Okay, okay. We have one more:
We could say football was the most entertaining sport on TV this weekend, but Waialae?
That’s it. We promise.
Wild card weekend
Candidly, folks, we had to rewrite this section last night. With nine holes remaining at the Sony Open, it seemed all but certain that Russell Henley was going to collect his fourth PGA Tour title. The 54-hole leader opened with 29 on Sunday and made the turn with a five-shot lead. But Henley limped home with 36 while his playing partner, Hideki Matusyama, fired a bogey-free 31. The pair headed for a playoff, and Matsuyama promptly put Henley out of his misery by lasering a 3-wood to three feet.
The most-played highlights from the 2022 Sony Open will be Hideki’s booming tee shot on the 72nd hole and that clutch 3-wood. But—and we’re serious here—it was Matsuyama’s putter that won him the event. Famously mediocre on the greens, Hideki led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting this week. According to Justin Ray, that’s a first for him. Elite putting isn’t likely to become a fixture in Hideki’s game, but any improvement is going to be dangerous alongside his lethal tee-to-green skill. As with Collin Morikawa, when Hideki putts well, you might as well cancel Christmas.
Horses for courses
The Sony Open once again delivered that rarest of sights on the PGA Tour: a truly eclectic leaderboard. Seven of the top 10 finishers rank outside the top 140 in driving distance, and as Matsuyama and Henley showed, the main prerequisites for success were strong iron play and putting. No, it’s not realistic for the Tour to visit a Waialae-type venue every week, but variety is the spice of life, and we always enjoy it when the Kevin Kisners of the world have a chance.
Jediah Morgan ran away with the men’s division of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship. On the women’s side, Su Oh shot 66-72-68-68 for a wire-to-wire win.
Nineteen-year-old Joohyung Kim took the Singapore International on the Asian Tour for his seventh (!) professional win.
The Korn Ferry Tour kicked off its 2022 season on Sunday with the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.
In his second career PGA Tour start, top-ranked amateur Keita Nakajima shot 67-64-72-67 to finish 41st at the Sony Open.
Kevin Na received a lot of (deserved) criticism for his slow play this weekend. Among the critics was Grayson Murray, to whom Na replied with a subtle “u missing the cut is getting old.” This league!