The mood was jovial for the first few holes, before competition, the blazing sun and driving wind set in. Here’s a snippet of things seen and heard on Day 1 at Po‘ipu Bay.
On the first tee, after Jim Furyk sarcastically asked his caddy — in a louder than necessary voice — if he remembered the pitching wedge this time, Tiger Woods was introduced as the Masters and British Open champion, only he didn’t win the Masters this year. When Woods pointed that out to the announcer (much to the delight of the crowd), Mike Weir stepped up (again, much to the delight of the crowd) and gave Tiger his proper introduction: PGA and British Open champion.
When Furyk’s subsequent introduction did not include any major championship accolades (Furyk did not win a major this year, but qualified on a points system), Weir cracked, “You must have won something.”
Furyk’s second shot on the par 4 2nd skipped into the gallery to the left of the green. After Furyk played out, a man told Furyk that his ball struck him in the leg, and he had saved it from going farther into the rough. “Was it on the fly or did it bounce?” Furyk asked. When the man said the ball bounced, Furyk said, jokingly, “Quit whining, then.”
In his post-round press conference, Furyk said he likes this tournament because it’s more laid back here. Good thing. It wasn’t until the 6th tee box that someone ruined it and yelled, after a Tiger drive, “Get in the hole!” (Someone else yelled “You da man!” after a poor Tiger tee shot on 12, but it was only half-hearted so we’ll let it slide … this time.)
On the 12th green,
Tiger took a moment to chat with his old caddie, Mike “Fluff” Cowan, whom he fired in 1999. After their rather public split, Fluff now handles the bag for Furyk.
Furyk, who has a house in Maui, clearly likes the island pace. “It has a very small feel to it,” he said about the Grand Slam and Po‘ipu Bay. “It’s personable. The guys are hanging around the pool with their family and friends.”