I have been in Hawaii for two days and how can I be anything but happy? The Sony Open is underway and what a start!
Justin Thomas has just shot 59 to begin what is set to be an amazing four days of golf. Starting with and eagle and finishing with an eagle. What a round!
I just sat in Justin’s post round press conference. He replayed his round shot for shot and said that Spieth and Berger were more excited than he was after his final putt and he responded to their excitement. He is the youngest player to shoot 59 on a PGA tour event.
I arrived in Hawaii early Tuesday morning, straight to my accommodation to wash off the travel and headed to Waialae Country Club to pick up my accreditation and check out the course.
After chatting to Candice in the media centre, I found my desk, dumped my bag and headed out to walk part of the course and get the lay of the land.
The media centre overlooks the ocean and in fact I turn my head now I watch the waves roll in. Is it too soon to pop on my swimmers and get some ocean therapy?
When I returned, Evin Priest from AAP (who had set up his laptop etc at my desk) profusely apologised but as I didn’t have my laptop with me I didn’t mind at all. Evin is a fellow Aussie and asked me where I am from. After telling him Sydney, he asked where in Sydney and I told him Picton thinking he wouldn’t know it. Turns out he grew up half an hour away and knows it well.
Ben Everill from the PGA (another Aussie who was sitting in front of us) turned around and said hello. Ben and I had met at the Canadian Open last year. Turns out the three of us who live in different parts of North America, grew up within 40kms of each other.
Very small world!
As it was my birthday the following day, I told the boys they should come out with me. Of course they did. We actually ended up at a Japanese restaurant recommended to Ben by Hideki Matsuyama – it was amazing.
I had decided to play my 100th golf course since July 2014 (when I took up golf) on my 40th birthday in Hawaii. Could I have a better birthday? I had the pleasure of teeing it up with Steve from Oahu Country Club and then headed to Murphy’s with Steve and his crew who were selecting their picks for the Sony Open.
It was quite convoluted with all the side bets and ways to win but was a good laugh nonetheless.
Back to the Sony Open today.
I hitched a ride with Ben, arriving just after 8am as the golf was already underway. I dumped my stuff in the media centre, had a chat with John from the PGA, got my photography credentials and headed on out.
My first stop was in the Spectator Village with Martin at HiDow. He popped some pulsating pads on my shoulders and turned up the levels.
We had a good chat before I got to my initial destination – The First Tee to see Kellen Anderson. Kellen and I knew about each other from Steve (who I golfed with yesterday at Oahu CC).
We had a wonderful golf chat and Fairways and The First Tee Hawaii will be working together to get more children golfing. We discussed lots of options and ideas and will be teeing it up on Monday to further nut out a proposal.
I met Oliver Oliquiano from U.S Kids Golf and had a quick chat with him before I headed off to watch some golf.
I followed Keegan Bradley, Billy Horschel and Smylie Kaufman for a couple of holes. In fact I watched Kaufman drop back to back birdies on the 11th and 12th. I had chat with Jillian (Keegan’s wife) who I randomly met, before heading to see my mate Kevin from The Golf Channel who was wrangling data in the technical compound.
I saw the Spieth Swarm well before I got near and watched a little of current leader Justin Thomas. The delight from his playing partners as he played well made me smile.
I was back in the clubhouse having lunch as Thomas was attempting his eagle putt on the 9th. Those who were watching it unfold with me all had small exclamations with their lunching partners – I was kicking it solo and was tweeting instead.
I am unsure why I love golf so much – it is inexplicable. I cannot believe that my life is so full of golf (my friends think I am crazy) and yet I can’t wait to head out and watch the afternoon crew.