Notes: Appleby's last-minute adjustment
KAPALUA, Hawaii – A par 3 of intriguing storylines from the first round of the first tournament of the 2011 PGA Tour season, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions:
Appleby’s seamless adjustment
The good news is, Stuart Appleby didn’t start the round with 15 clubs, which is a penalty. The bad news is, he had only 13 and the missing one was a rather important one – his putter.
The three-time champion of this event didn’t realize the putter was missing until he began his warm-up. While it appears it was hoisted sometime during the evening from the storage area, he couldn’t say for sure.
“All I know is, I didn’t have my putter,” Appleby said. “But someone has it.”
Appleby kept his composure – “There’s not much you can do,” he said – and asked his caddie, Scott Sajtinac, to simply go find another one.
“Just go get me an Odyssey and I’ll know what to do,” Appleby said.
Clearly he knew what he was talking about, because Appleby took the brand-new Odyssey – a Black Series Two-Ball – and made eight birdies in a round of 4-under 69. Though it left him three off the lead, it showed he had a sense of calm that is to be admired.
“I never really doubted I could do it,” Appleby said. “I had to have faith.”
Asked what style of Odyssey putter he usually uses, Appleby smiled, then almost blushed. He couldn’t name it. (It is an Odyssey White-Hot XG 330 Mallet.) He just knew it was an Odyssey and he wanted another. The fact that the new one still had the price sticker still on it – it was $119 – didn’t seem to bother Appleby, either.
“Jason Bohn (his playing competitor) told me don’t worry, they’ve probably already put it on your room charge.”
Now pinch-hitting . . .
Geoff Ogilvy’s pain was Scott Carroll’s gain. The head professional at the Plantation Course got the call to play as a marker alongside Jim Furyk when Ogilvy, the two-time defending champion, withdrew with 12 stiches in his right index finger.
Not that he’d be offended, but Carroll wasn’t the first choice. PGA Tour members Jerry Kelly and Stephen Ames are both vacationing on Maui and were asked if they were available to fill in.
Both players, both of whom are in next week’s field at Sony over on Oahu, said they couldn’t make it.
Usually such measures aren’t taken to find a marker, but this was a different case because Furyk was in the last group of the day. It would have been awkward to send him out solo with 33 players ahead of him.
When the situation arrives for Friday’s second round, it will be easier. That’s because the single player would go out first (Rocco Mediate) not last.
Just don’t ask him to go dancing
With his right toe still smarting from jamming it into stairs last weekend, Zach Johnson had to get creative. He wore a golf shoe with a big hole cut in the leather of the toe.
OK, but that was only half the battle. Also in play was the weather – wet at the start thanks to steady morning rain. So Johnson decided to then wrap some plastic around the shoe.
Pretty cool shoe, he was told.
“That’s not a shoe, that’s a galosh,” Johnson said.
Give him credit, he adjusted beautifully to the make-shift footwear, because Johnson birdied the par 5 18th to shoot 2-under 71.