Monday, January 16

Justin Thomas Cruises to 72-Hole Scoring Record



JUSTIN THOMAS OWNED THE HAWAII SWING on the PGA Tour. (I guess they call it the Aloha Slam.) Granted, it's just two events, but Thomas's back-to-back victories at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii could not have been more impressive. He shot 49-under par in eight rounds.

Thomas's encore performance at the Sony Open included setting a new PGA Tour scoring record for 72 holes, a total of 253 (27-under par). The red-hot 23-year-old from Kentucky opened with a 59 and followed it up with 64, 65 and 65. He won by seven shots over runner-up Justin Rose. Jordan Spieth finished third.

The way Thomas was playing, the tournament appeared to be over before it was over, as he built a huge lead and set and tied 36- and 54-hole tour scoring records.

But you still have to finish it.

"I was more nervous teeing off today then I was in the other [wins]," Thomas admitted, "I had to turn off Twitter; I couldn't look anymore. It was just like, no one has ever lost a 7-shot lead, no one has ever lost a 7-shot lead. I'm like, I go out and play OK, a bad break here and there, if someone shoots 9 under, I lose."

Thomas now has four PGA Tour wins and jumped another four spots in the world rankings, from No. 12 to No. 8. As Spieth said about his pal last week, the floodgates are open.

Friday, January 13

A First From The Olympic Club



Following (and above) is golf course news from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The golf industry has often been criticized about environmental impact, and justifiably so. The Olympic Club is helping to set a new standard.

By GCSAA

THE OLYMPIC CLUB IS SHARING its progress toward environmental, social and economic sustainability. The report, developed in collaboration with IMPACT360 Sports, a women-owned independent third party, marks the first comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report in North America within the golf industry, redefining what it means to be a top 100 course and athletic club.

Thursday, January 12

Golf on TV: Sony Open in Hawaii and BMW South African Open



From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 10, 2017) – The PGA TOUR shifts to Honolulu this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii. Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose headline the TOUR’s first full-field event of 2017. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy will make his 2017 debut – and first start since the DP World Tour Championship in November – at this week’s BMW South African Open. Ernie Els, Nick Faldo and Darren Clarke also are in the field.

PGA TOUR

Sony Open in Hawaii
Dates: Jan. 12-15
Venue: Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          7-10:30 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Golf Central Pre and Post Round Coverage on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Friday             6:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          6:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 10:30-11:30 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5:30-6 p.m. (Live) / 10-11 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Golf Central on-site from Waialae: Golf Channel’s daily evening news program – Golf Central­ – will originate from an on-site location at Waialae Country Club, Thursday-Sunday for pre-and post-round wraparound coverage surrounding each day of competition. Ryan Burr will serve as host, while Notah Begay and Brandel Chamblee will offer analysis, and Todd Lewis will provide updates and conduct player interviews.
Gomez defends: Fabian Gomez outlasted Brandt Snedeker with a birdie on the second playoff hole to earn his second PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the Field: Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Branden Grace, William McGirt and Bill Haas.

***

EUROPEAN TOUR

BMW South African Open
Dates: Jan. 12-15
Venue: Glendower Golf Club, City of Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern)
Thursday         3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              3-5 a.m. / 7-10 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
McIlroy to make 2017 debut: World No. 2 Rory McIlroy is set to make his 2017 debut this week in South Africa, marking his return to competition for the first time since the DP World Tour Championship in November.  
Stone defends: Brandon Stone finished two shots ahead of Christiaan Bezuidenhout to earn his first career European Tour win.
Headlining the Field: Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Retief Goosen, Andy Sullivan, Darren Clarke, Brandon Stone and Curtis Luck (a).

Wednesday, January 11

Blowing in the Bahamas on the Web.com Tour


IS THERE ANYTHING HARDER to play in than wind? Not in my experience.

While many of us might like to be in the Bahamas right now, playing golf there this week on the Web.com Tour is pretty brutal. The wind is blowing about 40. The ocean looks angry, as if it might crash onto the golf course and Sandals Emerald Bay at any moment.

The players are braving the harsh conditions as best they can -- and shooting some ridiculously high scores. The cut was 11-over par. That's a Web.com Tour record.

Greg Eason shot 91 and 95. He lost a lot of golf balls. I mean a lot.

"I started with 36 golf balls," Eason said. "I ended with four."

Kyle Thompson currently leads the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. Hopefully, everyone will survive to play another day. A less windy one.

Tuesday, January 10

USGA VIDEO: One Last Shot at Life


THIS IS FEEL GOOD STUFF.

From the USGA: "The Glenn Mills Schools is giving at-risk youth a chance at redemption through the virtues of golf."

Enjoy.

Monday, January 9

Justin Thomas Is the Champion Among Champions



GOLF SEEMED OTHER WORLDLY TO ME this past weekend, with a half foot of snow on the ground and wind chills at minus 10, such a contrast to the tropical images from Maui. I occasionally turned the channel to Golf Channel and NBC for the telecast of the SBS Tournament of Champions. I wished I was there.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua is familiar to me. I played it twice in one day in the 1990s. It's sort of odd to watch guys in shirt sleeves play in that setting when I'm shivering in the Mid-Atlantic, but good for them, right?

And especially good for Justin Thomas, who got his first PGA Tour victory on U.S. soil and his third overall. Thomas protected a lead down the stretch and finished 22 under, three shots ahead of runner-up Hideki Matsuyama.

"I stumbled more than I would have liked to do," Thomas said. "But it shows where my game is at right now. I had some woes there, but I stuck it out to still get it done."

Thomas is a man of great promise, according to his pal Jordan Spieth, who tied for third with Ryan Moore and Pat Perez. Thomas and Spieth have been friends since their teens.

Spieth said, "I think it's potentially floodgates opening. The guy hits it forever. He's got a really, really nifty short game. He manages the course well."

With the win Thomas rises to No. 12 in the world rankings. The PGA Tour heads to Oahu this week for the Sony Open.

Friday, January 6

VIDEO: Golfer Ida Pierraci Is 102



SHE HAS A KEY TO THE GATE. She goes out and plays anytime she is in the mood. Her name is Ida Pieracci, born in San Jose, 102 years old.

"I practically own this course," Ida says, laughing. "I am enjoying life. I really am."

She does own the hole-in-one record at San Jose Country Club. She has 11.

Don't you love this game?

(Hat tip: John Coyne)

Thursday, January 5

Golf on TV: SBS Tournament of Champions


From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2017) – The PGA TOUR will stage its first event of the 2017 calendar year this week at the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama headline the winners-only event, which features a field of 32 players having earned a victory during the 2015-16 PGA TOUR season. Golf Channel will air early-round coverage on Thursday-Friday, Jan. 5-6, while NBC will provide weekend coverage on Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 7-8, leading into Golf Channel’s third and final round coverage in primetime. 

PGA TOUR

SBS Tournament of Champions
Dates: Jan. 5-8
Venue: Kapalua Resort (Plantation Course), Kapalua, Hawaii

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              6-10 p.m. (Live) / 11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          6-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            5-7 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          4-6 p.m.
Sunday            3-5 p.m.

Broadcast Notes:
World No. 1 Day making first start since TOUR Championship: World No. 1 Jason Day will return to competition this week for the first time since the TOUR Championship in September. The winners-only field of 32 players features four of the top-six players in the World in Day, Johnson (No. 3), Jordan Spieth (No. 5) and Hideki Matsuyama (No. 6).
Golf Central on-site at Kapalua: Golf Channel’s daily evening news program – Golf Central­ – will originate from an on-site location at Kapalua Resort, Thursday-Sunday for pre-and post-round wraparound coverage surrounding each day of competition. Ryan Burr will serve as host, while Notah Begay and Brandel Chamblee will offer analysis, and Todd Lewis will provide updates and conduct player interviews.
Spieth defends: Jordan Spieth finished eight shots clear of the field (30-under) to claim his seventh PGA TOUR victory.
Headlining the Field: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Branden Grace and Russell Knox.