KAPALUA - Last year it was Geoff Ogilvy cutting his finger on a piece of coral. This year it was Lucas Glover spraining his knee with a fall off a paddleboard.
With two accidents in as many years forcing players to withdraw from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course, Chris Kirk is taking no chances.
Kirk, who lists paddleboarding and skimboarding among his interests in the PGA Tour media guide, said Saturday that he won't be picking up a paddle anytime soon.
Chris Kirk, shown at the 18th green Saturday, missed the last two Nationwide Tour events of 2010 after a fall while skimboarding left him with a broken thumb.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"Around here it's a little bit different with all the coral," said the resident of St. Simons Island, Ga. "I haven't paddleboarded at all here in Hawaii and I won't any next week (when the Sony Open will be played on Oahu) either, just because of the risk of falling and cutting yourself on the coral."
Kirk started paddleboarding nearly two years ago with his friend and agent Mark Barnhart. Since then other friends, including Glover, have picked up the sport.
"So I guess it's my fault that Lucas hurt himself - sorry Lucas," Kirk joked.
Kirk considers paddleboarding generally safe, and said what happened to Lucas was "a freak accident."
"That was just a lot of bad luck, really," Kirk said.
Kirk said he and Glover live "less than a mile" from each other and are part of a "pretty tight-knit group of guys" that also includes defending Kapalua champion Jonathan Byrd.
"I paddleboard with Lucas at home, I play golf with him at home, it was a shame that I didn't get to play with him here this week," said Kirk, who was scheduled to be paired with Glover during Friday's opening round.
Kirk, who won the Viking Classic in July to qualify for Kapalua, had a 7-under-par 66 in the second round Saturday, putting him in a tie for seventh with a 5-under total of 141.
Kirk said he has learned the hard way not to push the limits.
"Well, skimboarding can be edited off of my interests because in October 2010, right at the end of the year on the Nationwide Tour, I broke my thumb skimboarding. I fell off the skimboard and landed bad and broke my thumb and missed the last two tournaments of the Nationwide Tour that year, so that one's off," the 26-year-old said.
"Broke my hand, skinned my knee, skinned the top of my foot. I was bleeding everywhere, it was a bad scene. I felt like such an idiot, basically. That sums it up, I guess."
Kirk said he grew up skateboarding and snowboarding, but these days he's more cautious about nongolf activities.
"I think I've learned from that. I don't skimboard anymore because there's a lot higher potential to get hurt than doing paddleboarding. Paddleboarding is kind of the main thing I do now."
* Lehia Apana is at email@example.com