John Daly heads to the PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing in much better shape than he might have appeared Saturday.
Daly looked like he had broken his right shoulder during the third round of the Sony Open. The diagnosis focused on a tendon that popped out of place, and the shoulder was restored by the PGA Tour’s physical therapy staff after Daly struggled to a 9-over-par 79.
On Sunday, Daly took his usual dose of six Advil and shot a 3-under 67 to finish 74th at 284. He then caught a plane bound for Los Angeles, where he will practice for a week before playing the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego.
“I’ve got a guy in Ontario, California, that’s going to look at it some more, just to be safe,” Daly said. “I’ve got some strength thanks to my doc at home that I do with a big rubber band for my hip. He says usually the tendon pops out. If you can get it back in, it’s just a fluke.”
Looking for a new putter
Stewart Cink has changed all the equipment in his bag, with TaylorMade metal woods, Ping irons and Titleist ball, but he still is trying to evaluate everything.
The 2009 British Open winner used a TaylorMade putter in the first two rounds at Sony, but missed the cut and never seemed comfortable with the flatstick.
“I love all the equipment, and everything is really nice,” Cink said after his round Friday. “Sticking with everything, I think, and I might tinker with putters a little bit still.”
On Sunday afternoon when the final round was warming up, Cink came to the Waialae putting green with a Scotty Cameron Newport putter. The putter had arrived days before he left for Hawaii, and he didn’t have a chance to practice with it at home, so he was putting it through its paces on Sunday.
“I’ve had three Camerons that I’ve putted with out here, and they were all Cameron Newports,” Cink said. “I didn’t tell them a Newport, but that’s what they came up with for me.”
The last time Cink putted with a Cameron was 2001.
Todd Gjesvold, who caddied for winner Russell Henley, left Hawaii with more earnings than most of the players at the Sony Open.
Last year at this time, Gjesvold was a caddie for Pebble Beach Co., carrying bags for the rich and famous at Pebble Beach and Spyglass.
So how did he connect with Henley, the former Georgia All-American who was making his PGA Tour debut after having qualified off the Web.com Tour?
“One of my clients from Macon, Georgia (Henley’s hometown), has wanted to set me up with Russell, and it just worked out," Gjesvold said as he was holding the flag from the 18th hole at Waialae Country Club after Henley’s victory. “He made a caddie change, and his parents called my friend, and we tried out Utah (on the Web.com Tour), he finished top 10, and we’ve been together ever since.”
Gjesvold played collegiate golf at Oregon State but never had caddied on the PGA Tour. He did, however, caddie for Mike Nicoletti in first stage of Q-School, which was the closest that Gjesvold got to golf’s biggest stage until now.
“I just had so much fun,” Gjesvold said of his first week with Henley in Utah. "Because I knew — I played college golf, and I knew I was helping, especially the yardages.”
Gjesvold also knew something that the rest of us learned last week at Sony.
“Well, the thing about Russell is, he’s not afraid,” Gjesvold said. “He can play so well nervous, and he’s the best putter I’ve ever seen. I knew he was a great player because he had a couple finishes in the US Open (tied for 16th in 2010, tied for 42nd in 2011), and he’s not afraid.”
Long and short of it
At 25, Tour rookie Henrik Norlander is a little young to be anchoring a long putter, which must scare the pants off the USGA and R&A.
But Norlander couldn’t care less about the proposed ban on anchoring, which golf’s governing bodies have targeted for the next rules change, in 2016.
“I started about my junior year in college using long (putter), went back and forth, but I won four times, and three times with a short putter,” said Norlander, a Swede who played at Augusta State. “I’m a little better with a long putter, I think. But if they make the rules change, I’ll deal with it and start practicing with a short putter.”
Norlander conceded that playing with a long putter isn’t the magic wand that so many suspect and takes hard work to master the putter and stroke.
“I think it takes just as much practice,” Norlander said of the long putter versus the short one. “I had a 7-footer on the last at Q-School to make it on the number, and I don’t know if I could shake it more if I had a short putter. I think it’s just nerves.”
Norlander, who shot 7-under 273 to tie for 41st, thinks he putts better with the long putter, but is not sure if it’s because he believes in it more or it because of the technique. Ultimately, Norlander said it comes down to one thing, regardless of the putter or stroke.
“I still think putting is in between your ears,” he said. “You’ve got to believe you can make a putt, and I don’t really think it’s a big difference if it’s long or short or if it’s anchored or not. “