After a short winter’s nap, the PGA TOUR was off and running at Kapalua in 2021 with a 42-man field, the largest to ever participate in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Harris English, by virtue of making it to the 2020 Tour Championship and the pandemic shortened season, was an invitee to the Sentry, and after a playoff with Chilean Joaquin Niemann, won his first PGA TOUR event since 2014.
The PGA has taken the 2022 PGA Championship away from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Enough said.
Mike Whan, the Commissioner of the LPGA for the past 11 years is leaving. I can remember Mike being introduced at an Executive Women’s Golf Association breakfast at the 2009 PGA Show. Mike worked at Proctor & Gamble for a few years while I was there, but we were in different divisions, so although we met we really didn’t have any interaction.
Speaking of the LPGA, they are back in Florida in force this year playing their first three events at Tranquillo, Lake Nona and Golden Ocala. The PGA TOUR WGC -Mexico Championship has been moved to the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida and will be played February 25-28.
Back in Hawaii, it was Kevin Na birdieing his way to victory at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu for his 5th win at the Sony Open. The 37 year-old used his Callaway clubs and Titlist Pro V1 ball to shoot a final round 65, to win by 1 stroke over a tight field.
The PGA TOUR Champions opened the new year at Hualalei Golf Course on the Big Island in Hawaii. Darren Clarke won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship by 2 strokes over Retief Goosen. In La Quinta, California, it was South Korean Si Woo Kim winning the American Express, edging out Patrick Cantlay by one stroke for his third PGA TOUR win. Englishman Tyrrell Hatton shot a closing 66, six under par, to win the Abu Dhabi Championship over Rory McIlroy who faded on Sunday.
In other news, Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma has replaced Trump Bedminster as the site of the 2022 PGA Championship. Davis Love III has been chosen to captain the U.S. President’s Cup team for 2022 to be contested at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
43-year-old Paul Casey won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for his 15th European Tour win and his 19th worldwide. Paul will be back at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Florida in May defending his 2019 win at the Valspar Championship played on the Copperhead course. The 2020 Valspar was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Mr. Controversy, Patrick Reed, did it again, but when all was said and done, Patrick took the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines bettering the field by 5 strokes.
The Tour returns to Florida the last week of February with the Mexico WGC coming to the Concession in Sarasota. Then the Arnold Palmer Invitational March 4-7 In Orlando, Tournament Players Championship in Ponte Vedra March 11-18 and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens March 18-21. If you can get a ticket go out and support these events that generate monies for numerous charities throughout the state.
To all our readers- Happy New Year and be safe.
David J. Daubert, GWAA, ING, USGA