Hyundai Tournament of Champions Field Finalized
With the 2013 PGA TOUR season set to begin, 30 winners from 2012 will tee it up for the PGA TOUR’s Opening Drive at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at The Plantation Course at Kapalua, Jan. 3-7, 2013.
The exclusive field of winners from 2012 who are officially committed to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions include a dynamic and exciting variety of PGA TOUR winners. With 2012 major championship winners in Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson, to first-time winners like Rickie Fowler, Tommy Gainey, Charlie Beljan, Kyle Stanley and 2012 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year John Huh. Then add a group of some of 2012’s most successful players like FedExCup winner Brandt Snedeker or two-time winners Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson along with 2012 Ryder Cup stars and 2012 World Golf Championships winners Keegan Bradley and Ian Poulter. Finally, when you add names like Dustin Johnson, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar and Nick Watney to the Hyundai Tournament of Champion’s defending champion, Steve Stricker, fans have plenty to be excited about when the 2013 season tees off on Friday, January 4.
“The field represents some of the best moments from a 2012 PGA TOUR season and were a part of dramatic come-from-behind victories, thrilling major championships, emerging stars getting their first-ever victories, established veterans and the highest in competitive play,” said Executive Director Nancy Cross. “From Steve Stricker’s victory here to start the season to the dramatic final win of the year by Charlie Beljan, 2012 was a season to remember on the PGA TOUR. We know that excitement will carry over as we begin 2013 here in beautiful Hawaii.”
There are 16 players from the top 30 in the 2012 FedExCup final standings in the field at Kapalua, the most from the top 30 ever to play at this event since the debut of the FedExCup six years ago.
Defending champion Steve Stricker leads the field with 12 PGA TOUR victories. Next on the list of PGA TOUR winners is Zach Johnson (9) with Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Carl Pettersson, Nick Watney and Mark Wilson each having notched five career PGA TOUR wins. Next with four wins are Ben Curtis, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker and Bubba Watson.
* Matt Kuchar
“One of the great perks of winning on the PGA TOUR is knowing that you are qualified to go to Hawaii next year,” said THE PLAYERS winner Matt Kuchar. “I look forward to the trip to Hawaii with my family and all the things to experience in Maui. Kapalua is a fun course to play and the winds and elevation changes can make it a good test. I’m excited to test my game against the other PGA TOUR winners. It is always a great way to start the season with my family in Hawaii.”
* Rickie Fowler
On playing in the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions – “Looking forward to a fun start to the year. I can’t wait to get out to hang in Kapalua for some sort of family vacation of sorts leading up to the tournament and week of. It’s always been a tournament that I’ve watched, being a tournament of champions and in a way, dreamt of playing. So I’m excited to get there and play and share it with the family”
On what he has heard about the Hyundai Tournament of Champions from other players – “It’s a fun, relaxing week to start the season. It’s a fun course with challenges in elevation and wind coming off the ocean. Just heard it’s a cool place and a great way to start the year.”
* Bubba Watson
“We look forward to it. Every year that we can get into Hyundai means that we’ve played well the year and that we’ve won a PGA TOUR event, which is the goal to start every season. For us to play in a tournament of champions is an honor. It’s great to go there with my family in beautiful Maui. It’s a fun golf course and an exciting place to play and start the season.”
* Hunter Mahan
“I’m always excited to go to Hyundai (Tournament of Champions). It’s our reward for winning – getting to go to Hawaii. It’s a fantastic tournament, the staff does an incredible job of running it. Hyundai is a great sponsor and they have shown how excited they are about the event. There is no reason not to go. It’s going to be a great week.”
* Bill Haas
“It’s an event that I circle on the schedule from day one if I can qualify. I love the golf course and the challenges and opportunities that it provides. I love being on the island with family and friends, especially that time of the year,” said 2012 Northern Trust Open winner Bill Haas. “I think the golf course is underrated. The fairways are certainly forgiving, but there are different ways that the course challenges you. It’s just such a special place that time of the year and one of my favorite tournaments, no doubt.”
Steve Stricker (45) is the oldest player in the field and the only player in his 40s while John Huh is the youngest at 22. There are 11 players in their 20s and 28 players in their 30s.