Strange things were afoot last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. It began when Cory Gilmer, the caddie for fourth-year PGA Tour pro Blayne Barber, collapsed in a restaurant Friday night and suffered a serious head injury. On Saturday morning, a false text alert warning of an incoming missile caused a brief panic among players and others gathered in Honolulu. And on Sunday, a strike of TV technicians played havoc with the final-round broadcast, resulting in a scaled-down production than could best be described as Golf Channel: Unplugged.
Before teeing off Sunday, Barber tweeted that Gilmer, who according to multiple reports had been admitted to the intensive care unit at a local hospital, had shown minor improvement but was still “in a critical stage.” Those of us at Global Golf Post wish him the best.
Amid the uncommon commotion, Patton Kizzire won the tournament, outlasting James Hahn in a less-than-scintillating six-hole playoff. Kizzire, a 31-year-old Alabama native, became the Tour’s first two-time winner this season and took the lead in the FedEx Cup standings.
Farther across the vast Pacific, a Thomas Bjørn-captained European team came from behind to defeat an underdog Asian squad in the biennial EurAsia Cup – a dress rehearsal for a bigger deal in Paris eight months from now. The Europeans won seven of the first eight Sunday singles matches in Kuala Lumpur, with 2016 Ryder Cup sensation Thomas Pieters clinching the winning point. It wasn’t quite Medinah, but the victory will serve as a template for Bjørn as the Europeans seek to recapture the Ryder Cup come fall.
And in South Africa, Chris Paisley won his first European Tour title, the BMW SA Open, holding off home stalwart Branden Grace down the stretch. Paisley, a 31-year-old Englishman who was a member of Great Britain & Ireland’s 2009 Walker Cup team, won with his wife, Keri, caddying for him for the first time.