Dustin Johnson looked to be in fine form this week as he lapped the winners only field at the Sentry Tournament of Champions by eight strokes. DJ was killing it all week as the wide fairways at Kapalua welcomed his mammoth drives and he rarely missed any shots.
We are all familiar with the friendly confines of The Plantation Course as is DJ who won here for the second time and his seventeenth PGA win overall. But after the first two rounds satiated my hunger for some warm weather golf and famous Hawaiian vistas I was left bored and dozing off during the telecast.
Maybe the scotch was taking its toll on me during these cold winter nights but the scenes of surfers, beaches, hula dancers and postcard weather failed to get my juices flowing after the first round. Geoff Shackelford offers a similar view, he was bored too and offers up some possible solutions to mix things up at the Tournament of Champions.
No offense, but the 2018 Sentry TOC was drool-on-the-pillow, dull. The kind of power-nap material you wake up from and feel like you’ve been sleeping for days. I can attest from actual 2018 experience the first three rounds. And this is coming from someone who enjoys the course, the setting and the concept of starting the season with an all-winners field.
Don’t get me wrong…I love watching golf and Hawaiian golf especially but it seems to be the same thing every year as if we could be watching the ’15 TOC and not know the difference.
For my money the best of the week was Pat Perez. I was hoping the reformed bad boy would pull out a win here and keep his mid-life resurgence in overdrive. But once DJ put the hammer down everyone was playing for second. As it is, Perez finished T4 for his third top five finish in five starts this season including his win at the CIMB Classic.
Perez is shedding his old reputation of unfulfilled potential who did himself in by self-destructing on the course caused by his hot temper and quick trigger. The difference in him now… he doesn’t care that much about golf.
Todd Lewis got that response when he asked him about his game, “It sounds weird but I don’t really care as much anymore. Things don’t bother me as much.” Perez goes on to say he’s so happy off the course and that has carried over into his on course demeanor and his game.
And that’s the the key to the game isn’t it. How many times have you re-teed one after a horrible shot and cracked it down the middle? The key is not to care. That’s what frees us up and let’s us play our best.
It took awhile for Perez to figure that one out but recently he’s playing freely and unencumbered by those damning expectations that kill our games.
It’s simple: care less score lower. Pat Perez is on a roll and not caring is working out great for him.