Planet Golf — 08 January 2013 by GW staff and news services
Dustin Johnson wins in Maui

KAPALUA, HI — A tournament that needed three days to even get started ended on a high note for Dustin Johnson on Tuesday.

Johnson overcame three days of weather delays and 29 other winners from 2012 and 54 holes to capture the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, shooting a final-round 68 to finish at 16 under, four shots ahead of defending champion Steve Stricker.

He shot a final-round 68 to finish at 16 under and four strokes ahead of Steve Stricker. Brandt Snedeker finished alone in third at 10 under.

The Tuesday finish was the first on the PGA Tour since Ben Curtis’ victory at the 2006 Booz Allen Classic.

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into this year,” Johnson said. “I hit a few bad drives that cost me shots, but I played good golf today.”

The 28-year-old has now won seven times in his career on the PGA Tour and earned 500 FedExCup points with the victory.

It also marks the third time Johnson has won a weather-shortened event. He won the 2011 Barclays and the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, both of which were shortened to 54 holes because of weather.

At Kapalua, Johnson had to wait until Monday — originally scheduled to be the final round — just to finish the first round after high winds battered the Maui coastline.

He raced out to the lead, playing the first 36 holes in 11 under and never looked back.

On Tuesday, Johnson birdied three of his first seven holes and wasn’t challenged until he made double bogey on the 13th. He bounced back one later, though, chipping in for eagle.

Johnson added two more birdies on the par-5 15th and capped off the victory with another on the par-5 finishing hole after reaching the green in two.

Johnson’s preparation for the event began early, too — he played six practice rounds at Kapalua before the event started.

He also became the third straight American to win there and won for the second time in four attempts when carrying the lead to the final round.

 

The first PGA Tour event of the season is 0-for-3.

Yet another day of high winds on Maui forced the delayed first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to be pushed back to Monday.

“We tried,” PGA TourVice President of Rules and Competition Slugger White said.

Mother Nature wouldn’t cooperate, however. With winds gusting near 50 mph, golf balls wouldn’t stay on greens or on tees.

As a result, the slate will be wiped clean and the first round will be re-started on Monday with players going off both tees beginning at 12:10 p.m. ET.

Officials hope to get in 36 holes on Monday and 18 more on Tuesday for the event to be official. The last Tuesday finish on the PGA Tour came in 2006 at the Booz Allen Classic.

Six players had yet to tee off when the horn sounded on Sunday, ending the third attempt to get the first round in the books.

After a four-hour delay to begin the day, players teed off on the windblown Maui course. It didn’t take long for the conditions to wreak havoc.

Matt Kuchar watched as his ball got blown off the tee on No. 10.

Ben Curtis saw his ball blow off the green on No. 11 en route to a double bogey. He later added a triple bogey.

Not long after, play was stopped for good and scores discarded for a second time this week. High winds also wiped out Friday’s originally scheduled opening round.

“We were OK for 30-45 minutes, then the bottom fell out,” White said. “It’s unfortunate. It started off bad and got worse.”

 

Prior to this week (Friday and Sunday), the last time the TOUR declared “play null and void” and restarted a round came at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2005 (second round).

Tournament Scenarios

* 54 holes - Official win/FedExCup points/money/100% OWGR points (gets into 2014 Hyundai).

* 36 holes- Unofficial win, Official FedExCup points/money/75% OWGR points (does not get into 2014 Hyundai).

*The last 54-hole event on Tour was The Barclays in 2011 (won by Dustin Johnson). The last 36-hole event on the PGA Tour was the 2005 Northern Trust Open (won by Adam Scott).

*If the Hyundai Tournament of Champions ends after 54 holes, it would be the 27th 54-hole event on the PGA TOUR since 1990. A look at the last five 54-hole events on the PGA TOUR (with Dustin Johnson winning the last two):

2011 The Barclays (Dustin Johnson)

2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (Dustin Johnson)

2005 BellSouth Classic (Phil Mickelson)

2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic (Luke Donald)

2000 BellSouth Classic (Phil Mickelson)

* Since 1953, this will be the first time that the Hyundai Tournament of Champions has been shortened to 54 holes.

* Players in this week’s event who are scheduled to play in the Sony Open in Hawaii: Jonas Blixt, Keegan Bradley, Ben Curtis, Tommy Gainey, J.J. Henry, John Huh, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Marc Leishman, George McNeill, Ryan Moore, Carl Pettersson, Scott Piercy, Ted Potter Jr., Webb Simpson, Scott Stallings, Kyle Stanley, Johnson Wagner and Mark Wilson.

 

 

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