Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 14, 2002

Sony Open

John Cook looks around at the gallery after a cell phone went off during his downswing as he teed off on No. 17.

Cell phone sabotages
Cook’s chances


By Grady Timmons
Special to the Star-Bulletin

For runner-up John Cook, the phone call from hell arrived on the 17th tee in yesterday's final round of the Sony Open.

Cook, who won the Hawaiian Open in 1992, was 13-under-par at the time and trailing Jerry Kelly by a shot. He had just fought his way back into the tournament when a cell phone went off at the start of his downswing at the par-3 17th hole.

If someone were planning an act of sabotage, they couldn't have timed it more perfectly. Cook heard the ringing, which came from the gallery, and it clearly broke his concentration. He spun out of his swing, shoving his tee shot into the right rear bunker.

"It's a good thing they have gallery ropes," said Cook, who admitted he was tempted to go after the culprit. Instead, he uttered a few choice words and slammed his club back into his bag.

Later, he described the owner of the cell phone as a young man in his late teens or early 20s, adding, "I'm sure he felt terrible."

But not as badly as Cook. When you are 44 years old and on the backside of your career on the PGA Tour, the opportunities to win don't come along every day.

"Goofy things like that can happen," said Cook, who ended up bogeying the hole and losing the tournament by a shot. "It's just unfortunate that it had to happen on the 17th hole on Sunday."

Still, Cook refused to blame his second-place finish on the incident. He noted that the par-5 ninth hole may have been his real undoing. It's a routine birdie for most pros, but Cook could make no better than par there all four days.

Twice, he hit second shots from perfect positions in the fairway at nine into the right greenside bunker, leaving himself long explosion shots that he failed to convert. He also missed birdie putts of three and five feet on that hole, he said.

Following Friday's second round, it was Cook's tournament to win or lose. He was atop the leaderboard after a sizzling 62, only to struggle on Saturday, when he shot even-par and fell two strokes behind Kelly.

Yesterday, he climbed back into contention with birdies at the 10th and 12th holes. Kelly was still a shot ahead of him, but he had come from behind to beat Kelly before. At last year's Reno-Tahoe Open, he fired a final-round 64, making up six strokes to beat Kelly by one.

When he arrived at the 17th tee yesterday, he felt good about his chances of catching Kelly again. "I had my 5-iron in hand," he said. "I had committed to the shot. I was ready to pull the trigger."

And then just as he started his downswing, the phone rang.

When Kelly later learned about the incident, he said, "That's awful. You want to win knowing that your opponent has hit all his best shots."

Said Cook, "I made a good recovery from the bunker at 17, but missed my four-footer to save par. So I had my chance to correct the damage."

And just to show he had not lost his sense of humor, he added, "I'm happy for Jerry. He's a good friend, and he's worked really hard to get where he is ... but if I catch him having dinner with that guy, I'm going to be pretty upset."


At Waialae Country Club
Purse: $4 million
Yardage: 7,060; Par 70

Final scores

Jerry Kelly, $720,000 66-65-65-70--266

John Cook, $432,000 66-62-70-69--267

Jay Don Blake, $272,000 69-67-68-65--269

Matt Kuchar, $165,333 68-69-66-67--270

Charles Howell III, $165,333 72-62-66-70--270

David Toms, $165,333 68-67-63-72--270

Tommy Armour III, $112,333 68-70-68-65--271

David Peoples, $112,333 72-68-66-67--271

Joel Edwards, $112,333 70-66-68-69--271

K.J. Choi, $112,333 68-65-69-71--271

Stephen Ames, $112,333 67-67-66-72--271

Jim Furyk, $112,333 69-66-64-72--271

Fred Funk, $75,000 68-65-69-70--272

Brad Elder, $75,000 68-64-70-70--272

Chris Riley, $75,000 65-67-68-72--272

Luke Donald, $75,000 69-67-66-70--272

Hidemichi Tanaka, $54,133 70-69-69-65--273

Pat Perez, $54,133 68-67-70-68--273

Bob Burns, $54,133 69-69-67-69--273

Scott Hoch, $54,133 68-66-69-70--273

Jeff Sluman, $54,133 69-66-67-71--273

Brad Faxon, $54,133 68-67-67-71--273

Jonathan Byrd, $33,714 67-68-72-67--274

Hiroyuki Fujita, $33,714 70-70-67-67--274

Dean Wilson, $33,714 74-66-67-67--274

Kenny Perry, $33,714 65-70-69-70--274

Brian Gay, $33,714 68-69-67-70--274

Frank Lickliter II, $33,714 68-68-67-71--274

Robert Allenby, $33,714 69-66-67-72--274

Andrew Magee, $23,250 68-72-68-67--275

Michael Allen, $23,250 70-65-72-68--275

Corey Pavin, $23,250 69-66-71-69--275

Greg Kraft, $23,250 70-67-68-70--275

John Huston, $23,250 68-66-70-71--275

Briny Baird, $23,250 72-66-67-70--275

Esteban Toledo, $23,250 68-72-64-71--275

Mike Sposa, $23,250 71-67-65-72--275

Jay Haas, $18,400 68-68-73-67--276

Tom Lehman, $18,400 70-66-70-70--276

Bob May, $16,000 70-70-69-68--277

Steve Elkington, $16,000 69-69-70-69--277

Cameron Beckman, $16,000 67-67-71-71--277

Sergio Garcia, $16,000 71-66-69-71--277

Ian Leggatt, $11,560 71-67-71-69--278

Bob Heintz, $11,560 70-67-71-70--278

Len Mattiace, $11,560 68-67-72-71--278

Chris Smith, $11,560 69-67-71-71--278

Peter Lonard, $11,560 70-68-69-71--278

Loren Roberts, $11,560 71-68-66-71--278

Scott Dunlap, $11,560 71-66-69-72--278

Tim Herron, $11,560 71-68-64-75--278

Chad Campbell, $9,520 71-65-75-68--279

Lee Porter, $9,520 71-66-72-70--279

Brent Geiberger, $9,080 70-70-70-70--280

Jesper Parnevik, $9,080 66-71-72-71--280

John Riegger, $9,080 70-70-69-71--280

Joe Durant, $9,080 68-69-71-72--280

Stuart Appleby, $9,080 70-69-68-73--280

Rich Beem, $9,080 68-69-69-74--280

Gary Nicklaus, $8,520 69-70-73-69--281

David Gossett, $8,520 69-68-75-69--281

David Ishii, $8,520 70-70-72-69--281

Richard Zokol, $8,520 71-67-73-70--281

Phil Tataurangi, $8,520 67-72-71-71--281

Jess Daley, $8,520 72-68-70-71--281

John Rollins, $8,520 69-70-70-72--281

Jim Carter, $8,520 69-69-70-73--281

David Sutherland, $8,120 70-68-75-69--282

Fred Couples, $8,120 70-70-69-73--282

Dudley Hart, $7,920 72-68-74-69--283

Brent Schwarzrock, $7,920 72-68-71-72--283

Shigeki Maruyama, $7,920 70-66-74-73--283

Tom Scherrer, $7,760 70-69-77-68--284


Toms disappointed with
Sony final round

It wasn't the kind of final round David Toms was hoping for at yesterday's $4 million Sony Open.

Entering the last 18 holes in second place with John Cook, Toms was tied for the lead with eventual winner Jerry Kelly at 13-under par after five holes. But then came the double bogey on No. 6 that sent Toms tumbling down the leaderboard.

A birdie on No. 18 helped salvage a 2-over 72 and a four-day total of 10-under 270, good enough for a fourth-place tie with Charles Howell III and Matt Kuchar. But it wasn't what Toms was hoping for. He had visions of winning here and doing a double dip in Hawaii next year at the Mercedes on Maui and the Sony Open on Oahu.

"But that double bogey just killed me," Toms said after walking off the 18th green. "I never really got it going after that. I lost my ball on the sixth, and my game kind of went with it. Sometimes it works out that way. I'm still pleased with the way I played in Hawaii the last couple of weeks."

Toms lost to Sergio Garcia in a playoff at the Mercedes Championships last weekend. He earned another $165,333 this week to become the 20th player in PGA Tour history to surpass the $10 million mark in career earnings.

Local connection: They made Dean Wilson qualify for the Sony Open, and he did not disappoint local golf fans.

Not only did he successfully play his way into the 144-man field, he overcame a shaky 74 on Thursday to fire three consecutive rounds in the 60s to finish in a tie for 23rd with a 6-under-par 274. He tied such PGA Tour notables as Frank Lickliter and Stuart Appleby.

The Kaneohe resident managed consecutive 67s over the weekend to earn a nice $33,714 paycheck. The Japan Tour standout finished the best among the half-dozen local golfers who teed it up on Thursday. Only Wilson and David Ishii survived the even-par cut on Friday.

Ishii didn't have the magic in his bag that led to a 1990 Hawaiian Open championship, but he played the Waialae Country Club course respectably.

The Pearl City resident shot a 1-under 69 yesterday to finish at 281, some 15 strokes off the pace set by winner Jerry Kelly. He finished in a tie for 60th to earn a paycheck of $8,520.

Swinging free: With a final-round 70, Kenny Perry has now recorded 23 consecutive rounds of par or better, including all eight in the 2002 season. Perry's streak is the second-longest on tour. Only Bob Estes at 29 is longer.

Bogey down: Chris Riley's streak of consecutive bogey-free holes ended at 56 on yesterday's third hole. For the event, Riley recorded only two bogeys, forcing caddy Chris Carpenter to pay the Nevada-Las Vegas graduate $50. The 56 holes is the longest such streak this year.

Inside the numbers: Jay Don Blake, who wound up in third with a final-round 65, recorded the only bogey-free round. It was his best finish since 1998. Blake's 5-under effort was matched by Tommy Armour III, David Peoples and Hidemichi Tanaka for the best round of the day. Blake and Brad Elder managed the only eagles.

Howell and John Cook, who finished second this week, crafted the best rounds of the tournament. Both managed 8-under 62s on Friday. It gave Cook a three-shot lead after the second round, one he couldn't hold over the weekend.

Rookies survive: Four of the seven tour rookies who made the cut this weekend earned top-25 finishes. They were Luke Donald (t-12th), Tanaka (t-17th), Pat Perez (t-17th) and Jonathan Byrd (t-23rd).

Perez played in his first PGA Tour event.

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