SBS Tournament of Champions Notebook
No one in the field had waited longer for a return to Kapalua than Vaughn Taylor.
The 40-year-old won last year’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am for his first PGA Tour victory since 2005.
“It’s kind of a celebration of winning a tournament,” Taylor said Thursday.
After winning the Reno-Tahoe Open for a second straight time 12 years ago, Taylor had just six top-three finishes until his Pebble Beach victory — and none since 2010.
“I had some down years,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if I’d ever win again. … For me, I had to make some changes in my game to get better. I wasn’t playing well because my game wasn’t in good shape. That’s part of it, and then there’s a mental part to it as well. It’s a combination of things and you’ve just got to find it and work on it all the time to try to put it together.”
Even on a bright day in Kapalua, sunscreen was not too popular with some of Friday’s golfers — including the world’s top-ranked player.
“I don’t put any sunscreen on, mate,” Jason Day said. “As you can tell, I’m really red right now, but I’ve never put on sunscreen.”
Day said he never puts on sunscreen before a round.
“I’m so bad, even from Australia I should be putting on something, but I never have,” he said.
Tony Finau also tends play without sunscreen.
“Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but most of the time I don’t,” he said.
Defending champion Patrick Reed said he has not put on sunscreen for the past two days, but has his reasons.
“I’m trying to sweat out a cold so I figured I’d burn it out,” he said.
William McGirt does opt for sunscreen. Asked if he has to use it before every round he replied: “Unless I want to look like a fire engine.”
Sony Open field
Reigning Sony Open champion Fabian Gomez and two-time winner Jimmy Walker will be returning to the Oahu tournament next week.
In all, 23 players in the SBS Tournament of Champions field will extend their stay in Hawaii at the Sony Open.
The nine players competing at the Kapalua Plantation Course who will not be in field at Waialae are Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Ryan Moore, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Aaron Baddeley, Charley Hoffman, Jhonattan Vegas and Brendan Steele.
“I’ll struggle for the next couple hours getting over 17 kind of throwing me out of the tournament.”
— Jordan Spieth, who triple-bogeyed the next-to-last hole