Golf Buzz

January 4, 2017 - 6:26pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Tiger Woods
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods has committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, Jan. 26-29. It will be his 2016-17 PGA Tour season debut and his first start on Tour since a T10 at the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

Back in December, Tiger Woods announced he would be teeing it up in the Genesis Open at Riviera this February.

As it turns out, that won't be his first PGA Tour start since a tie for 10th at the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

On Wednesday, Woods committed to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, Jan. 26-29.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Torrey Pines -- including the epic 2008 U.S. Open, his last major victory. It's one of three PGA Tour venues along with Bay Hill and Firestone, where Woods boasts eight victories, a PGA Tour record.

The recently turned 41-year-old is a 79-time PGA Tour winner (second all time) and 14-time major winner (second). His last PGA Tour victory came at the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He won five times that season.

Tiger's first competitive rounds since the 2015 Wyndham were last month in the Hero World Challenge. He played four rounds without any setbacks and finished 15th in the 17-man field. 

January 4, 2017 - 1:19pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth will be the marquee pairing at Kapalua this week. Both players are major winners and both have won at Kapalua.

After a month-and-a-half long layoff, the PGA Tour's 2016-17 schedule resumes this week in paradise -- the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Hawaiian island of Maui -- for the SBS Tournament of Champions.

As the tournament's name indicates, criteria for eligibility of this event requires players to have won on Tour over the last 12 months.

In all, 32 players will be teeing it up this week, with world No. 1 Jason Day headlining and making his first start since having to withdraw die to back discomfort at the Tour Championship back in September.

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Here's a look at three pairings you'll want to focus your attention on in the first two rounds of the tournament...

3. Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama. Arguably two of the best young players in the game today, both players already boast victories in the new season. Thomas was a repeat winner in October -- his first PGA Tour title defense -- at the CIMB Classic.

For his part, it's safe to say that Matsuyama is the hottest player on the planet going into Kapalua. The Japanese star enters 2017 after closing out 2016 win three consecutive victories, including the WGC-HSBC Champions and the unofficial Hero World Challenge. He's had a stretch of five tournaments with four victories. The 24-year-old, already a three-time PGA Tour winner, could be the breakout star of the new year.

2. Patrick Reed and Jason Day. Remember Patrick Reed's interview a few years back when he said he considered himself a "top-5 player in the world," and we all laughed at his brash arrogance? Though he hasn't reached top-5 status just yet, the joke could be on all of us very soon. The Ryder Cup USA hero begins 2017 as the No. 8-ranked player in the world... and his last two starts at Kapalua have resulted in a playoff win (2015) and a runner up (2016). With a strong finish to the 2015-16 Tour season and that awesome performance at Hazeltine, there's no reason to think Reed won't be a tough customer at Kapalua.

As we already mentioned, Day will be making his first start since the Tour Championship. The current world No. 1 withdrew in his last two starts on Tour back in September because of back problems. Are those behind him now? We'll see soon enough. But it's always exciting to see the Aussie in action, a player who has racked up eight wins on the PGA Tour since February of 2015.

1. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. These Ryder Cup USA teammates will be "THE" pairing to follow through the first two rounds at Kapalua, a course where the pair of major champions have a win apiece.

Over the last several years, both players have proven themselves to be contenders nearly every time they tee it up. That should be no different this week. Spieth enters as the fifth-ranked player in the world, while Johnson comes in at No. 3 after a career year on Tour in which he won his first major championship (the U.S. Open at Oakmont).

Kapalua is already a birdie-friendly venue. With these two, the "best ball" number will be crazy, crazy low.