Just another day in paradise, or so the PGA TOUR’s elite players thought when they showed up at Kapalua for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions last Friday. Rickie Fowler “opened” the season 3 times off the 1st tee at the scenic Plantation Course before an official score was ever posted. Extremely high winds created impossible playing conditions and forced PGA officials to scrap the first three days of the tournament which was shortened to a 36-hole competition and didn’t get underway until this past Monday.
Aside from high winds this Hawaiian story was all about Dustin Johnson who made waves with his new Taylor Made driver and Rocketbladez irons, and of course his new beautiful girlfriend, Paulina Gretzky (The hockey legend’s daughter) by his side. Setting the tone for what will undoubtedly be an exciting 2013 season, DJ came out of the gate swinging in with his multiple 400 yard drives on the downhill par 4 12th at Kapalua.
Steve Stricker looked to give Dustin a run for his money in the final round, but DJ’s swing strength and accuracy, which included a chip in eagle after a double bogey, put him out of reach of the defending Kapalua champion.
Other notables such as Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley finished T4 (-9) as they teamed up in the 2nd to last pairing. Rickie Fowler hung in there with a T6 finish with Tommy “Two-Gloves” Gainey as Matt Kuchar ties Ian Poulter for T9.
DJ never relinquished the lead at Kapalua and this win marks his 7th career victory and gives him TOUR winds in each of 6 straight seasons. After being sidelined for much of 2012 with an injury, DJ looks to be in the best shape of his career and we’re looking forward to seeing how he performs as we progress into the 2013 season.