Hooks and Cuts: The Beginning


KAPALUA, Hawaii – Suddenly walking around Maui has become as dangerous as going over the middle against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Geoff Ogilvy’s out after a fall on the beach with a cut index finger and Zach Johnson’s iffy after he banged his right big toe on some stairs, ripping the nail off.

Here are some other 'Hooks and Cuts' for the New Year:
  • Graeme McDowell moves with an undeniable swagger while managing to remain very likable. He’s least likely to stiff a reporter, least likely to walk by a fan without a smile or autograph and most likely to deliver with everything riding.
  • Where does GMac's toughness come from? 'My Mom,' he told us Thursday. 'She's been battling MS and she's one tough cookie.'

  • Justin Rose said even if he’d been chosen he likely wouldn’t have been able to play the Ryder Cup because of a slight left shoulder tear. He’s 90 percent healthy after two-a-day rehab sessions.
  • Adam Scott, among the worst from 10 feet and in on Tour last season, built a putting green and chipping area in his backyard in Australia.
  • You could envision any number of guys ending this year No. 1: Westwood, Woods, Kaymer, Furyk, Stricker, McIlroy, Mickelson, McDowell and Johnson.
  • GMac’s become golf’s version of Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants. The closer. You were expecting Kyra Sedgwick?
  • Sean Foley’s here with Rose and Hunter Mahan. He said of Tiger that “someone asked me what’s it like to work with the chosen one and I responded that he chose to be the one.” Woods may well return with better control of his golf ball than he’s had in years.
  • Jason Day’s poised to become a consistent force. He absolutely thumps the ball, and he’s a seasoned 23 with five years as a pro under his belt.
  • Long drive champ Jamie Sadlowski out-slugged Dustin, Bubba and Big Bob Garrigus in a Wednesday distance challenge. He may soon turn his sights to regular professional golf. A former hockey player, Jamie’s just 22 years old and 160 pounds of lean, taut muscle.  With his Daly-esque backswing, he pounded his winning tee ball 407 yards into the wind on the downhill 18th at the Plantation Course. The guy’s an absolute must-see freak. 
  • Bubba's driver off the deck will be one of the 10 coolest shots of the year 12 months from now. He estimates he's hit it 50 times in competition.

  • Rocco Mediate with a two-year exemption off the Fry’s win that takes him to 50 on Tour quipped to Rose on the putting green: “I’m gonna’ be buggin’ you guys for a few more years.” Rose shot back: “Same as always Roc.”
  • Garrigus told colleague Steve Sands a nice story. He spent his honeymoon here in 2004 and shot 63, telling his wife, “Someday I’m going to compete here.” That day has come, after plenty of hardship with a stint in rehab.
  • Anthony Kim needs an injury free, trouble free, full on, game on year from start to finish.
  • Fluff Cowan begins his 36th year as a Tour caddie. He’s 62 and the old bones and muscles ache every night. Of his old boss Tiger, Fluff says emphatically he’ll be fine. Of his current boss Jim Furyk he says, “He’s an unbelievable competitor.” 
  • Went whale watching and learned that the North Pacific Humpback has sex as early as 5 years old. Beautiful creatures but loose morals.