Tee Times: Golf is Hyundai’s Vehicle for Charity
By MauiNow Staff
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the PGA Tour’s winners-only event, kicks off the golfing New Year at the legendary Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort.
The field this year features many of the game’s top talent, like Masters champion Bubba Watson and FedExCup Playoffs winner Billy Horschel. They will be joined by a list of the game’s elite, including three-time winner during the 2013-2014 season Jimmy Walker, PGA Tour rookie of the year Chesson Hadley, Australian Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, two-time Hyundai Tournament of Champions winner Geoff Ogilvy, Hunter Mahan and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.
“Golf has proven to be the perfect sport for us to communicate our dynamic vehicle lineup and growing premium products and we can’t wait for the first tee shot of the new calendar year,” said Dave Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “The PGA Tour’s commitment to charity is similar to our own and we again plan on making a positive impact on many Hawaii and Maui charities.”
The tournament starts Friday with a “Hawaiian Blessing” by Clifford Nae’ole, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The twosome of Kevin Stadler and Nick Taylor officially open the tournament when the pair tees off first at 10:10 a.m. The rest of the 34-player field will tee off at The Plantation’s Course in pairs every 10 minutes — with defending champion Zach Johnson going head-to-head with Billy Herschel at 12:50 p.m.
The Golf Channel will broadcast the event live from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is all about giving back to the community. Since the tournament’s inception in 1999 the tournament and host organizations have donated nearly $5 million to Maui Community Charities and that number will only increase after the 2015 event.
For the third year in a row, Hyundai Hope On Wheels is hosting a 5K Run/Walk in conjunction with the Tournament of Champions. The Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 a.m. at Whalers Village in Kaanapali. As part of this 5K event, Hope On Wheels will also award a $75,000 Hyundai Young Investigator Clinical Award to Kapiolani Medical Center for pediatric cancer programs. Since becoming title sponsor, Hyundai has donated $483,000 to the Kapiolani Medical Center.
New this year, Hyundai is making it possible for a player’s caddie to win a new car. A first on the PGA Tour, if a player makes a hole in one on the 8th hole he will win a new Hyundai for himself and one for his caddie. The player will win a 2015 Genesis 5.0 and the caddie will win a 2015 Santa Fe Sport.
The winner of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will also receive an Equus or Genesis to drive complimentary for an entire year.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four days of competition with NBC covering the tournament live on Sunday.
The weather forecast for the next four days call for clear, sunny skies and temperatures at 72 degrees daily. The winds are not expected to blow more than 10 mph, switching from the northeast direction the first two days to the southwest over the last 36 holes.
Click here for: Power Rankings Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
OFFICIAL HAWAII PROFESSIONAL GOLF SEASON
Jan. 15-18, 2015
Winner’s Share $1,008,000
Waialae Country Club
Jimmy Walker (D)
TV – Golf Channel
The PGA Tour moves from Maui to Oahu and the beautiful Waialae Country Club for the 2015 Sony Open in Hawaii. With a purse of $5.6 million and a winner’s share $1,008,000, you can be sure that many of the top players will stick around in Hawaii and be joined by other tour members in this first full field event of 2015. In 2014 Jimmy Walker shot a 4-under 66in the final round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to win by one stroke over Chris Kirk. Past champions of this first full-field event for 2015 include Mark Wilson, Ryan Palmer, Zach Johnson, K.J. Choi, Paul Goydos, David Toms, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.
Jan. 23-25, 2015
Hualalai Golf Course
Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii Island
Bernhard Langer (D)
TV – Golf Channel
The Champions Tour comes to the Big Island of Hawaii for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Ka’upulehu-Kona. This is the first event of the Champions Tour 2015 season.
The tournament features an elite field of the past two seasons’ tournament champions and past five years of senior major championship winners.
Bernhard Langer will return to defend his championship and a share of the $1.8 million purse. The winner will receive $307,000.
April 15-18, 2015
Purse: $1,800 ,000
Winner’s Share $255,000 (2014)
Ko Olina Golf Club
Ko Olina Resort & Marina, Ko Olina, Oahu
Michelle Wie (D)
TV – Golf Channel
The LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf, which will be at the Ko Olina Golf Club with a Saturday finish on Oahu, will feature a full field of 144 players and will be televised by Golf Channel.
LOTTE, which is already well recognized as one of the most active golf sponsors of Korea, has achieved successful marketing in Asia through the LOTTE Mart KLPGA Open, the LOTTE Cantata KLPGA Open, the LOTTE Mart Women’s Golf Team and the LOTTE Card Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament. J Golf, the LPGA’s television rights holder in Korea, will serve as presenting sponsor of the event. J Golf is distributed to 8 million homes in Korea.
Hawaii’s own Michelle Wie, coming off her best year as a professional, will return to defend her championship.