HONOLULU - Defending champion Zach Johnson has a 1 p.m. Eastern tee time in the first round of the Sony Open on Thursday, which is just one more reason why I'm looking for him to get off to a fast start.
He should be playing before the worst of the signature trade winds, and he loves Waialae Country Club. He's also coming off a 5-under-par 68 in the final round of the SBS Championship at Kapalua--a brawny track that doesn't even suit his game. Waialae, on the other hand, suits him fine.
"This course right here is all I want," Johnson said Wednesday. "I love it."
They called him back-to-back Zach when he won the '08 and '09 Valero Texas Opens, and it could happen again here.
Other past champions like Paul Goydos and David Toms should also do well. Waialae is the rare course on Tour where the little hitters can fare just as well as the big boppers, and they know it and take advantage.
"You actually have doglegs," Goydos said in mock surprise. "This course must be at least 30 years old because there are no new ones with them doglegs."