• Among the many lowlights of Daly's year was an incident in Australia in which he broke the camera of an exuberant fan. "I think every player on the tour would have snapped putting up with what he was having to put up with," said Geoff Ogilvy
, who also played in the Australian Open. "And there was a guy with a flash less than 3 feet from his face for 20 minutes just going bang, bang, bang, right in his face, trying to get him to snap, and he did.
The Australian Tour didn't even fine him because the guy wasn't even supposed to have a camera at the tournament. I don't blame him at all."
• Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas might have their minds on something other than golf when they play together during the first round of the Mercedes: a football game. Kim, who spent two years at Oklahoma, and Villegas, who graduated from Florida, know that about nine holes into the first round of the year, their respective schools will kick off in the BCS National Title Game in Miami. Kim actually attended a Sooners game while on a recruiting visit to Oklahoma. "I'm going to be thinking more about that game than my round,'' Kim said.
• Jim Furyk will not begin the 2008 season until the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the sixth week of the season. Since the Ryder Cup in September, Furyk has played the Grand Slam of Golf and the Chevron World Championship, meaning it will be a true offseason for him.
• The European Tour, which has already played five events in its Race to Dubai, resumes this week at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg. South Africa's Richard Sterne
, who won the past two events, is looking to become the first player since Seve Ballesteros
in 1986 to win three straight starts on the European Tour. Nick Faldo
is the only other player to win three straight on the European Tour (1983). Retief Goosen
is also in the field.
• Masters champion Trevor Immelman
is playing in the Mercedes, then heading to the Middle East for next week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the first of three tournaments in the Persian Gulf region. It ought to be some journey, if not a nightmare to adjust. Abu Dhabi is 10 time zones away from Hawaii.
"Hey, I'm the underdog. I want to sneak in there so nobody even knows I'm playing." -- Tiger Woods
, when asked recently about how he'll feel heading into this year's Masters after so much time off.
Horse for the Course: Vijay Singh
. You gotta love a guy who has eight top-10s in nine years at Kapalua. And you know the tour's workhorse will be ready to go.
Birdie Buster: Davis Love III
. The 20-time winner ended 2008 with a victory at Disney. What a way this would be to start 2009 -- and to qualify for the Masters.
Super Sleeper: Daniel Chopra
. After winning this tournament a year ago in a playoff over Steve Stricker
, Chopra did not post a top-10 finish the rest of the season.
Winner: Ernie Els
. He last played the tournament in 2005, when he tied for third. He also won it in 2003, then won the Sony Open the following week. A big start for the Big Easy.