Hyundai Tournament of Champions Player Spotlights
Leading up to the start of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, tournament officials are highlighting each of the committed qualifiers for the winners-only event, scheduled to take place Jan. 6-10, 2016 at The Plantation Course in Kapalua.
This installment looks back on 2015 victories by Brandt Snedeker, James Hahn, Padraig Harrington, Alex Cejka and Dustin Johnson.
Brandt Snedeker – 4th Appearance (Best Finish: 3, 2013)
Brandt Snedeker missed out on the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2015 for the first time in four years, but the seven-time PGA TOUR winner is back on the road to Kapalua after capturing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. The former Vanderbilt Commodore began the final round one stroke back of 54-hole leader Jim Furyk, but a third consecutive 67 by Snedeker was enough for a three-stroke triumph and new scoring record of 22-under par. The win was Snedeker’s second on the Monterrey Peninsula after capturing the title in 2013.
James Hahn – First Appearance
It was a long road to his first career PGA TOUR victory, but 34-year-old James Hahn was able to break through in a sudden-death playoff at the Northern Trust Open for his first win. “Speechless. I grew up in northern California, and this is one of the biggest tournaments that, you know, growing up as a kid, I would watch on TV,” Hahn said following his win. “I would watch Tiger Woods, when he debuted as a pro. There are a lot of legends that came through here, and being in the locker room and seeing all the murals and pictures of past legends; and to be able to think that one day, I would be up on that same wall – to me, it’s – I’m speechless.” Hahn was hardly in the conversation as the final round began at Riviera Country Club, but a stellar front nine that included three birdies in tough conditions propelled him toward the top of the leader board, where he eventually finished in a three-way tie with Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson. As the definite underdog in the threesome, Hahn rolled in a clutch birdie at the par-3 11th to capture the win outside Los Angeles.
Padraig Harrington – First Appearance
The six-time PGA TOUR winner and three-time major champion won The Honda Classic on the road to Kapalua in a thrilling playoff against local favorite Daniel Berger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. Harrington had not won on the PGA TOUR since his triumph at the 2008 PGA Championship, but the Irishman returned to PGA National Resort & Spa where he had fond memories of victory having previously won The Honda Classic in 2005. He made the 10-year anniversary one to remember, and will be playing in his first winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Alex Cejka – First Appearance
The 45-year-old German claimed his first PGA TOUR win in his 287th start at the Puerto Rico Open to become the third oldest first-time winner on the PGA TOUR behind Ed Dougherty in 1970 and Ken Duke in 2013. A final-round 69 helped him overcome a two-stroke deficit at Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico, and Cejka eventually prevailed in a five-man playoff by holing a 20-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole to defeat Sam Saunders, Emiliano Grillo, Jon Curran and Tim Petrovic. Cejka’s road to Kapalua was a long one, but he will be in the field at the winners-only event for the first time in January.
Dustin Johnson – 4th Appearance (Best Finish: 1, 2013)
The 2013 winner of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions added another quality win to his resume in 2015, winning the World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship in come-from-behind fashion for his ninth PGA TOUR victory. He entered the final round trailing J.B. Holmes by five strokes before a final-round 3-under 69 led to a one-stroke victory over Holmes, the largest comeback in Cadillac Championship history. The win was Johnson’s second World Golf Championships victory (2013 HSBC Champions), making him one of eight players with at least two wins in the series.
All ticket options are available at online via the PGA Tour website.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions Official Pro-Am is the only Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR that guarantees participants will be paired with a tournament winner. In addition to the rare opportunity to play with PGA TOUR stars, participants also play both courses at one of the most famous stops on TOUR. Individuals interested in the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Pro-Am, can contact Nancy Cross at (808) 665-9160 or [email protected]
All four competitive rounds will be broadcast on Golf Channel.