Byrd Soars to Victory at First PGA TOUR Event of 2011
If the first tournament is any indication of what's in store for the 2011 PGA TOUR season, fans have a great year ahead of them. Robert Garrigus and Johnathan Byrd gave the fans a little extra at the PGA TOUR's first event of 2011, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. It took not one, but two extra holes before Johnathan Byrd was crowned winner.
If Byrd winning in a playoff sounds familiar, it's because his hole-in-one in on the fourth playoff hole in Las Vegas last year got him into the Tournament of Champions. What does this win get him? How about a trip to Augusta for The Masters in April and the US Open in June.
After both making par on the first playoff hole (the 18th), Byrd and Garrigus headed to the first hole for round two. The first hole was the most challenging on the course on Sunday yielding only 3 birdied and having scoring average of 4.25. The par 4 plays a whopping 520 yards, giving the long hitting Garrigus an advantage off the tee. The old saying "drive for show, putt for dough" proved true here as it was Byrd's putter who got it done with a lengthy two putt while Garrigus missed a 3-foot putt for par, handing the title to Byrd.
It was a great day for both Byrd and Garrigus but the player of the day on Sunday watched this unfold from the clubhouse. The 2010 US Open winner and possibly the hottest player on tour right now Graeme McDowell shot an 11-under, 62 to tie the course record in Kapalua. McDowell missed a 10 foot birdie putt on 18 to break the course record and be a part of the playoff with Byrd and Garrigus. McDowell recorded 11 birdies and no bogies during the round.