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Byrd Wins but McDowell & Johnson are the Studs

by Jeff Skinner

The PGA Tour is a long, long season and no one is more thankful for that then Jonathan Byrd and Robert Garrigus.  Both of them qualified for The Hyundai Tournament of Champions by winning during The Fall Series when most of the PGA Tour heavyweights were home resting.  Byrd won the Timberlake and Garrigus salvaged his season by winning at Disney the last tournament of the season.  They both certainly made the most of their trip to Hawaii as they finished one, two after Byrd bested Garrigus in a playoff.  Both played well but their putters failed them during the playoff and after Garrigus three putted the second playoff hole Byrd took home the winners share $1.1 million.  It’s a great start to their season and both will continue their “working vacations” at The Sony Open this week.

There were a few interesting storylines to come out of Hawaii this week.  Geoff Ogilvy gets cut on some coral while swimming, Zach Johnson rips a toe nail off while tripping in his flip flops, Camillo Villegas gets disqualified and Dustin Johnson is dating Natalie Gulbis.  Wait…whoa… Dustin Johnson and Natalie a couple?  Sweet, go Dustin.  Gulbis was seen following Johnson around the back nine on Saturday and did indeed confirm that they were seeing each other.

However, I thought the most interesting part of the PGA Tour weekend was Graeme McDowell’s 62 in the final round that tied the course record.  He started with birdies on five of his first six holes and a front nine thirty.  With birds on five of the next seven holes he was at 23 under and very definitely in the mix.  Unfortunately he could only par seventeen and eighteen.  He had nine footer for birdie on eighteen but it slipped by and he finished one stroke out of the playoff.  His 62 ties his personal best score and continues the hot streak that he was on all last year.  McDowell took a bit of criticism when he switched club manufacturers this year.  After winning the US Open, twice in Europe, sinking the winning putt at The Ryder Cup and beating Tiger in a playoff, G-Mac left Callaway for Srixon.  It takes plenty of confidence to make a change like that. “I’ve just proven to the world I’m not naive enough to switch to inferior equipment,” McDowell said. “I’m very confident in Srixon. … All I’ve done is gone from one great company to another.” The fact is this guy is the reigning stud of both major tours and could probably break par with a broom.

Any excuse for more pictures of Natalie is fine with me. Check out Natalie’s workout.

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