Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Notebook

Kirk’s family grows

After playing the Sony Open next week at Waialae Country Club, Chris Kirk will spend two weeks at home for some valuable family time.

Kirk’s wife, Tahnee, gave birth to their second child two weeks ago.

“I’ve had my second child well, my wife did, actually,” Kirk, who lives in Georgia, said Friday. “Foster, our second little boy, is about two weeks old now, so I was very busy with that. Really enjoyed my time at home with my family and now my two little boys. I’m definitely missing them a lot. I wish they could be out here with me and I can’t wait to get back home to them.”

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High scores

At 9-over-par 155, Derek Ernst is last in the field by eight strokes, but his pace for a 310 total score would be far from the worst ever shot in 15 previous events at the Kapalua Plantation Course.

The highest score in course history is a 320 by Jason Gore, in 2006, when 12 players shot above 300.

In 2010, Ben Curtis shot 312 and finished behind the next-worst score by 22 strokes. In 2007, Curtis also was last, at 312, but was one of six players to shoot over 300.

In all, 26 players have shot more than 300 since the tournament arrived at Kapalua.

Ernst led the field with 15 fairways hit in regulation Saturday, but still shot 3-over-par 76.

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Win for the ages?

A victory by Jordan Spieth would make him the youngest winner in the history of the tournament at 20 years, five months, 10 days. The current record is held by Tiger Woods, who won in 1997 at La Costa Country Club in California at 21 years, 13 days old.

Woods’ payday in 1997 was $216,000 – last year Dustin Johnson pocketed $1.14 million for winning the event.

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Facts and figures

Kevin Streelman’s putts have traveled more than 200 feet in two rounds. Jason Dufner has the lowest to-

tal putting distance 95 feet, 7 inches. Patrick Reed hit a 62-foot, 5-inch putt Saturday. Brandt Snedeker and Ken Duke each had 10 one-putts, best in the round. Boo Weekley hit every green in regulation. Gary Woodland had the longest drive, a 381-yarder on the seventh hole.

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“It’s kind of like maybe the NFL playoffs or NCAA March Madness where you’ve got to go with the hot hand at that time.”

– Zach Johnson, on the difficulties of making the 2012 Ryder Cup team, from which Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk were left off.

Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Notebook

From Maui to Oahu

The commitment list for next week’s Sony Open at Waialae Country Club was finalized Friday, and 18 of the 30 golfers in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be headed to Oahu.

The golfers at Kapalua not going to the PGA Tour’s second event of the calendar year are Martin Laird, Jonas Blixt, Patrick Reed, Ryan Moore, John Merrick, Bill Haas, Kevin Stricker, Gary Woodland, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Webb Simpson and Dustin Johnson.

The Kapalua field’s two reigning major champions – Adam Scott and Jason Dufner – will be at Waialae. Former major winners John Daly, Y.E. Yang, Justin Leonard and Retief Goosen will also be in the Sony field.

The Sony and Hyundai will each have the same three players ranked among the world’s top 10 – Scott, ranked second, No. 7 Matt Kuchar and No. 9 Zach Johnson.

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Caddie change

Webb Simpson is working with caddie Ted Scott this week because the wife of his regular caddie, Paul Tesori, is due to have a child soon.

Scott usually works for Bubba Watson, who is not in the field. Simpson said he has been planning for the substitution since the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas in mid-October.

“I knew he would miss the first couple (events) no matter what,” Simpson said. “And so I ended up – I asked Teddy first and he said, ‘Ask Bubba, my boss.’ So I asked Bubba and he was fine with it, as long as he didn’t win.”

Watson’s final chance to qualify for Kapalua was at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai in early November.

“Once he played China, you know, I was good,” Simpson said.

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Facts and figures

Zach Johnson was the first-round driving distance leader with a 324-yard average. His drive of 372 yards on the seventh hole also was the longest for a single hole.

Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner tied for most fairways hit at 14, and Ken Duke was the only golfer to hit every green in regulation.

John Merrick notched the longest putt, 40 feet, 10 inches, and Johnson scored the most single putts (11).

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“I was not a happy person last night. You can ask my wife. I didn’t say much after the game. But I came out here with a clear head which is good and just tried to enjoy myself.”

– Michael Thompson, whose alma mater, Alabama, lost to Oklahoma in Thursday’s Sugar Bowl