2008 Sony Open Golf Tournament Review
by Matt of Predictem.com
For three days, the weather cooperated with the golfers at the Sony Open held at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii this week, and it showed in the scores. The winds blew fierce on Sunday, however, and the scores skyrocketed for the entire field in the final round.
K.J. Choi kept it together on Sunday en route to a final round one-over par 71 and collected a 3 shot victory over runner-up Rory Sabbatini. Choi used solid ball striking all week to help tally his 14-under par total of 266. For the tournament K.J. ranked 9th in driving distance at 306.9 yds and ranked t-4 in greens in regulation hitting 3 of every 4 for the week.
Sabbatini carded a final round 68 to make it interesting down the stretch on a day that saw only 8 competitors post under-par scores. He now has a pair of 2nd place finishes in this event, the other coming in 06. Chois lone birdie came on the 72nd hole to stretch the winning margin to 3. The win is the 7th PGA victory for Choi and he now has at least one victory in the last four Tour seasons. For his efforts, the South Korean takes home a $954,000 winners check and 4,500 FedExCup points.
Steve Stricker continued his hot streak, logging another top-10 finish, his 272 total was good for a t-4 and Steve has now moved into 3rd in the Official World Golf Rankings. Fellow Wisconsinite Jerry Kelly fired a final round 67 to move up from a t-14 to solo 3rd. Kelly has seen success at the Sony; this past week marks his fifth top ten at the event in eleven tries including a win in 2002.
American George McNeill carded the low round on Sunday with a 66 and was the big mover, advancing from a t-52 after Saturday to a t-17 after the 4-under round. Kelly and McNeill were the only players to not card at least one bogey on Sunday. The par-70 Waialae C.C. played 2 full strokes over par Sunday as the field averaged 72.16 after playing under par the other three rounds. Tim Wilkinson shot the low round of the tourney, a third round 62 that had him in second by himself going into Sunday. He was derailed with a closing 78 that dropped him to a t-25.
ONE OF THE BEST PLACES TO WAGER ON GOLF TOURNAMENTS
J.B. Holmes led the field in driving distance for the week at 335.9 yards off the tee and rode a 6-under 64 3rd round total to a t-17 finish. Fred Funk had a solid week overall and notched a t-10 after leading the field with 76% of fairways hit. Jerry Kelly and Chad Campbell paced the field for greens hit in regulation at 76.39% and Tim Wilkinson needed 2 fewer putts per round, 26, than the field average of 28.1.
Tour rookie Doug Johnson and Monday qualifier Doug LaBelle II both posted t-10 finishes with their 274 total to lead the rookie/qualifier participants this week. More notable name and tournament favorite Jim Furyk played well all four rounds with rounds of 68, 70, 69, and 69. The four-under, 276 total was good for a t-20 finish.
For the year, Choi is now in the drivers seat after two events in the FedExCup season. Last weeks Mercedes-Benz champion, Daniel Chopra fell one spot to second after t-32 at the Sony. Steve Stricker used his second top-5 in as many weeks to land at third and Rory Sabbatinis finish moves him to fourth on the FedExCup points list.
The pros now look ahead to the next PGA Tour stop, the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The five-day event is one of the most entertaining watches on TV for the golf season as the Hope boasts the best celebrity roster for the pro-am portion of the tournament which is played during the actual Tour competition.