12 wins under the age of 27.
Let’s see what we learned! Numbered 1 thru 18 from Thursday’s preview.
1.) I know there is #NappyFactor but is there #MarraigeFactor? Jon Rahm was white-hot before his nuptials. Imagine not being distracted with wedding/honeymoon stuff!
17 pars and one birdie on Sunday = Solo 10th. Breaks a streak of 2-WIN-WIN. Light a candle!
2.) Dustin Johnson has recovered from knee surgery. Kapalua’s hilly Plantation Course over four days will be an interesting test to see where he’s at.
T7 after closing with 69 = 8th top 10 in 10 starts.
3.) Patrick Reed doesn’t care what anyone thinks and never will. Fantasy players who won’t touch him because they don’t like him are guys you want to be playing against.
The low round of the week was 66. Reed had two of the three and lost in a playoff. Again, you can hate Reed as your badge of honor but it’s not smart fantasy advice.
4.) Justin Thomas will have 10+ top-10 finishes this year. Only McIlroy and Rahm did this last year.
4 events played, 3 top 10s, 2 wins.
5.) The Plantation Course hasn’t had a winning score higher than 14-under in some time. The new grass, tee boxes, windy forecast and hole locations will keep it closer to 14-under than last year’s 23-under.
Wet fairways, firm greens plus three days of gusty winds = 14-under for a playoff.
6.) Just three Par-3 three holes this week.
Thomas ranked No. 1. Reed T2.
7.) Of the last four winners, two (Johnson and Jordan Spieth) have won by eight shots.
Nope. Playoff for the second time in six years. Reed beat Jimmy Walker in 2015 and lost to Thomas this time around.
8.) The last player to repeat was Geoff Ogilvy in 2010. The only other player to defend at Kapalua since the move in 1999 was hat-trick hero Stuart Appleby (2004-06).
Schauffele had seven feet to join the club. We know what happened next.
9.) The only players to win on debut are Sergio Garcia and Daniel Chopra. One of these is not like the other.
Joaquin Niemann led after 18 before cashing T5 for low newbie.
10.) The last five winners have produced a recent podium finish before winning on Maui.
Thomas won CJ CUP AT NINE BRIDGES.
11.) The last four winners have finished No. 1 or No. 2 in birdie-or-better percentage.
Thomas – 2nd.
12.) The last five winners were top three in Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green.
Thomas – 2nd.
13.) The last four winners were top eight in ball-striking.
Thomas – T3.
14.) Every winner this decade won or went on to win a major with the exceptions of Jonathan Byrd and Steve Stricker.
New decade, same result. Thomas has already won a major, obviously.
15.) Number of first-timers here = 15. None hit the top 10 last year but Cameron Champ was T11.
In addition to Niemann (T5) mentioned above, first-timers Collin Morikawa (T7)JT Poston and Matthew Wolff (both T11) had excellent debuts.
16.) Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland made 25 birdies last year to lead the field.
Thomas circled 24 this year to lead the field. Reed had 23.
17.) Brendon Todd finished T8 on debut in 2015.
Brendon Todd wound up 29th of 34.
18.) I love this trophy. Don’t @ me.
Still do. Take that winter!