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The 2005 Sony Open in Hawaii

The 2005 PGA golf season is off to a great start with the first full field tournament of the year, the Sony Open in Hawaii. As usual, driving distance was the least important statistic in determining the top finishers. Of the top 20 dollar-wise, only five were in the top 20 on the driving distance list. Craig Stadler was 56th in driving distance, tied for 9th and took home almost $125 thousand. Tom Byrum and Adam Scott were two of the eight players to tie for 20th place and take home $48,420. Tom finished 68th in driving distance and Adam finished first.

And, as usual, GPS was the most important statistic. If GNS determined the winner Vijay Singh (-17) would have tied for 8th and Ernie Els (-23) would have beaten the rest of the field by four strokes. John Riegger’s GNS was -18, one stroke better than Vijay’s. Not only did John not beat Vijay, John finished tied for 47th place and took home $12,053 to Vijay’s $864,000. The difference? Vijay’s GPS was +6 while John’s was +20. But then there was poor Dean Wilson whose -13 GNS was only four strokes less than Vijay’s winning -17. Dean finished 76th thanks to a +21 GPS and thus netted about $700.00 for each (gross) stroke under par while Vijay netted over $50,000 per gross negative stroke.

In summary, of the 12 golfers who had a GPS of +9 or better, eight finished in the top 12 on the money list.

While he probably was not totally happy with his performance, Retief Goosen deserves special congratulations for his tie for 56th which netted him over $10,000 for the week. Why? Because on his first hole of the tournament, Retief took a nine on a par four. You and I both know how a typical weekend duffer who rarely breaks 100 would have responded to such a start. While brooding over the bad start they would throw away more and more strokes and probably leave the course wishing they had stayed at home. Not Retief. He finished the first round with a respectable 72 just made the cut and at least made his expenses for the week with a few bucks to spare once again proving that the secret to golf is patience.


GNS (Gross Negative Score) – this statistic looks only at holes where
the player scored below par. This number is the total number of strokes
below par from all of the sub-par holes for the tournament.

GPS (Gross Positive Score) – this statistic looks only at the holes
where the player scored above par. This number is the total number of
strokes above par from all of the over par holes for the tournament.