HONOLULU -- Jonathan Byrd was genuinely surprised to find out that Sunday's final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, which he won in a playoff over Robert Garrigus at Kapalua Resort in Maui, drew a 38 percent increase in television viewers on Golf Channel over the previous year.
"That's great for everyone," Byrd said Thursday at Waialae CC, where the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii was washed out by heavy rains. "But I'm sure it had more to do with nighttime TV and great pictures of Hawaii while people were getting snow on the mainland. I probably had nothing to do with it."
True or not, more golf fans are now aware of Byrd after he won his second straight PGA Tour start following his playoff win last fall in Las Vegas, where he aced the fourth extra hole for the victory to qualify for the tournament of champions at Kapalua's Plantation Course.
Byrd, 32, has hit exactly three balls since Sunday, and that was Tuesday as part of a day-long photo shoot for Polo Golf. Wednesday's Pro-Am was canceled by a deluge, and three more inches of rain overnight postponed the start of the Sony Open until at least Friday. Having just shot 24-under par over 72 holes in his last start, he's eager to get going again.
"I remember Tiger saying that you ride the hot streak as long as possible, but right now I have no idea what I have," said Byrd, who was planning on taking his family to the aquarium in Waikiki today with Zach Johnson and Charles Warren and their families. "I've gotten away from it, which is good for being fresh, but eventually you want to get after it again. There's a little anxiety there. Hopefully, (my game) hasn't gone anywhere."
(For more on Byrd, read his instruction article from the November 2009 issue of Golf Digest, "How to work the ball".)
-- Dave Shedloski