2016 Sony Open Tournament Roundup

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The final leaderboard for the 2016 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii is in.  Fabian Gomez edged out runner-up Brandt Snedeker in a sudden-death playoff to win the title.  Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:

(1) Fabian Gomez (-20)
(2) Brandt Snedeker (-20)
(3) Zac Blair (-19)
(4) Si Woo Kim (-16)
(T5) Greg Owen (-15)
(T5) Kevin Kisner (-15)
(T7) Jamie Lovemark (-14)
(T7) Graham DeLaet (-14)
(T9) Zach Johnson (-13)
(T9) Jerry Kelly (-13)
(T9) Hudson Swafford (-13)
(T9) Jason Dufner (-13)

Here are my thoughts and a few statistics on the champion and some notable golfers on the leaderboard:

Winner: Fabian Gomez (-20) – This is Gomez’s second Tour win in the past year — his first came at the 2015 FedEx St. Jude Classic where he won by 4 strokes.  He finished T6 last week at the Hyundai TOC and had a couple of other top-20 finishes in the 15-16 wraparound season.  All of his previous finishes in the Sony Open have been poor — a T68 in 2011, T67 in 2013 and T71 in 2015, so there doesn’t appear to be much precedent for his performance this week.

Today:  10 (!) birdies and 2 bogeys for a 8-under 62, the best round of the day.  Scores over four rounds: 69, 64, 65, 62 (260).  He went on a run of 7 consecutive birdies in the middle of the round, but then immediately followed them with 2 bogeys.

Brandt Snedeker (-22) – His last two starts on Tour prior to this week resulted in a win (Templeton) and a T3 (last week at Hyundai).  His last two finishes at the Sony Open were a missed cut in 2007 and a T69 in 2008.  Clearly he’s found something in his game that he’s been able to maintain.  It will be interesting to see whether or not he’ll be able to get himself in contention again in the coming weeks.

Today:  5 birdies and 1 bogey for a 4-under 66.  Scores over four rounds: 63, 65, 66, 66 (260).

Zac Blair (-19) – 25-year-old Blair has not yet won on the PGA Tour.  His finish this week is actually a career best for him.  He had a few other good finishes last year in 2015 — a T6 at the Sony Open and a T4 at the Barclays.  His only other top-10 in the 2015-2016 season was a T10 at the OHL Classic.

Today:  5 birdies and 2 bogeys for a 3-under 67.  Scores over four rounds: 65, 65, 64, 67 (261).  He hit a clutch second shot into the par-5 18th that ended up 10 feet from the hole, but missed the putt and hence the playoff.

Si Woo Kim (-16) – A very young (20) pro golfer that is just getting started on the PGA Tour.  He played the Web.com Tour in 2014 and 2015; he did play the PGA Tour in 2013 but missed all of his cuts during that year.  This is his best finish by far on Tour, and with two top-20’s is his previous two starts it appears that he’s on the upswing.

Today:  3 birdies and 1 bogey for a 2-under 68.  Scores over four rounds: 64, 67, 65, 68 (264).

Kevin Kisner (-15) – In addition to having his moments last year, he has played extremely well this season, finishing in the top 10 (with a win and solo second among them) in his last four events including this week.  His past performance at the Sony Open has been poor — 84 in 2015 and a MC in 2014.  Obviously things are much different for him these days!  I expect Kisner to continue his great play and very possibly contend in one or more majors this year.

Today:  4 birdies and 2 double-bogeys for an even-par 70.  Scores over four rounds: 63, 66, 66, 70 (265).

Have any congratulations for Fabian, or any other thoughts about the 2016 Sony Open?  Drop them in the comments below!

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