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« Morning Drive Recap: GoDaddy And The TOPE's | Main | Jack's Grandson: "Just he played golf for a living." »
Sunday
Jan052014

Kapalua Primed For A Wild & Wacky Finish

I finally found a positive in the PGA Tour's wraparound schedule and the annoyingly relentless push for year-round golf: no one gets too rusty.

Sure, Kapalua is probably playing too soft and green in the Hyundai TOC for Coore and Crenshaw's design to force the kind of shotmaking that used to make this one of the best designs on the PGA Tour. But what an incredible lineup of stars with a chance to win Monday, no doubt attributable to shorter offseasons.

Here's the quick PGATour.com recap of a third round where Webb Simpson moved into a tie for the lead with Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, while Zach Johnson looms one back. Two off the leaders lurk Gary Woodland, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker and Kevin Streelman.  (Here's Doug Ferguson's game story on Simpson playing with a heavy heart as his regular caddie is with his wife and struggling newborn, and here's the TV edition of the third round recap featuring Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo.)

I'll be discussing Kapalua and other topics from the blog on Morning Drive tomorrow at 8:20 ET, with a replay two hours later. A replay of the third round airs from 11-3 ET (with some great whale shots, an epic discussion aired live between Spieth and his caddy on the 18th hole, along with several more millionaires completely flummoxed by the 18th green hole location that has only been used every third round for the last 15 years!).

The Golf Channel pre-game show airs for a full hour (!?) from 3-4 ET, followed mercifully by the final round from 4-8 ET.

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Reader Comments (18)

All our thoughts and prayers are with this newborn. Have faith, Paul.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I still haven't heard explanation as to why they are finishing today (Mon.) anyone know the reasoning??That was an EPIC convo between Spieth and caddie on 18 and audio was crystal clear--announcers were smart enough not to talk over the moment.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedia driven
Hook em Spieth!
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterEM
What did Jason Day skip the event?
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Media, I missed that, what was said?
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF, nothing was said by Rich Lerner and Frank Nobilo until after the lengthy convo between Spieth and his caddie was over....then they said something like< "they don't need us.''

The audio was excellent on the exchange but I hope he doesn't go through such mental torture before other key shots, esp. down the stretch in a major!!
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedia driven
I think I caught that discussion between Spieth and his caddy in the 18th fairway yesterday. If I've got it right, I was surprised how much talking Spith did, and how his caddie said next to nothing. Seriously, it made me wonder what his caddie did besides carry the bag.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPasaplayer
This event finishes on Monday because it is scheduled to finish on Monday (as it was last year). Presumably, the idea is that there will be more viewers for the final round as there is no NFL game and the time difference makes it work well.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Media, I meant what was said between Spieth and his caddie ;)

I did catch one Spieth commentary where he missed about a 4-footer and then hit a squirrelly tap-in and said something like "almost missed that. I almost missed a tap-in!" Caddie didn't say much there either...
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I'd have to rewatch it to be sure, but it was all about how to play the 2nd shot with a fairway metal into 18....and he didn't execute it after all that, fanning it way out to right and barely making par.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMedia driven
Player/caddie conversation was fun and great that announce crew didn't talk over it. 3 wood was too much and hybrid not enough. Jordan figured short was better and I sensed wanted to hit hybrid but also considered "punching" the 3 wood. Caddie mentioned hurt wind a few times and Jordan pulled the club (3 wood) from the bag that was lying down. Caddie's final word was something like "get committed". So he tried the 3 wood and blocked it and struggled to make par. I thought caddie had it right, mentioned the wind and inserted final positive thought. But you got the sense there was no real commitment and he thought it too much club so he fanned it. Agree with Media, that much talk/decisions on 3rd round 260 yard fairway shot, what's to come on 18 on Sunday at Augusta!
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMashie
The commentators mentioned that the extra discussion was likely due to Spieth being a first timer at this event and not entirely sure of the wind and the slope. All things considered Spieth is a gamer when it comes to golf. His best scoring average is in the last round which implies he is a fast learner and a good closer. When he speaks to the media it is like listening to a veteran player. As long as he keeps his swing uncluttered he will be fine. He knows how to compete. He is similar to Rory in that he has his own motion which holds up under pressure and seems to hole the pressure putts. Oh yeah, he is still only 20...
01.6.2014 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
Congratulations on the MD add. We'll be watching for you every Monday, and maybe you can get Ms. Sonders to commit to out first SE US Shack Open after the Masters, that we keep talking about, every year.

BTW, Rodney Dangerfield wants his coat back... :) ( I have a similar one in black, white,.and various shades of yellow- I call it my used car salesman jacket)
01.6.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Has anyone here played Kapalua? Curious if TV doesn't do it justice. For a Coore Crenshaw track - and in Hawaii no less - it looks and feels uninspiring.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinGHIN
Played there last January, 3 weeks after the super windy weather delayed tournament. It was very strangely still the day I played. Uninspring is probably the most laughable adjective I could give to the place. TV does not do it justice. The golf course was insanely fun to play, but the views were even better. The setting is amazing. I cannot say enough good things about the place. I'm from the Midwest, so the grain on the greens was terribly difficult for me, but it was still so much fun.

Nailing two monster drives on 17 (350) and 18 (415) were super memorable, but the best was spending much too much time on the 11th green watching a juvenile humpback breach over and over again with my 7 yr old son (he was just riding).
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLexicographer
Sounds like it should be on the list of places to play - thanks for the first hand report.
01.6.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGinGHIN
@GINGhin I have played The Plantation Course at Kapalua numerous times. Television does not do the elevation changes justice. The wind, elevation changes, and 'sideboards' make it a fun track to play - sort of like driving a F1 racer. But the fairways are wide (wind is strong) and the greens pretty easy to hit, and fairly easy to read. Not sure it is anything really special other than the location and scenery, and of course, the wind. Interesting that I found the long holes all played down-wind and the short holes back into the wind. They have continued to add yardage to some of the holes, notably #1 ( tee box is almost on the club veranda now at 502) , #17 (525 now, originally was around 470 - it is straight downhill, down-wind) & #18 ( now 695, originally was 595 or so - it too is straight downhill and down-wind). The Par 73 with 5 par fives sort of takes a little something to get use to. You shoot 3-under and post 70.....feels like you were sitting still. They have lengthened the #12 hole a little as well. Use to be there was a speed slot out on the left side of the FW and if you could hit it there you could drive it on the green at about 395 or so. Not sure what other holes they have lengthened since it has been 4-5 years since I played golf on Maui. Fun to play, but not necessarily a 'classic'. The land they had was a jungle.
Excuse me......in pervious post I confused #12 for #11 hole at Kapalua's Plantation Course. #11 of course is the Par 3 hole down the hill. The #12 Hole is the hole I was actually referring to as having been lengthened to 425 or so form 390 or so..

there is a great lfy-over available for those that would like to see a 3-D flyover ....click on Plantation Course on link below:

http://www.golfatkapalua.com/plantation-course.html

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