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The Loop

Cheat Sheet: Is the new wraparound season already taking a toll?

November 01, 2013

What you need to know for Saturday in the world of golf

DJ's secret to success?

Maybe the best way to prepare for a big tournament is to take a vacation to Thailand. That's what Dustin Johnson did with his girlfriend, Paulina Gretzky, last week (Lucky for us, Paulina uploaded a highlight video), and DJ will take a five-shot lead into this weekend at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Johnson's second-round 63 tied the course record and has him in position to win his second straight season-opening event. He captured the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in January, but has played inconsistently -- when he's played -- since. Wait a minute, that was in Hawaii. Maybe Johnson doesn't need to prepare in Thailand. He just needs a scenic beach.


Senior's long-iron clinic

Like Dustin Johnson, Peter Senior also shot a 63. Unlike Johnson, Senior had the majority of his birdies set up by long-iron approach shots. Senior hit 4-iron to set up three birdies and 3-iron to set up another two on his way to grabbing the lead at the final event of the Champions Tour's schedule, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. A first win on the senior circuit at Harding Park would be extra sweet for Senior given the event's prestige, but only Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer can capture the tour's season-long points race.

Is the new wrap-around season already taking a toll?

Probably not, but Hideki Matsuyama had to pull out of the HSBC field with a back injury. Matsuyama shot an opening 71, but was unable to tee it up on Day 2. The Japanese phenom has been playing a lot of golf of late having competed in the Presidents Cup and two of the first three events of the PGA Tour's new wraparound season, the Open (T-3) and the CIMB Classic (T-25). What's the lesson here? Even though the money is tempting, pro golfers probably shouldn't try to play EVERY week. Even if you're only 21.