Sony Open – January 2018 I arrived before 7am (the sun hadn’t yet risen over the water) and there were protesters picketing at the gate.
After dropping off the car I headed over for a chat to find out what they were protesting. They are part of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and were protesting NBC for unfair pay and working conditions. All of the camera crew for the telecast had walked off the job. About 30 of the workers that were hired to work on the coverage were now lining the street outside the gates as volunteers and other Golf Channel staff scrambled to fill the behind the scenes roles.
They are doing the best they can trying to track golf balls on camera to ensure there is television coverage of the event but clearly the coverage has been effected.
Back in the media centre there was football on so I watched that as I wrote.
Before heading out to watch the golf, I chatted with a couple of ladies in the restroom about Fairways vs network marketing for alternate products. For me I prefer working with underprivileged junior golfers all over the world.
This morning I received photos of a couple of Canadian juniors enjoying the winter lessons we arranged on golf simulators using the new clubs generous relatives had given them for Christmas.
I love seeing how happy golf makes them.
I stopped in at the Sony 20th Anniversary exhibition smiling at the oversize walkman before I wandered down the 10th and 11th stopping to watch a few groups come through. I bunkered in beside the water in the sliver of shade offered by a palm tree at the 17th and watched the first 6 groups who started on the 10th play through.
No hole in one today for Finau.
I returned to the media centre to watch all of the golf on TV and when I headed outside to take a call, I saw an elderly gentleman icing his foot with a grimace on his face. I asked if he was ok and whether I could help him and while he told me his hands had been patched after his fall, his ankle was causing him great pain. I happened to have some pain killers in my bag and asked if he would like some.
He looked up at me and said “that would be very kind.” On a mission, I grabbed my tablets and a glass of water. He popped a couple of tablets, thanking me as he shuffled off into the heat to try and enjoy the rest of his afternoon.
The golf has been up and down all afternoon as Hoge and Kizzire take turns in the lead. There has been one stroke in it most of the day. Hahn who shot a final round of 62 sits on -17 and waits to see what Hoge and Kizzire can do on the final two holes. Can he win by default?
I have sat in the media centre most of the afternoon watching the golf on the television coverage as balls get lost in the shots and the cameras lose focus but we can see mostly what is happening. Let’s hope the skilled behind the scenes workers are back in place for the next tournament.
Kizzire cannot birdie the 18th so we are off for a playoff as Hahn and Kizzire finish on -17 but Hoge missed his birdie put and has to settle for 3rd.
The playoff has just rolled onto a 4th hole. While I love golf, I would like the winner determined soon so I can finish writing, head home and pack for a very early start in the morning.
The 6th playoff hole is underway and I am hoping it is decided here. The sun is going to set shortly and it will be impossible to continue playing.
Hahn lipped out on his 3rd shot on the 17th hole during the 6th playoff hole. The tournament was Kizzire’s to lose.
Finally a winner, just as the sunsets across Hawaii, Patton Kizzire is the 2018 Sony Open Champion.
In the media centre post playoff, James Hahn, stated “I would rather lose by 100 or not make the cut than lose by 1 in a playoff”. He will feel this loss for a while.
When champion, Patton Kizzire was asked how he coped with the rollercoaster of the 6 hole playofff he stated “My golf is a rollercoaster”.
With two wins under his belt in the 2018 season (he also won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba) he is very happy to be sitting in 1st place on the Fedex Cup standings.
There was a junior reporter in the media centre and asked Patton what advice he could give to juniors.
The message was have fun but make everything a competition as competition helps hone your skills and golf should be fun.
Great advice from the champion.