2010 Sony Open Recap
Winner: Ryan Palmer
Score: 15 under, 265 (65, 66, 68, 66)
Quote: “Fortunately, I got the good break.”
Fact: Finished 150th on 2009 money list. Now exempt through 2012.
Thought: Was Ryan Palmer channeling Arnold Palmer?
YOU CAN PLAY GREAT and still not win on the PGA Tour. You often need a timely break to win a title, and 33-year-old Ryan Palmer got one on the 72nd hole that led to a birdie and a one-stroke victory over Robert Allenby at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
I only saw parts of the coverage, but I did see the finish. Palmer and Allenby came to the final hole tied at 14 under, a dogleg-left par-5 that’s easily reachable in two shots. Both men were looking for a birdie or better. Palmer got his when a 50-foot chip shot slammed into the pin and stopped inches from the cup. Allenby missed his 10-foot birdie putt, Palmer tapped in, and that was that.
“It was a good chip,” Palmer told the Associated Press. “The grain was running against me. I was either going to hit it fat or do what I did. Fortunately, I got the good break.”
It was the third PGA Tour win for Palmer, who is not related to Arnold Palmer, although he said he gets asked about it all the time. Palmer will play in the Masters for the first time in five years and is now exempt through 2012, after finishing 150th on the money list last season.
“What I got out of this is beyond words,” he said.
For runner-up Allenby, it was a heartbreaker. The Aussie had been playing very well of late, with two wins at the close of 2009. A win at Waialae Country Club would have been Allenby’s first PGA Tour title since the Marconi Pennsylvania Classic in 2001.
“I needed to make a birdie at the last,” admitted Allenby, who is using a new claw-style putting grip that served him well for much of the week in Honolulu.
Steve Stricker (65) and Retief Goosen (62) also gave chase before coming up two and three shots short, respectively. The PGA Tour now moves to the U.S. mainland for the West Coast Swing.
• PGA Tour: Next up is the Bob Hope Classic in the Palm Springs area.
• European Tour: Charl Schwartzel won for the second week in a row at the Joburg Open.
• Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson won the Champions Skins Game.
• Doug Barron, suspended for a drug violation, will play on a mini tour.
−The Armchair Golfer