By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
HONOLULU -- D.A. Points sent a text message to Bill Murray on Saturday morning just to make sure the two would be partners against in a few weeks to defend at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Murray replied: "Of course. I never thought we weren't."
But before Points defends his own individual title at Pebble Beach, he may have some additional hardware to carry back to the mainland, thanks to a 6-under 64 during Saturday's third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
"I finally hit some quality iron shots and holed some putts," Points said. "I had been burning the edge for, whatever, the first six rounds of the year and today some dropped in finally."
Points said playing last week in Kapalua was beneficial in getting the rust off his game.
"Playing over there was really a big advantage," Points said. "The golf courses are not at all similar; but you go over there and you try to make a lot of birdies.
"So when you come over here, you're still thinking, well, I'm out here to try to make a lot of birdies, and that kind of mindset. I think when you're playing well and shooting under par, even if it's not a lot under par, you kind of stay in that frame of mind and you just keep trying to make birdies and birdies and birdies."
Perhaps more beneficial, though, is Points' new routine prior to rounds, in which his schedule is more standardized in terms of his warm-up. He said he'll have 10 minutes of putting, 10 minutes of chipping, 20 minutes of practice on the range, then more time back on the putting green.
It's a schedule from which he doesn't plan to deviate.
"Before that, I just kind of winged it," Points said. "Sometimes I would show up 30 minutes before my time, sometimes I would show up an hour and 20 minutes before my time.
"And it always kind of bothered me and I just didn't really ever take the time. I kind of procrastinated and kind of pushed it off."
But he practiced the routine during the offseason. It's paying quick dividends. The next routine he'd like to get familiar with is returning to the winner's circle.