Davis Love III has long been an enigma to much of the golfing world. He's fourth among active players in career wins -- you don't need me to tell you the three ahead of him, do you? -- and yet he doesn't strike fear into your heart as a golf elite. He's earned a lifetime exemption to the PGA Tour with 20 career wins, and yet he hasn't qualified for the Masters for the last two years, and will need some strong play to do so this year.
Still, the guy knows his golf, and at the end of the first round of the Sony Open, sits atop the leaderboard at -5. Sure, he's tied with Ryan Palmer, Zach Johnson and Troy Merritt, John Merrick and Robert Allenby, but he's there.
As the AP's Doug Ferguson notes, Love took a two-month total break from the game, a break that was absolutely necessary following a long, exhausting year that saw him notch only two top-10s. His last appearance in 2009 was disappointing withdrawal from the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Disney after just one round.
But he's on familiar ground at the Sony Open, having finished tied for second last year. He also holds the course record on the Waialae's par-72 layout with a 60 in 1994. (The course is playing at 70 this week.)
Love is also looking to the future. He's part of a team that's close to establishing a new PGA tournament later this year at Sea Island Resort in St. Simons Island, Georgia. The event would take place during the currently open week after the Ryder Cup, October 7-10.
Before then, though, there's golf to be played. It's still unknown how much Love has left in the tank, but so far he's off to a perfect start for 2010.