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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Horses For Courses?

Last year's winners, or should I say the majority of last year's winners, have once again assembled at stunning Kapalua.  It's definitely a bucket list course for me.  In fact living on that island and having the ability to play that wonderful Coore and Crenshaw design, and then go snorkling or whale watching, would be about as close to paradise as I can imagine.

If you're looking for evidence for horses for courses, Jimmy Walker's eight-under round certainly fits the bill. His continued assault on par at Kapalua has to have him the favourite after one round. On the other hand, another Kapalua thoroughbred, Jordan Spieth, struggled with his short game to manage only a one-under 72, leaving him with lots to do if he hopes to win another one. Once again it was Spieth's wedge game that let him down, despite his having worked on it in the off season. Except for one wayward drive into the junk, he struck the ball very well with his long clubs, and his swing looks as good as I've seen it in a long time. His rhythm seems better. So, should he get the wedges dialled in and the putter working, Jordan might just be able to work his way back into the mix.

But Walker is really on his game, worhing the ball both ways with ease, driving it well with his 42 inch driver, and rolling his rock to boot. If I had to put my money on a winner at this stage, I'd have to give the nod to the lanky Texan. However, you have to continue to be impressed with a member of the American brat pack, Justin Thomas, who sits two back, tied for second. I suspect that this will be a big year for this skinny kid who hits the ball miles and can make birdies in bunches. I'd put a few shekels on him as well.

They say, "to the victor the spoils," and that's certainly the case for last year's victors. Win or lose, it doesn't get much better than a week or two at Kapalua to start the new year. I know it's a sin, but I'm envious as hell.