2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Superlatives

Time to go a little old school with a PGA Tour Superlatives column just like back in the day. The 2015 portion of the 2014-15 season kicks off this week in beautiful Kapalua, Hawaii with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions an exclusive event with a select field of golfers comprised solely of last year’s champions. That it unless your last name is McIlroy, Scott, Rose or Kaymer in which case you bypass the event and wait for the tour to hit the lower 48 in a few weeks. And before you scoff at these 4 champion golfers for turning down what is essentially an all expense paid trip to beautiful sunny Hawaii understand that unlike us, they don’t need the extra hassle of a private jet or an exclusive bungalow overlooking the Pacific. To Rory, Adam, Justin and Martin that’s just another day in the life.

Alas, the field is still full of the rich and famous. The hungry up and comers with something to prove and the erstwhile major champions hoping to rekindle that old magical feeling. Therefor without further ado, here are your 2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Superlatives.

Group Most Likely To Report For Military Service: Sang-Moon Bae and Scott Stallings

Bae must return to South Korea by the end of the month for two years of mandatory military service because technically, South Korea is still at war with North Korea a little known fact that was not mentioned during any part of the Sony hacking scandal which, with the more time that passes without any credible links to the North Korean gov’t, looks like an inside job perpetuated by a movie studio hungry for a hit. Think I’m crazy? Ok, then answer this, were you more likely to see The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogan before Sony pulled it from theaters or after when every one came to their senses and realized that if Kim Jong-un can’t even provide electricity for his people then it’s probably somewhat far-fetched to think that he could launch a couple ICBM’s at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood?

Either way, Bae is one of the best young players on tour and it would be a shame to lose him. Can’t he pay for a replacement just like Teddy Roosevelt’s father did during the American Civil War? Maybe he should ask John Daly, that guy seems like he’ll do just about anything for money.

Group Most Likely To Avoid Scuba Diving: Geoff Ogilvy and Hideki Matsuyama

Ogilvy makes his return to Kapalua after withdrawing in 2011 after cutting his hand open on a piece of coral. Back then he was the two time defending champion of this event and a bonafide superstar in the making before years of struggle led most of us to wonder what ever happened to that guy? Now Ogilvy is back apparently and in 2015 will compete in all four majors for the first time since his index finger nearly became a hidden treasure.

Group Most Likely To Choose Their Words Wisely: Patrick Reed and Russell Henley

Patrick Reed morphed into something of a fan favorite after his charismatic performance during the 2014 Ryder Cup. He was one of the few Americans, along with his playing partner Jordan Spieth, who went shot for shot with the Europeans. He played with hutzpah and passion and we were ready to embrace him and his giants “cajones”. That was until the WGC-HSBC Champions in November when our collective opinion shifted once again after Reed was caught on camera using a gay slur. To be fair, he was both remorseful and apologetic after the fact and is not the only one spewing vile, repugnant language on a golf course. (see Watson, Bubba) Regardless, only time will tell if the public is ready once again to give Reed a big ol bear hug. He is a top 5 player in the world after all.

Group Most Likely Caught Staring Up At The Stars: Jimmy Walker and Hunter Mahan

Jimmy Walker is a bonafide space nut. Like total star gazing dork. It’s one of the most endearing things about him. Do you think he keeps a telescope in the trunk of his complementary car at all times and wheels it out onto the golf course at night so he can study Cassiopeia? I do. I bet the other players get sick of him asking them if they’d like to lie on the hood of his car. Especially Patrick Reed.

Group Most Likely To Win The Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Jason Day and Matt Kuchar

It’s going to be a big year for the Australian born/Ohio resident Jason Day. First bold prediction of 2015: The Ohio State Buckeyes beat Oregon in the college football national championship on Monday night and Day outlasts Rory McIlroy in a playoff in Augusta for the first major of his career. Take it to the bank.

Enjoy the golf everyone!

 

Resume Building at the PGA Championship

Get those resumes ready, Tiger* needs a new caddie. Good friend, and looping novice, Bryon Bell is just not going to cut the mustard. Qualifications for a permanent caddie include but are not limited to: 10+ years experience on the PGA tour, a minimum of 2 major championships, and most importantly, complete discretion/secrecy when it comes to the personal affairs of the world’s former #1 golfer. Regardless of who’s carrying the bag for Tiger, I do not expect him to contend at the PGA Championship this weekend, even though Vegas has him at 10-1 odds, right alongside other favorites like Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy. All of this begs the question, who do I like to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy Sunday night?

Predicting the PGA Championship

Bronze: Jason Day – Why do professional golfers like Day choose to stay in mobile homes the week of major tournaments? I first remember hearing about this strange phenomenon back in John Daly’s rustic heydey, but in his case a Winnebago made perfect sense. Jason Day is a world class golfer with an awesome Australian accent, gorgeous young wife, and millions already in the bank. What’s he doing shacking up in trailer parked at the local Chick-Fil-A?

Silver: David Toms – Had to go with at least one veteran this week in the ATL. Speaking of the South, how swampy is the Atlanta Ahtletic Club going to get this week? I’m guessing we’ll be able to conduct a rorschach test based solely on the different sweat patterns emerging from the bottoms of all the different soaked pairs of dungarees. We should all be thankful that Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is not a golfer. That man sure does know how to perspire.

Gold: Dustin Johnson – While vacationing in northern Wisconsin last week, I played golf with an older gentleman from the Northwoods whose given name was Sampson but who introduced himself as “Snake”. Snake, as you can imagine, was quite the interesting character. One of his favorite hobbies – alongside fishing for muskie and playing in a polka band – was making his own golf clubs. I first noticed his homemade clubs when he unsheathed a massive driver that looked exactly like the r11 used by Dustin Johnson. When I asked Snake why he choose to make his own clubs his response was: “what’s the difference between a $400 driver and a $100 driver? (Pause) $100″. Simple logic really.

*love this picture from the Atlanta Athletic Club Courtesy of @JamesHaddockSSN. Totally looks like he got up super early and disguised himself as a large oak tree just for this one moment where he could snap a photo of an unsuspecting Tiger Woods. Good journalists know no bounds.