Els Completes Hawaii Sweep

By Golf Channel NewsroomJanuary 19, 2003, 5:00 pm
Ernie Els is off to the best start in 14 years on the PGA Tour.
 
The 33-year-old South African became the first player since Steve Jones in 1989 to win the first two tournaments of the season by capturing the Sony Open Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii.
 
Els shot 3-under 67 at the Waialae Country Club to match Aaron Baddeley, who had a 69, at 16-under-par 264.
 
He then made an improbable 43-foot birdie from the fringe on the second extra hole. Baddeley had a 20-footer to continue the playoff, but left it inches short.
 
'It was a fun day,' said Els, who earned his 12th tour win. 'I thought the kid was gonna go away, but he kept at me. Unlucky for Aaron, but he's going to win a lot of titles.'
 
Els added another $810,000 to his bank account. He collected $1 million in his record-breaking performance a week ago in Maui. He won the Mercedes Championships - by eight shots - in 31-under par, a tour record in relation to par.
 
This win was a bit harder to come by.
 
Baddeley, making his first start as a card-carrying member of the PGA Tour, had his worst ball-striking round of the week ' he hit four of 14 fairways and nine of 18 greens in regulation, but still managed to hang with the second-ranked player in the world.
 
Both men made four-foot birdie putts on the first extra hole, the par-5 18th. They then went back to the 353-yard, par-4 10th.
 
Els had driven the hole earlier in the day, but hooked his tee shot into the rough the second time around. Baddeleys tee shot finished in the front left greenside bunker.
 
With little green to work with, and a tree limb impeding a flop shot, Els ran his pitch shot through the green, 43 feet from the hole.
 
Baddeley had a straight-forward - albeit lengthy - bunker shot, but blasted out well short of the hole. After Els ran his birdie bomb home, and then Baddeleys putt to tie died on the lip.
 
'I didn't strike it the best today but I was there and had a chance to win in the end,' said Baddeley. 'Ernie didn't make many mistakes. He was putting the pressure on me to drive it in the fairway as well or hit it on the green. That and he was very composed.'
 
The victory was a bit of redemption for Els. He lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff in the 2000 Mercedes Championships, when Woods made a 40-foot birdie on the second extra hole to prevail.
 
'Tiger made that putt on me and I had a chance to tie him and I left it on the edge,' said Els. 'The world keeps on turning. Sometimes it works out for you.'
 
Els started this Sunday two back of Baddeley, but took a one-shot lead into the last after a bizarre 17th hole.
 
Els' 25-foot birdie putt was tracking toward the cup when it hit Baddeley's marker to keep it from going in.
 
Baddeley was ready to strike his three-foot par putt when he backed off after hearing a portable toliet door close. He re-started his routine, but lipped out the putt.
 
Last year, John Cook was distracted by a ringing cell phone at 17 and hit his tee shot in a greenside bunker. He bogeyed the hole and ended up one stroke behind eventual winner Jerry Kelly.
 
Baddeley was given a reprieve, however, when Els left his 15-foot birdie putt for victory at 18 short of the hole. Baddeley then converted one from nearly the same length to force the extra session.
 
Chris DiMarco shot 4-under 66 to finish third, two back of Els and Baddeley. Defending champion Kelly (65) eagled the last to tie Robert Allenby (66) for fourth place, at 12-under.
 
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the Sony Open
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    Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

    Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

    He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

    Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

    Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.


    Full-field scores from the CJ Cup

    CJ Cup: Articles, photos and videos

    Current Official World Golf Ranking


    That was his only dropped shot of the day.

    The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

    Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

    That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

    Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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    'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

    Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

    “Go in,” he immediately said.

    “Please go in,” he added.



    Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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    Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

    Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

    But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

    Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.



    That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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    Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

    By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

    Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

    And then he aced the par-3 seventh.



    Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

    Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!