7.9 million).

And she or he could have her first glimpse into the way forward for the PGA Tour.

Whereas 19 of the 38 gamers who completed in Kapalua made the 22-minute journey from Maui to Honolulu, nobody made the highest 10 within the rankings. The 4 gamers from the highest 20 — Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim, Billy Hurschel, and Sungjae Im — all missed the minimize.

That is what the PGA Tour may appear like transferring ahead. Its response to the specter of Saudi-funded LIV Golf is a desk that brings collectively the largest names typically. Do not inform us what that does to the remainder of the leagues on the schedule.

There may be nonetheless a whole lot of work to be completed earlier than 2024. Together with when the tournaments happen – this may very well be an enormous change – the primary selections are the scale of the course, whether or not to chop 36 holes and entry to the course. Fewer names who play nice golf.

The Hawaii swing was a simple goal for a worst-case state of affairs.

One event solely had PGA Tour winners from the earlier 12 months and anybody who made it to the East Lake Tour Championship. The course had 39 gamers, with two Irish golfers (Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry) skipping. Three of the highest 4 gamers coming into the ultimate day have gained three of the final 5 majors.

The opposite had 144 gamers – the rounds didn’t end on Thursday and Friday attributable to darkness – and plenty of of them didn’t make their mark on the match.

Kapalua’s “Who’s Who” and “Who’s That?” in Waialae.

For individuals who might need watched within the quick period of time between NFL wild-card video games on Saturday night time, they’d have seen a leaderboard of 9 of the PGA Tour’s high 15 no wins, and solely two from that group (Chris Kirk and Si Woo Kim) greater than As soon as.

Oddly sufficient, each tournaments had been convincing and got here again in type.

John Rahm gained at Kapalua Regardless of falling behind two-time main champion Colin Morikawa by six photographs behind and 9, he scored a 63 on the ultimate day.

Kim made up for his three-shot deficit on three holes (a 4-foot birdie missed the fourth) towards Hayden Buckley, after which the ultimate half-hour was a superb play. Buckley made a 15-foot birdie putt on the sixteenth to take the lead. Kim heard the chants from 200 yards away, thought it was a birdie or a bust, and chipped 30 ft from behind the seventeenth inexperienced to tie it.

On the par 5 18th, Kim knocked out a 5-iron from the golf green bunker working to the entrance of the inexperienced for Birdie from 40 ft for 64. A tricky spot quick and proper of the inexperienced.

Kim was 21 years outdated when he Gained the Gamers Championship in 2017 Towards the strongest and deepest area in golf. This didn’t really feel simple.

“It doesn’t matter what area it is in, it’s extremely arduous to win on the PGA Tour,” Kim stated after claiming his fourth Tour title. “He nonetheless has a whole lot of good gamers, massive names or not. All of the gamers are nonetheless actually good right here.”

the American Categorical this week within the California desertAnd nobody will speak in regards to the idea of the two-round system as a result of it contains 5 of the seven greatest gamers on the planet. This contains Masters champions Scotty Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay, each of whom stand an opportunity of reaching the primary spot on the planet.

For gamers who haven’t got somewhat money below the desk — the unofficial time period is “cocktail social gathering,” not look cash — some habits die arduous. The desert has all the time been a superb place to begin the 12 months. It’s often as shut as golf can get to an indoor sport due to the climate.

Torrey Pines could have its share of stars, as will Pebble Seaside, till the PGA Tour wraps up West Coast Swing with elevated occasions in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

On the Sony Open, Matt Kuchar has been as responsible as some gamers do not know, even after taking part in 3 times within the fall towards Fields When the Stars sat out.

“I really feel like not less than I have been throughout the West Coast earlier than I really feel conversant in getting the correct names and faces proper,” Kuchar stated. “It is thrilling to see the brand new crop come up yearly and take a look at to determine which guys are going to remain right here and which guys won’t be on the high of the Tour.”

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