Welcome back to week two of our 2022 ACES PGA Tour golf notebook!

We will look at the PGA Tour each week, taking a look back at the last event, while a look forward to the next tour stop.

Last week

The Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation course at the Kapalua Resort on Maui was once again all as advertised.

In case you were in a cave last week, the tournament turned into an assault on negative numbers!

Cameron Smith set an all-time score in relation to par, winning the TOC with a crazy 34-under. But it wasn’t easy and until Smith dropped the final putt, he had to hold off the world’s top-ranked golfer Jon Rahm who finished at 33-under.

Only three players in the history of the PGA Tour had previously shot 30-under or better, but three players did it last week as Matt Jones joined Smith and Rahm after finishing at 32-under.

In fact, 15 more players shot 20-under or better. Justin Thomas set a course record 12-under 61 on Saturday, a record he owned by himself for a couple of hours until Rahm tapped in a couple of hours later with the same score. For good measure Jones joined the duo on Sunday, also shooting a 61.

The lone disappointment of the weekend came when I read all the negative comments on social media criticizing the low numbers and calling for a different, tougher course.

My thoughts?

What a load of garbage.

There are times when I enjoy watching the pros take aim and going low and the Sentry is one of those weeks. It is much the same when the U.S. Open rolls around and we see the pros fight to break par.

To me the best season of professional golf brings together tournaments where there is a range of results. Some weeks they go low, some weeks the winner is 10-15 under par, and other weeks you might find just a handful of golfers shooting under par.

The diversity of results keeps the game fresh and allows the viewers to experience all types of professional golf.

My advice moving forward – if the TOC irritates you then stick your head in the sand for week and come up for air when the Sony Open is played!

This week

We stay in Hawaii this week, moving from Maui to Oahu with the playing of the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club.

The course is a par 70 with only two par 5’s – the 9th and 18th holes. Both are reachable in two and set up for great finishes.

This is the first 144-golfer full field of 2022 and gets some carryover from players that were in the TOC. Kevin Na is the defending champion and closed with a 61-65 on the weekend to get the win.

Top players this week included TOC entrants Smith, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama, Na (defending champ), Talor Gooch, Jones, and Kevin Kisner. In all 21 of the 38 that played in the TOC are playing in the Sony.

Seven of the last eight winners made the short trip over from Maui, with the exception ironically being when Smith made his debut at the tournament two years ago.

Thomas has the course record with a 59 shot in 2017.

So, who wins?

Last week I didn’t fare so well with my fantasy team, although Thomas’ run Saturday gave me a little hope until every other golfer on the course seemed to go low the rest of the day!

This week I am using Smith, Matsuyama, Kisner, and Kramer Hickok in a contest where you get the combined winnings of all your golfers. This week we were to pick three golfers with a fourth golfer allowed as long as his last name starts with an “H”.

Have a great weekend and enjoy more prime time golf from Hawaii!

Looking ahead

The West Coast Swing starts next week with the American Express in La Quinta followed by the Farmers Insurance in LaJolla and then the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The West Coast Swing goes through Feb. 20 when the Genesis Invitational takes place at the Riviera Country Club.

By Dennis Miller