Start with hard greens. Add new and tougher contours than last year’s setup at Kapalua. Throw in winds up to 40 miles per hour. Lastly, put pins right on the edge of the greens or in places where it’s nearly impossible to to get the ball close.
Sound like the US Open? It’s the Mercedes at Kapalua.
I just watched Vijay Singh miss a green in regulation from 4 yards off the green. Yes, 4 yards.
The #5 hole at Kapalua is a very reachable par 5. Many players are getting close to the front edge of the green. The pin is back right, very close to the edge. I’ve watched the likes of David Toms and Sergio Garcia miss this green when approaching it with a putter. Their shots go right by the pin, look like they’re good and then the wind is blowing them off the green and/or into the green side bunker. Sergio chipped onto the 5th to about 4 feet, then the wind blew his shot into the green side bunker. Brutal, plain brutal.
Best score of the day is -1. And what a surprise, Stewart Appleby is in the lead. He’s at -3, one head of Campbell, Toms, Singh and Furyk. Bringing up the rear at +14: Jason Gore and Brad Faxon. Faxon has an excuse as he’s recovering from an ACL injury. Gore just may have sophomore-itis.
Appleby was my pick to win this tournament. What is it with this dude and Kapalua? He owns the place.
I love difficult tournaments; I just enjoy watching them more when the scores are around par or single digits below par. BUT, I do not like pool table greens where the balls roll off. When the greats make a good shot they should get the good shot. I am not talking about a hot low shot but if you canâ€™t drop a high shot and have it stick then something is wrong. Make them pay if they are not in the fairway and the farther out the more they pay but they should still be able to play if they hit well.
I was watching the some of the Mercedes when I went out last night to get some food at a restaurant/pub. The wind looked insane! One shot I remember distinctly was Vijay approaching the green maybe 100 yards out or so. He had to back off his shot twice the wind was blowing so hard. I’m surprised the wind didn’t start pushing his ball from a dead standstill on the ground.
Yes, I do love tough test for the best in the world. The Bob Hope type of tournaments aren’t as fun for me to watch when they go 30 under.
The forecast for Sat and Sun is more of the same: wind. Should be interesting. I really like tournaments where the one guy that breaks par wins. That’s really what the measure of par is supposed to be anyway.