Kapalua has a 54-hole champion in Dustin Johnson

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The 2013 Tournament of Champions golf event at Kapalua was postponed for several days due to high winds, and while fears rose of a total wash out was a possibility, the event’s organizers managed to extend the tourney by a day enabling a champion to be anointed.

Kapalua looked just as beautiful as ever and few on the mainland will ever know what nerve-wracked tournament organizers must have been going through. There has been the on-going complaint that the best players never come, there has been a PGA Tour season opening schedule schedule change that means the event is no longer the season-opener, there has been the question of venue and whether or not the contract with Hyundai will be renewed, then there were the piles of money spent in the name of tourism marketing—most of which went down the drain with virtually no coverage on the weekend to speak of—thanks to Mother Nature. Not a good week.

But they got it done. None of the players had to do anything outside of their normal, self-absorbed routines. We heard nothing of the great aloha, the crater, Hana, or anything about how much fun the pros and their families had, outside of a few one-liners. We saw some play but starts and stops and to be honest, it was hard to figure out when it was on or off.

That has to irk the powers that be, as the event’s organizers have been at this for decades and they know what they are doing. But this weather that blew was an unusual event. Some referred to it as a ‘100-year storm’. It wasn’t, but it was unusual and I can honestly say I have never seen the flags blowing in such extreme contortions. It was a freak event.

That is not good when you have invested your year in what amounts to a single week. There are a lot of hard-working people, in addition to volunteers, visitors who come just for the event… all were displaced, disappointed, disheartened. It has to have hurt, and that is just wrong.

But pushing all negatives aside, and instead looking at it from the point of view that: a) the event decided a champion in Dustin Johnson; b) it was actually extended by a day; c) the media had more to talk about than usual; d) The Ritz must’ve made a pile of cash this week; f) and it sounds as though Hyundai is pretty upbeat about the event and isn’t going to be going anywhere, anytime, soon.

The online coverage of the event was truly so bad I think golf as a whole needs to rethink how it is shown to the world. I was sincerely trying to follow the thing from New York and most of the big name websites for sports were just lame. Golf Channel, by virtue of its partnership with the Tour, should’ve had the best coverage, but all of the sites were pretty weak.

Given the viewers were unable to see it by hook or by crook over the weekend, and with so little coverage online, hopefully the people behind the scenes think of more topics and better ways to showcase our top resort, and most beautiful island.

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