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Hooks Cuts from the Sony

HONOLULU – A final look at the Sony Open from here in paradise:

  • Ryan Palmer’s caddie James Edmondson sent a text message to Tony Romo Saturday night, telling the Cowboys QB that if he takes care of business against the Vikings his man would do the same at the Sony. Romo and the ‘Boys made a couple early double bogeys and never recovered. Palmer did his part. He’ll be one of the few Cowboys’ fans feeling good on Monday.
  • Robert Allenby is disappointed, no doubt, but with wins at Sun City and in Australia late last year leading up to his effort at the Sony, I’d be shocked if he didn’t break his mystifying nine-year victory drought in the next few months.  “Considering my ankle,” he said, “I played pretty well.”


  • Ernie Els didn’t find anything traumatic in turning 40 a few months ago. “My wife Leisl threw a big three-day party in the Bahamas,” he said. “We had friends from South Africa, Europe and the States. It was a great time.” Nice to have the wherewithal for three-day Bahamas shindigs, isn’t it?


  • Palmer’s chip shot at 18 was lucky, certainly. His Seve special from the bunker at 16 on Saturday was special.


  • A John Daly comeback would unquestionably be a huge and heartwarming story, but nothing I saw this week has me believing he’s close.


  • Tour rookies Rickie Fowler and Cameron Tringale are sharing a condo in Las Vegas. Nice to have age, talent and Vegas at your fingertips, isn’t it?


  • Retief Goosen’s a threat again. “I spent the last couple years working pretty hard on my fitness and my game,” he said after a final-round 62 at Waialae. Goose drove the ball well. “I’m trying to get more on top of the ball,” he said, adding that when he struggles he tends to hang back on his right side.


  • It’s a dubious list, certainly, but the Sony is the best place on Tour to miss a cut. I saw Jay Williamson walking the beach on Saturday with wife Marnie, and Harrison Frazar on his way to the North Shore to watch the giant waves break.


  • Haiti needs your help.


  • While Michelle Wie is the most famous Hawaiian golfer, locals will always lovingly remember Ted Makalena. He won the second Sony Open in 1966, but tragically died two years later at the age of 34 after a swimming accident.


  • With or without Tiger Woods, I’ll always be drawn to golfers trying to shoot 65 in a game that I know is hard. I can’t do it. I like to watch guys who can.


  • Looking forward to seeing Yogi Berra next week as the Bob Hope ambassador. Thought of a Yogi-ism last night when I couldn’t get into a popular restaurant.  “It’s too crowded. No one goes there anymore.”


  • You’ve made foolish bets before, haven’t you? Old golf buddy of mine, Gary Jack Freedson, looked at me during a recent round as he stood over an impossible downhill, side hill 25-footer on the final hole and said, “If I make this, can I get a mention?” Naturally I said yes. Naturally he made it. Consider the wager settled pal.


  • SBS winner Geoff Ogilvy plays Abu Dhabi this week on Golf Channel. I asked him what would get him to the Bob Hope in future years. “If they went back to Indian Wells, I’d play,” he said. “It’s so beautiful that you can imagine being 80 years old, getting in your golf cart and going to tee it up.”


  • Putting un-nerves even the best in the world. “If you don’t make putts,” Els said, “you lose your sense of humor pretty quickly.” Even Retief, a pure roller, has struggled. “Before coming to Hawaii, I spent four straight days in South Africa with six different putters and every imaginable grip and setup,” he said. Most often repeated phrase in golf may well be, “I putted like #&*%.”


  • Even at 70, Jack Nicklaus is still my guy from 5 feet, one putt to save the planet.