Field set for 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
By Maui Now Staff
Article From: Mauinow.com
The field for the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions will include 28 champions from a combined 34 PGA TOUR events from 2011.
The winners-only field will compete for the first 2012 PGA TOUR title as the FedExCup regular season kicks off January 5-9 at The Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort.
“The field includes an interesting continuation of what happened on TOUR in 2011, with established veteran players like Steve Stricker, THE PLAYERS champion K.J. Choi and David Toms playing at Kapalua,” said Nancy Cross, Tournament Director.
“The Hyundai Tournament of Champions will also host a number of players who emerged in 2011 and captured the imagination of our fans with compelling performances on big stages,” said Cross.
The Next Generation:
Young stars in the Hyundai field include: FedExCup champion Bill Haas, PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and major champion (PGA Championship) Keegan Bradley, and multiple 2011 tournament winners Webb Simpson and Nick Watney.
Tournament officials say, of the players in the field, 13 won events in 2011 while they were still in their twenties.
Rookies included in the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions lineup include: Jhonattan Vegas (Bob Hope Classic); Brendan Steele (Valero Texas Open); Chris Kirk (Viking Classic); Scott Stallings (The Greenbrier Classic); and Keegan Bradley (HP Byron Nelson Championship and PGA Championship);
Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, K.J. Choi, David Toms and Mark Wilson are among the veteran contingent. These five have a total of 39 TOUR wins between them.
Sticker will be playing in the event for the sixth time. Hi best performance on Maui was in 2008 when he recorded a playoff-loss to Daniel Chopra. Stricker won multiple times on the PGA TOUR in 2011, taking titles in both the Memorial Tournament and the John Deere Classic.
Watson won twice in 2011 with a victory at the Farmer’s Insurance Open, and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Tournament officials say Watson had one of the more memorable shots in Hyundai Tournament of Champions history when he carved a driver off the fairway that reached the green in two on the par 5 18th hole.
Choi is playing in his sixth Hyundai Tournament of Champions and also has a runner-up finish, when he finished T2 in 2003 to Ernie Els. Choi defeated fellow veteran David Toms in a playoff at the famous island-green 17th hole at THE PLAYERS to qualify for this year’s field.
Of the players in the field, David Toms, 45, has the most top-10 finishes at this event (4). Toms 13 career PGA TOUR victories are also the most of any player in the field this week. This is Toms’ eighth time in his career appearance at the Maui event, with his best finish to date recorded in 2002 with a runner up spot.
Mark Wilson had victories at the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2011. He makes this his third trip to Kapalua
The Final Field includes the following:
Aaron Baddeley; Keegan Bradley; Michael Bradley; Jonathan Byrd; K.J. Choi; Ben Crane; Harrison Frazar; Lucas Glover; Bill Haas; Chris Kirk; Martin Laird; Bryce Molder; Kevin Na; Sean O’Hair; Scott Piercy; D.A. Points; Rory Sabbatini; Webb Simpson; Scott Stallings; Brendan Steele; Steve Stricker; David Toms; Jhonattan Vegas; Johnson Wagner; Nick Watney; Bubba Watson; Mark Wilson; and Gary Woodland.
***Fans and spectators are invited to come to the Aloha Kick-Off opening ceremonies at around 9:30 pm. (45 minutes prior to the first tee time) on Friday, January 6, 2012.
Tickets for competition rounds Jan. 6-9 are on sale now at http://www.pgatour.com/Hyundai. Limited spots in the tournament’s pro-am on Thursday, Jan. 5, remain available.
The tournament dates for official play for the 2012 event begin with the Pro-am on Thursday, January 5, continuing with four rounds of professional competition Friday, January 6, through Monday, January 9