Friday, May 20, 2022 |
Share this story
Oh, they’re back all right.
As the 2006 PGA Grand Slam of Golf prepares to tee it up at the Poipu Bay Golf Course this week, the oft-overlooked Garden Isle will — for a few days, at least — return to the national spotlight.
And while most work weeks start on Monday, for these guys, today is a breeze. But after this morning’s Champions Clinic and Pro-Am, it’s down to business tomorrow.
After all, there’s $1.25 million on line, with the winner bagging a cool half-mil. Not bad for a few days work … in Hawai‘i, no less.
Here’s a look at who’s coming to dinner:
Tiger Woods. What can be said about the world’s No. 1 golfer that hasn’t already been said? He dominates play at Po‘ipu, holding the record for the most Grand Slam appearances (this year makes eight) and most wins (six — 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005), and lowest 36-hole score (17-under par, 2002).
Last fall, Woods closed with an 8-under-par 64, highlighted by two eagles, for a seven-stroke victory over PGA champ Phil Mickelson. The win came despite a bum ankle and a nasty stomach virus that literally made him vomit during the opening round and drop six pounds overnight. Through the years, Woods’ efforts on Kaua‘i have earned him $2.65 million.
A two-time major champion yet again this season (British Open and PGA Championship), Woods will no doubt be the center of attention when he tees up in Po‘ipu.
Jim Furyk. Woods’ win at the PGA Championship earned him his second major victory of the season and opened the door for the first of two alternates to attend this year’s Grand Slam. Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, got the first invite as the leader of the major champions points list (270.33) ahead of Ernie Els (239) and Mike Weir (219.16). The list is composed of past major champions who compete in the current year’s majors.
Furyk, who owns a home on Maui, has made only one previous appearance at the Grand Slam, but it was a memorable one. In 2003, he cruised to an eight-stroke victory over Masters champion Mike Weir, racking up 11 birdies along the way.
Mike Weir. This marks Weir’s second appearance at the season-ending showcase. In 2003, the lefty played alongside Furyk, Shaun Micheel and Ben Curtis. It was Furyk who took the tournament that year, leaving Weir to settle for second place and a check for $250,000.
The first Canadian to win a major (Masters in 2003), Weir’s invitation to Kaua‘i this year came courtesy of Mickelson and Ernie Els. Masters champion Mickelson told The PGA of America following the Ryder Cup that he would not be competing the remainder of the year. Els, who was second on the alternate points list behind an already-attending Furyk, declined his invitation, leaving Weir to punch his ticket.
This season, Weir finished third in the Major Champions Points List after tying for 11th at the Masters, sharing sixth in the U.S. Open, tying for 56th in the British Open and finishing sixth in the PGA Championship.
Geoff Ogilvy. This year’s U.S. Open champion not only earned his first major championship at Winged Foot, he also earned his first invite to play with the elite in Po‘ipu.
The 29-year-old Aussie walked away from the 106th U.S. Open with a 5-over-par 285, but his dramatic victory had slightly less to do with stellar play than a now-notorious late game implosion by Mickelson. Going for a par on the 18th hole that would have earned him the win, Mickelson instead found the trees, the beach, even the gallery before winding up with the double bogey that gave Ogilvy the trophy.
Ogilvy is the first Australian to gain a PGA Grand Slam of Golf berth since PGA champion Steve Elkington in 1995.
• Todd A. Vines is the associate editor of Essential Kauai, Kauai Publishing Company’s visitor publication. He can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 256) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Ford Gunter, associate editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or email@example.com.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.