Category: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

January 07, 2013

Truth & Rumors: Johnny Miller-Ian Poulter spat adds excitement to Kapalua

Posted at 10:19 AM by Samantha Glover

Despite three-straight canceled rounds, Hyundai's Tournament of Champions is making headlines this morning for a twitter-fueled spat between Johnny Miller and Ian Poulter.

Miller's on-air remarks about Poulter stirred up trouble, according to a report by Golf Channel's Jason Sobel:

While Poulter backed off a putt on the 11th green multiple times, Miller referred to him as “fairly dramatic.” Minutes later, when he took some time to hit an approach shot into the 12th hole, Miller had the following exchange with fellow commentator Dan Hicks:

Miller: “It's like he's starring in the movie ‘The Winds of Maui’ and is trying to make it very dramatic.”

Hicks: “Well, he is a man comfortable in the leading role isn't he?”

Miller: “Yes, he sure is.”

After play was halted, Poulter heard varying accounts of Miller's remarks and took to Twitter to defend himself.

After hearing Johnny's comments himself on a later re-broadcast, Poulter took to Twitter again:

January 12, 2012

Stats Incredible! Inside the numbers at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Posted at 11:11 AM by

Consecutive years Steve Stricker has been a multiple-tournament winner, the best active streak on the PGA Tour. His victory at the Tournament of Champions was the 12th of Stricker's career.


Number of times Stricker has won in his last 50 starts, dating back to his win at the 2009 Crowne Plaza Invitational.


Number of Hawaiian starts Stricker needed to get his first win in the Aloha State. Stricker, who famously spends his off-season in chilly Wisconsin, had played in the 50th state 16 times since 1994 before this victory. In his 17 starts, Stricker has finished in the top 10 nine times and was second at Kapalua in 2008. Stricker will be considered a favorite this week as he looks to be the first player since Ernie Els in 2003 to win back to back in Hawaii.


Number of PGA Tour events Stricker has won since turning 40, behind only Vijay Singh (22), Sam Snead (17), Kenny Perry (11) and Julius Boros (10).


Stricker's winning percentage when entering the final round of a 72-hole event alone in the lead -- he's 7 for 7. In fact, the only time Stricker failed to carry the outright lead to victory was at the 90-hole 2009 Bob Hope Classic, were he finished third.

Stats compiled by Sal Johnson

(Photo by Stan Badz/Getty Images)

January 03, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Rickie Fowler vs. Tiger Woods at Fiesta Bowl

Posted at 2:10 PM by Michael Chwasky

Though their accomplishments on the golf course aren't exactly comparable (0 tour wins vs. 71), Waggle Room points out that Rickie Fowler did get a victory of sorts over Tiger Woods when Oklahoma State beat Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl last night. (Photos: Fowler, Woods, Wie.) Tiger was an honorary captain of Stanford's squad and participated in the coin toss, while Rickie was also named honorary captain of his alma mater.

After the close game Fowler Tweeted to his followers, "victory is sweet...what a boys hung in there and found a way to win...the gifts helped though...a win is a win!!" Meanwhile Tiger avoided Twitter but did tell the AP earlier in the week that he was feeling good and looking forward to the '12 season: 

"The lowest moments [last year] came from the fact that I wasn't healthy and couldn't put in the time on and off the course that I wanted and needed to, and that was frustrating," Woods said. "I was playing with pain and that isn't fun. The last couple of months have been really fun and that is mostly because I am feeling healthy again and building week on week."

 Check out Tiger on the sidelines as he rooted for the Cardinal squad: 

Another golf season has come and gone with more than a few big stories. One of the more interesting developments in 2011, which was probably overlooked by a lot of golf fans, was the emergence of big-hitting Gary Woodland.

Woodland, a Topeka native, played basketball at Washburn before transferring to Kansas to play golf. He notched his first win at the Transitions Championship and put up some extremely impressive season stats, including ranking fifth in driving distance, 12th in greens in regulation, 13th in birdie average, and 14th in scoring, while raking in close to $3.5 million. Not bad for a guy who nobody seems to know much about. Throw in a win with Matt Kuchar at the World Cup, and you might say Woodland had a pretty nice year.

In light of his breakout season, it's not surprising that he topped's first fantasy golf Power Rankings of 2012 for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions this week. Here's the top five:

1. Gary Woodland: A huge hitter who can bring Kapalua to its knees.

2. Webb Simpson: #1 in all-around ranking in '11. 

3. Nick Watney: Won twice last year. 

4. Bill Haas: Finished 8th at Kapalua in '11. 

5. David Toms: Has four top-10 finishes in Maui so far. 


January 08, 2011

Natalie Gulbis and Dustin Johnson are golf's new power couple

Posted at 11:22 PM by Alan Shipnuck

Gulbis Professional golf has a new power couple: Dustin Johnson and Natalie Gulbis. The telegenic twosome quietly began dating after having competed alongside each other at the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge in early November.

The romance went public on Saturday when Gulbis followed Johnson on the back nine of his third round at the Tournament of Champions. She was dressed in head-to-toe adidas attire, a nice bit of corporate synergy as both she and Johnson are key endorsers for the company.

Natalie Gulbis: Career Photos | Workout Video | Homepage

Dustin Johnson: Swing Sequence | Driver Tips | Equipment

Following Johnson’s 73, Gulbis confirmed they were dating but said with a laugh, ”I’ll let Dustin handle our PR.” Reached Saturday evening, he declined comment.

Johnson, 25, and Gulbis, 28, are not the first duo to bridge the tours — Arron Oberholser married the former Angie Rizzo, while Ryuji Imada and Beth Bauer also had a long relationship.

But Johnson and Gulbis are sure to attract more attention, instantly becoming golf’s most glamorous couple thanks to their shared good looks, athleticism and marketing muscle.

Johnson has been a focus of the Tournament of Champions' promotion and is on the verge of superstardom after winning twice in 2010 and contending at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

Gulbis — who had a high-profile relationship with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in 2005 — struggled last season while recovering from back surgery. On Saturday she looked tanned and toned and reported that she is pain-free for the first time in years. Expect the cameras to find her in Johnson's gallery on Sunday or at next week's Sony Open on Oahu.

(Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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