There is not a more ideal place to kick off your season than the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Not only does it mean you won a PGA Tour event in the last calendar year, putting you among an elite group of players, but you’re in paradise in Maui. No matter how you play, it doesn’t get much better than that.
Unless you’re Patton Kizzire, who kicked off his 2019 with a bang on Thursday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua. After playing his opening seven holes in one under, Kizzire pulled a 7 iron out at the 186-yard par-3 eighth and knocked one in the cup:
Kizzire’s hole-in-one is the first of 2019 on the PGA Tour and the first of his career. And he wasn’t done with firsts, later conducting one of the first experimental mid-round interviews with Golf Channel’s Arron Oberholser, who caught up with Kizzire in the 15th fairway:
Not nearly as awkward as expected. Maybe Kizzire should have made our ranking of guys we’d like to see get interviewed mid-round.
As he comes to the end of his round, it looks like the two-time tour winner will be near the top of the leader board, a place he’s struggled to be in since his hot start to last season. After winning the 2017 OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the 2018 Sony Open, Kizzire failed to manage a single top 10 in his last 22 starts of the year. He did see some improvement this past fall, most recently finishing T-15 in the RSM Classic.