Calgary’s Stephen Ames bolted from the gate in his 2013 PGA Tour debut, shooting a five-under 65 in the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he’s tied for fifth, three shots off the lead. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and tour rookie Brad Fritsch of Manotick, Ont., are both tied for 17th after first round 67s. Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., shot a 69 and is tied for 45th, while Mike Weir is tied for 88th after a one-over 71 … Frequent golfers are the main target for golf operations seeking to increase rounds in 2013, according to the recent GNN Poll that saw, as of this writing, 52 per cent of respondents trying to encourage those who play less than 25 rounds per year to play more. Another 32 per cent said they’ll attempt to attract more beginners, while 16 per cent were concentrating on avid golfers (25 rounds or more per year). There’s still time to cast your vote at the GNN Poll on the home page … Hutch has a few thoughts on Weir, who looks to turn around his recent fortunes. For that Toronto Sun video, click here … Gord Holder of the Ottawa Citizen has this story on the business of Brad Fritsch … Rick Young of ScoreGolf says Toronto-based Quagmire Golf has cancelled production of its 2013 line. To read that blog, click here … It’s interesting to note that Tiger Woods will be in Abu Dhabi next week when Rory McIlroy is said to be making it official that he is joining Nike. That announcement is expected on Monday. Meanwhile, one report says it has a photo of McIlroy’s clubs. Decide for yourself by clicking here for a Golf Channel story … Callaway Golf has signed rising Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa.
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