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Firsts of 2017 at the SBS Tournament of Champions



Aloha and Happy Golf New Year from Hawaii, where 2017 got underway on the PGA Tour at the SBS Tournament of Champions.

Cody Gribble, winner of the Sanderson Farms Championship and paired with Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic) in the opening twosome, had new-year honors on Kapalua’s Plantation Course. His tee shot on No. 1, a stunningly dramatic downhill 520-yard par-4, strayed several yards into the right rough. From there he steered a hybrid wide left, pitched over a trap onto the undulating green and took two to get down — thus recording the calendar year’s first bogey on Tour (Gribble also bogeyed the third, but then made six birdies and finished T5 at 4-under par).

Hughes, meantime, recorded 2017’s first par, while in the very next group Pat Perez (the OHL Classic at Mayakoba winner) sank a 20-footer for the calendar year’s first birdie.

The Wins That Got Them Here: Playoffs

Three players in the 32-man Tournament of Champions field lost a playoff but won another event:

  • Brandt Snedeker lost the Sony Open, but won the Farmers Insurance Open.
  • Si Woo Kim lost the Barbasol Classic, but won the Wyndham Championship.
  • Ryan Moore lost the Tour Championship, but won the John Deere Classic.

Others in the field thanks to playoff victories

  • Aaron Baddeley (Barbasol Classic)
  • Jason Dufner (CareerBuilder Challenge)
  • Tony Finau (Puerto Rico Open)
  • Fabian Gomez (Sony Open)
  • James Hahn (Wells Fargo Championship)
  • Mackenzie Hughes (RSM Classic)
  • William McGirt (Memorial Tournament)
  • Brian Stuard (the rain-abbreviated Zurich Classic).

Hideki Matsuyama beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but Matsuyama also won WGC-HSBC Champions and the Hero World Challenge.

Finally, three playoff victors chose not to participate this week with their fellow champions:

  • Sergio Garcia, who beat Brooks Koepka at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
  • Rory McIlroy, who won the Tour Championship in a playoff over Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore.
  • Charl Schwartzel, who beat Bill Haas at the Valspar Championship.

Day 1 Scoring

Eight clean cards were posted on Thursday, and three over-par rounds. Jimmy Walker (8-under) had six birdies and an eagle using a 42-inch Titleist 917D2 driver, which he hopes will help him hit straighter drives in 2017. Ryan Moore (6-under) had only two birdies, but he eagled twice. He holed out from 117 yards on the par-4 third, and sank a 13-footer on the 5th after reaching the par-5 in two.

Also bogey-free through the first 18 were Jim Herman (6-under), Justin Thomas (6-under), Jason Dufner (5-under), Dustin Johnson (4-under), Hideki Matsuyama (4-under), and Brandt Snedeker (3-under).

At the opposite end of the leaderboard: James Hahn (1-over) bogeyed four of his first seven holes, then parred 10 straight before finishing with a birdie. Billy Hurley III (1-over) had the day’s only double-bogey, three-putting from 45 feet after finding the sand from the tee on the par-3 11th. Si Woo Kim (2-over), who tallied a Tour-best 400 birdies in the 2015-16 season and ranks first in Shots Gained: Off-the-Tee in the current season, offset three birdies with a most-in-field five bogeys.

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Thomas Meagher is a Pushcart Prize-winning writer who learned the game on the East Coast and now plays the desert courses of the West. He writes on golf and books and whatever else at

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jam

    Jan 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Wha? 42 inch? For real? Didn’t look that short

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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from inside the Mizuno European Tour truck



GolfWRX got an exclusive look inside Mizuno’s European Tour truck, thanks to the sleuthing efforts of one Rob Brooks, aka @GolfNation_ on Instagram.

Brooks captured plenty of shots of drool-worthy tour only goods, some good looks at the tools of the job, as well as some of the best photos of 2020 Mizzy wares—including the ST200 drivers—we’ve seen.

We have four jam-packed galleries for your perusal in the forums, but to whet your appetite, enjoy the Mizuno morsels below.

Check out all four of our galleries from the tour truck, below.


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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the Safeway Open



GolfWRX was scouring the range and practice greens at the Safeway Open earlier this week, and we have a ton of photos from Napa for your viewing pleasure.

In addition to five general galleries of photos, we got WITB looks at Hideki Matsuyama, Morgan Hoffmann, Jhonny Vegas, among others. We also took a peek at Bryson DeChambeau’s prototype LA Golf Shafts “Rebar” wedge shaft, the new Scotty Cameron Tour Rat putter cover, some Nippon prototype and KBS graphite driver shafts, and new Ping PLD putters.

So, yeah, it was a pretty good week if you’re a gear junkie in need of your tour equipment photo fix.

A few of the most interesting shots, below.

*Featured image: Kevin Stadler’s Callaway Steelhead III 4+ wood

When at the Safeway Open…

Hey, we know that guy!

Bryson DeChambeau’s new “Rebar” wedge shaft (details here)

Hideki Matsuyama with a leaden offering to the golf gods

Jhonny Vegas may be the last Nike Vapor wood holdout on tour

SuperStroke with a geographically appropriate limited-edition grip offering

Prototype Nippon N.S. Pro iron shafts

New Scotty Cameron Tour Rat putter covers spotted

KBS graphite shafts spotted

Callaway’s tour only 60T Jaws MD5 wedge

Ping PLD goodness

General galleries

Special galleries



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Tour Photo Galleries

Interesting photos from the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship



GolfWRX was on site at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi.

In addition to the usual spread of range photos from Monday and Tuesday, we also got a look at a new flatstick from Bettinardi, a few of Matt Jones’ Scotty Cameron putters, new wands from PXG, and some new shafts from Mitsubishi.

Check out a few highlights below and find the links to all our galleries after that.

2018 Scotty Cameron Hula Girl cover sighting!

A look at the unique tee markers

New Callaway staffer Akshay Bhatia’s awesome Callaway Apex MB irons

“Furby Boy” Joaquin Niemann’s 56-degree wedge

New Mitsubishi Tensei AV shafts spotted

One of the several new PXG Gen2 putters we got an in-hand look at

Sam Ryder with a little weight taken out of his Cleveland RTX-3 wedges

One of Matt Jones’ prototype Scotty Cameron putters

An in-hand look at the limited Bettinardi QB8 that launched in The Hive this week

All our photos from the Sanderson Farms Championship


General galleries



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19th Hole