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Home Daily Golf Briefs Daily Pulse for January 12, 2018

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VOLUME 8, NUMBER 8                                                           
Friday, January 12, 2018

ANY IDEA WHO SAID THIS? “I think it's pretty obvious I'm not playing as well as I was coming into this week. This week last year was some of the best I've ever played. We know what our best is in every category of our game, and when maybe one thing is lacking a little bit or maybe a couple things aren't quite up to par, we know that isn't the best. It might be our A game versus our B or C game, but in terms of where I'm at right now, I'm not coming off the same momentum in Kapalua. I didn't play that poorly last week. It was just I felt a little rusty and didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had. I don't know if I'll ever play my best. I hope to at some point or some stretch, but the goal is to just play as close to it as possible for as long as possible.”

BRAIN TEASER: Which of these players has held the world #1 position for the longest amount of time in their career: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Adam Scott or Jordan Spieth?

TWENTY YEARS: Traditionally china is given as a 20-year anniversary present. However, something platinum is also considered appropriate. Twenty years together is remarkable accomplishment anymore.

Longevity is often times overlooked. Standing the test of time is an acid test, after all, that not every business can boast. The same can be the case with a PGA TOUR event. It may surprise more than a few that 2018 marks 53rd playing of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Sony became its title sponsor in 1999, which ties it with John Deere as the third longest serving sponsor on the TOUR. Both companies lent their name and financial resources to golf in the same year. The only other companies that boast a longer tenure on the PGA TOUR are AT&T (Pebble Beach Pro-Am), which traces its lineage back to 1986 and Honda (Classic). The automaker (and there have been a few of its competitors that have come and gone) is the longest serving sponsor on the PGA TOUR. It came aboard in 1982! Sony Corporation announced back in December that it extended its partnership with the PGA TOUR by another four years, through 2022.

NERD NOTES: In the last 12 years (since 2006), eight of the 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to capture the Sony Open in Hawaii. Last year Justin Thomas ran away from the field. He set the lowest opening-round score: 59 (tied with Paul Goydos at the 2010 John Deere Classic), lowest 36-hole score: 123, lowest 54-hole score: 188 (tied with Steve Stricker at the 2010 John Deere Classic) and lowest 72-hole score: 253!

Twelve of last 19 Sony Open winners have played the week prior at the winners only Sentry Tournament of Champions. The last player to record his first PGA TOUR victory at the Sony Open was Russell Henley (2013). The last player to win the event in his first try was Russell Henley (2013); prior to that was Bruce Lietzke (‘77). Nine players have made the Sony Open their first PGA TOUR win: Ted Makalena (1966), Grier Jones (1972), John Schlee (1973), Gary Groh (1975), Isao Aoki (1983), David Ishii (1990), John Morse (1995), Jerry Kelly (2002), Russell Henley (2013).

Ten players have won each of the PGA TOUR’s Hawaii events at least once: Jim Furyk (1996 Sony; 2001 Sentry Tournament of Champions), Jack Nicklaus (1974 Sony; 1963-64, 1971, 1973, 1977 TOC); Lee Trevino (1968 Sony; 1981 TOC); Lanny Wadkins (1988, 1991 Sony Open, 1982-83 TOC); Paul Azinger (1991 Sony; 1990 TOC); Mark O’Meara (1985 Sony; 1996 TOC); Ernie Els (2003-04 Sony; 2003 TOC); Vijay Singh (2005 Sony; 2007 TOC), Zach Johnson (2009 Sony; 2014 TOC), Justin Thomas (2017 Sony; 2017 TOC).

Zach Johnson posted his 94th bogey-free round of his PGA TOUR career in the first round of the Sony Open, marking the third most bogey-free rounds on TOUR since 2004. Who does he trail? Charles Howell III has 100 rounds and Jim Furyk has 103!

Brian Harman currently T3 after his first round 64 at the Sony Open marks his 11th time inside of the top-10 of the leaderboard after any round on the PGA TOUR this season (most of any player).

GOLF REMAINS HARD! Even world #2, Jordan Spieth is humbled by the game. Spieth produced his first quadruple bogey yesterday at the Sony since the second round of the 2017 AT&T (one of his sponsors!) Byron Nelson. Despite the slip up, Speith still posted an opening round score of 1-under par.

IF IT AIN’T BROKE? Chris Kirk posted an opening 63 at the Sony Open. While others may be getting used to new clubs or balls in 2018, Kirk isn’t one of them. “I didn't really change any equipment. I haven't changed any equipment, other than a hybrid, since the RSM tournament,” he reported. It’s somewhat refreshing to hear someone stick with what they have versus try something new in the hope of finding some magic. “Last year was a funny year for me. The real reason I didn't play well was I had my worst putting year I had since I've been on TOUR,” he added. In his opening round at Waialae Country Club, Kirk was 1.243 in strokes gained, according to PGATOUR.com with the flat stick! He has some work to do though. Kirk is tied with Zach Johnson for the first round lead. But Johnson was a shot better with his putter as he was  2.224 strokes gained, according to pgatour.com.

THE TAX MAN: To many in the golf world, the new rule is disappointing, but not surprising. Jay Karen, CEO of the National Golf Course Owners Association, was among those who saw it coming. In late November, as the tax bill was taking shape, Karen and representatives from three other golf industry groups penned a letter to Congress, pleading with lawmakers to preserve the 50 percent business-entertainment deduction. Doing away with it, they wrote, would hurt "small business owners of golf courses across the country" while dampening the myriad business dealings that take place "every day of the week across thousands of courses." READ MORE>>>

DRESS FOR SUCCESS: Peter Millar has announced additions to their team of brand ambassadors in 2018: Branden Grace, Si Woo Kim, Chesson Hadley, Hudson Swafford, Chez Reavie, Scott Brown, Sam Saunders, Johnson Wagner, Shawn Stefani, Matteo Manassero, Davis (Dru) Love IV, Chris Wilson and Brett Quigley. READ MORE>>>

WEB GEMS:

HOME GROWN ON TOP: Branden Grace carded three eagles on his way to a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the lead with American Chase Koepka after the first round of the European Tour’s South African Open on Thursday. READ MORE>>>

HOW DID THEY DO? Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk kept clean cards on a gorgeous day and each shot 7-under 63 to share the lead after the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Jordan Spieth wasn't as fortunate. Defending champion Justin Thomas opened with a 67, but he was all smiles on the 17th hole. Thomas, an Alabama alum, won a bet that required Georgia graduate Kevin Kisner to wear a Crimson Tide jersey from the tee box to the green. READ MORE>>>

ANSWERS: “I think it's pretty obvious I'm not playing as well as I was coming into this week. This week last year was some of the best I've ever played. We know what our best is in every category of our game, and when maybe one thing is lacking a little bit or maybe a couple things aren't quite up to par, we know that isn't the best. It might be our A game versus our B or C game, but in terms of where I'm at right now, I'm not coming off the same momentum in Kapalua. I didn't play that poorly last week. It was just I felt a little rusty and didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had. I don't know if I'll ever play my best. I hope to at some point or some stretch, but the goal is to just play as close to it as possible for as long as possible.”--Justin Thomas.

Rory McIlroy has been world #1 for a total of 95 weeks in his career. He is followed by Luke Donald 56, Jason Day 51, Dustin Johnson 47, Vijay Singh 32, Jordan Spieth 26, Lee Westwood 22, Adam Scott 11, Ernie Els 9 and Martin Kaymer 8.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IS BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. THE OPINION EXPRESSED IS THAT OF TERRY MCANDREW AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A SOLICITATION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES IN ANY OF THE COMPANIES DISCUSSED WITHIN THIS NEWSLETTER. CONTENTS OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY NOT BE REPRINTED OR REBROADCAST WITHOUT THE EXPRESSED WRITTEN CONSENT OF TMAC GOLF