[ SONY OPEN IN HAWAII ]
Toms sees life on Tour after 40
Most golfers would be satisfied with picking up at least one victory nearly every year and finishing no lower than 22nd on the money list since 1999.
But while defending Sony Open in Hawaii champion David Toms is satisfied with his results, he concedes he would like to do more before leaving his bags in the closet for good.
"I haven't been as successful in the big events as I would like to be," Toms said. "And so maybe the next few years, maybe that's time to make amends for all of the other majors that I would obviously like to win. We all like to win one. But just to give myself more opportunities and play better in them, in some of the other bigger events, too."
Toms won the PGA Championship in 2001, but missed the cut at the Masters last year, withdrew from the U.S. Open, didn't play the British and tied for 16th at the PGA. Not exactly stellar results in the big four, but he still managed a win here and five other top 10s, including a tie for second at Doral.
But after turning 40 on the opening day of the 2007 PGA Tour season, Toms realized time isn't exactly on his side. Granted, he has a dozen career wins on his résumé and nearly $26 million in career earnings. Still, he wouldn't mind accomplishing what Vijay Singh has done since he turned 40 in 2003.
"It's amazing," Toms said. "I told him this morning on the range, after he said something about me being 40 and everything. I said, well if I can have half the success that he's had in my 40s that would be good stuff. He's a guy who works really hard. I don't know that I enjoy it that much to do that. I like to do other stuff."
Toms spent the offseason leaving his golf clubs out of sight, out of mind for most of the fall. He played a week at Tiger Woods' Target event, then played again at last week's Mercedes-Benz Championship. Singh, on the other hand, went to the Big Island and pounded 400 golf balls a day.
"I don't see myself dedicating that much time to it," Toms said. "But at the same time, I feel like I can play some really good golf. My golf swing feels fine and I still continue to work on the same things, and maybe the experience will pay off."
Toms will be playing only his fourth Sony Open since the tournament went to a par-70 in 1999. He not only had a win last year, but a tie for fourth in 2002 and a tie for 13th in 2005. He believes the key to success here can be found on the greens.
"You have to drive the ball well to give yourself a chance to make birdie," Toms said. "It will still be all about making the putts. It always is here and getting the putter hot because you'll have a lot of opportunities if you're driving the ball well. We'll see how it goes."
Wilson in the house:
doesn't figure it will be any different than it was before when he walks out today for the first round of the Sony Open. In the past, he's been a local face in the crowd, but now that he's won and is coming off a solid weekend at the Mercedes, things might be a little different.
"I don't know," Wilson said when asked how it will feel to play Waialae as a winner. "I've been doing it now for three or four years. It seems like the reaction is a little different being a PGA Tour winner and more people know my name and more people are following me. So that's exciting. It will be the same. Won't be anything new."
Wilson opened his season with a 29th-place finish in the winners-only Mercedes. He shot an 80 on Thursday, but came back with consecutive 1-under 72s over the weekend to put him in a good frame of mind this week. In five consecutive appearances here, he's missed the cut three times, with his best finish coming in 2002 with a tie for 23rd. The Sony has only paid him $32,295.
"I'm happy I had a couple of good rounds on the weekend," Wilson said. "It also feels good to get some rounds under my belt coming into this tournament rather than coming in fresh like I have the last few years. So I'm excited for that. I'm just trying to do everything I can with the Hawaii Visitors Bureau and the tournaments here. It's just been busy. I've never been so busy in my life. I've never really had a schedule, so I've got to get used to it."
Singh taking it easy:
It's hard to imagine Singh allowing the easy-going style of the islands to affect him, but after his win on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, life is good for the man from Fiji.
"I love the islands," Singh said. "I love the air over here -- it's island air, just very calming effect. I don't have any hassles, not in a hurry. I guess that's how everybody feels when they come over here. You just take one step back."
Singh received plenty of congratulations from his fellow golfers as he prepared for today's opening round. After winning here in 2005, holding off Ernie Els by one shot, Singh knows what to expect of Waialae.
"I was talking to the guys today and they said, now you can actually set your goals a little higher, you've already won," Singh said. "You've got the first one maybe you can fire up and go, and that's pretty much how I feel. It's actually more tiring the second or third day after you've won.
"Because you went through so strong and the focus is so high. Coming from such a high to almost a low. Especially in Hawaii, where everything is so low key, it takes a day to recover from that. I didn't feel that energized yesterday when I came over here. I need to pick myself up and get myself fired up again."