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Winner will tame the wind

Updated: January 5, 2007, 4:02 PM ET
By Jason Sobel
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- It sounds like one of Johnny Carson's old jokes on The Tonight Show: "It was so windy at Kapalua on Thursday ..." (How windy was it?) "It was so windy that some of the world's best players were hitting 5-irons from 150 yards."

Problem is, that's no punchline; it's a true story. Stephen Ames, he of moderate length, said, "[On] 13, I had 152 to the hole and ripped a 5-iron." I didn't hear any post-round comments from the likes of, say, Corey Pavin, but one can only imagine the pea-shooter was hitting even longer irons -- or even a hybrid or fairway wood -- from similar distances.

With winds gusting to 40 mph throughout the course, it was quite literally "hold-onto-your-hat" weather. I spent about three hours wandering the course, much of it with one hand atop the cap on my head.

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