Opening Showers Expected for Hyundai Tourney
By Rodney S. Yap
Besides sunblock, the game’s best golfers will need their umbrellas, towels and rain gear to combat the frequent showers expected for Friday’s first round of the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
The National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain in Kapalua for tonight and frequent showers throughout tomorrow’s opening round of the 72-hole tournament, according to a forecast at noon today. Conditions are expected to be breezy with a southwest wind of 11 to 16 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph, with the high temperature near 75.
The good news is Saturday is slated to be sunny with the high near 77, but still windy with a northeast wind of 13 to 16 mph. Sunday figures to be mostly sunny with a little less wind and Monday’s final round is expected to be partly sunny with scattered showers. The northeast winds should increase to 17-22 mph in the morning, with gusts as high as 33 mph in the afternoon.
High winds postponed the start of last year’s tournament — twice — before Dustin Johnson closed out the 54-hole event at 16-under 203. The Jupiter, Fla. resident became the first player since Tiger Woods to go straight from college and win in each of his first six years on the PGA Tour.
The weather, however, is not the only storyline as this year’s event could see its youngest winner since Sergio Garcia’s 2002 victory which came three days before he turned 22. Five entrants this week are under 25 – Jordan Spieth (20), Patrick Reed (23), Derek Ernst (23), Russell Henley (24) and Harris English (24).
The tournament is exclusively for PGA Tour winners from the 2013 calendar, creating one of the most competitive and elite fields of the season. Major winners, multiple winners and first-time winners will all kick off 2014 at one of the most beautiful stops on Tour, The Plantation Course at Kapalua.
Last year’s major winners, Jason Dufner (PGA Championship) and Adam Scott (The Masters) will not only be joined by two-time winners in 2013 Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker, but also by thirteen first-time winners, including Rookie of the Year Spieth. Others in the field include PGA Tour stars Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and Webb Simpson, who own 19 victories collectively and bring the Presidents Cup team members in the field to eight.
The 30 winners in the field own 91 total PGA Tour victories, four major championships, two Players Championships and three World Golf Championships.
“The tournament is thrilled to see so many of the game’s best players return to Kapalua, and to welcome so many new faces,” said Nancy Cross, executive director of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. “From major winners to first-time winners, the players in the field broke records and made history during 2013, which is what makes this one of the most exciting weeks on Tour all year.”
Fans from around the world have voted, and 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott has been chosen to play with Hyundai Tournament of Champions defending champion Dustin Johnson in Friday’s first round on The Plantation Course at Kapalua. The two are scheduled to tee off last, at 12:50 p.m. local time.
Fans voted for Scott as part of the Hyundai You Pair the Pros program that ran from Dec. 17-30 on PGATour.com’s Social Hub. Fans had the choice to vote for which player they wanted to see paired with Dustin Johnson in the first round of the tournament, and could choose from 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott, 2012 FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, or six-time PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the first PGA Tour event to give fans the opportunity to vote for a pairing, and Scott received 48% of the votes. Friday will mark the 19th time the two have been paired together. Both Scott and Johnson average a 70 when paired together, Scott at 70.17 and Johnson at 70.50.
• COURSE: Plantation Course at Kapalua, 7,452 yards, par 73. Opened in 1991, the course is co-designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: Six primary beneficiaries, ranging from elderly care facilities to environmental watchdog groups to youth after-school programs. Since the event moved to Hawaii in 1999, more than $4.4 million has been raised to benefit Maui charities.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Ernie Els (2003).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 62, K.J. Choi (3rd round, 2003), Graeme McDowell (4th round, 2011).
All four competitive rounds of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be broadcast on Golf Channel. Follow the tournament on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HyundaiTOC or Twitter at @HyundaiTOC to get updates and a behind-the-scenes look at the tournament preparations.
The final field for the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the event(s) each won:
|Adam Scott||The Masters Tournament, The Barclays||Jonas Blixt||The Greenbrier Classic|
|Bill Haas||AT&T National||Jordan Spieth||John Deere Classic|
|Billy Horschel||Zurich Classic of New Orleans||Ken Duke||Travelers Championship|
|Boo Weekley||Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial||Kevin Streelman||Valspar Championship|
|Brandt Snedeker||AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, RBC Canadian Open||Martin Laird||Valero Texas Open|
|Brian Gay||Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation||Matt Kuchar||Valero Texas Open|
|Chris Kirk||The McGladrey Classic||Michael Thompson||The Honda Classic|
|D.A. Points||Shell Houston Open||Patrick Reed||Wyndham Championship|
|Derek Ernst||Wells Fargo Championship||Russell Henley||Sony Open|
|Dustin Johnson||Hyundai Tournament of Champions, World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions||Ryan Moore||CIMB Classic|
|Gary Woodland||Reno-Tahoe Open||Sang-Moon Bae||HP Byron Nelson Open|
|Harris English||FedEx St. Judes Classic, OHL Classic at Mayakoba||Scott Brown||Puerto Rico Open|
|Jason Dufner||PGA Championship||Webb Simpson||Shriners Hospital for Children Open|
|Jimmy Walker||Frys.com Open||Woody Austin||Sanderson Farms Championship|
|John Merrick||Northern Trust Open||Zach Johnson||BMW Championship|