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The Shorty: Winter Wonder

Justin Thomas

Sorry, but it’s neither comfort nor consolation that we watch pictures from sunny Hawaii while we are up to our tailpipes in snow and ice, particularly those in parts of the country where winter weather is an anomaly.

But the pros follow the sun, to borrow the name of the Ben Hogan movie, and there are a few basking in the light a little more than others after Sunday afternoon’s drama. Justin Thomas, who has trailed fellow high school Class of 2011 graduate Jordan Spieth in success and notoriety, has now won his third PGA Tour event at the SBS Tournament of Champions and is beginning to fulfill his great promise.

Spieth wound up third in Kapalua by making more birdies than anyone else in the 32-man field. But a few dreaded others on his scorecard for the week kept him from defending his title. Still, there is reason for unbridled optimism in the Spieth camp for a 2017 that might approach the wonder of 2015. Spieth takes his new year’s resolutions with him to Waialae Country Club in Honolulu this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii, which is well known as a birdie factory.

Rory McIlroy starts 2017 this week in South Africa with a bagful of new clubs and a hatful of old confidence after winning the FedEx Cup in the fall and leads the European assault on the four majors, looking for his first major title since 2014.

The PGA Tour has a new commissioner and Jay Monahan pledges big things during his tenure. But he assures us that each calendar year will continue to begin in Hawaii.

Pardon our jealousy.




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