There will be no On the Skillet this week. Instead, I wrote a piece about a proposed municipal project in Boca Raton. The project has finished their RFP and plans to spend $42 million on the project and has some questionable motives. Read more about "Boca National" here.
Coming off of a breakout season in 2017, Marc Leishman leads the Tournament of Champions after round one. The big Aussie battled windy conditions to fire a 6-under 67 and hold a one shot over Jhonattan Vegas and Brian Harman. Full scores
The top 5
This year was the first since 2004 that the entire top 5 in the world rankings teed it up at Kapalua. World number one Dustin Johnson faired the best of the bunch shooting a 4-under par opening round. World number five Hideki Matsuyama fired 3-under, and fourth and third-ranked Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas shot 2-under par 71s. Jordan Spieth surprised, struggling to the worst round of his career at Kapalua a two-over par 75.
The world's seventh-ranked player opened with a 4-under par 69 but made headlines with his attire. Fowler donned a Hawaiian shirt for the first round. The shirt led to a variety of reactions from fans. I think this look is acceptable in Hawaii.
Rick wasn't the only big name pro sporting a new look. Jon Rahm broke out a visor, but unlike Rickie's shirt it might be here to stay.
Coverage will continue this weekend in primetime on the Golf Channel.
Tiger Woods announced that his next start would come at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open. The tournament is the last weekend in January; he will then make his next start at the Genesis (LA Open) February 15-18th.
More equipment changes
Some more big-time players made changes to their equipment. Last year's Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele switched from TaylorMade to Callaway. The move is a bit of a head-scratcher. It's rare for a young player to have such success and make a move.
Patrick Reed will be wearing Nike attire this season. The good news is he will finally have clothes that properly fit. The bad news is the blade collar is now in the mix.
Part two of Jim Urbina
The second part of the Jim Urbina podcast is up on the website. In part two we discuss Jim's background, Seth Raynor and C.B. Macdonald's template holes, the importance of superintendents and more. Listen to the podcast on our website, iTunes or Stitcher and if you missed part I check it out here.
Founding father down
Michael Wolf and Scott Griffith teamed up to create a historical timeline of St. Andrew's Golf Club in New York. St. Andrew's is the lesser known of the USGA's five founding clubs that also include Chicago Golf, Shinnecock, Newport CC and The Country Club. Unlike the other founding members, St. Andrew's failed to protect their design. Michael's timeline and Scott's aerial photos showcase the history and the changes made to the course.
Adam Sarson put together a great article with 50 predictions for 2018.
Someone messed up the coverage's sound effects...
Sean Martin put together an interesting Q&A with swing instructor and new Golf Channel analyst Sean Foley.