Maui Sports

Countdown to Kapalua: 35 PGA TOUR Winners Qualify for Maui

November 10, 2017, 11:37 AM HST
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There’s just two events remaining for golfers to play their way into the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui.  Already, 35 PGA TOUR winners have qualified courtesy of victories in the 2017 calendar year.

Kapalua’s Plantation golf course, hosting the PGA’s Tournament of Champions January 4 to 8, 2017. Maui Now photo.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions returns to The Plantation Course at Kapalua from January 3-7, 2018.  The winners-only tournament celebrates its 20th year on Maui along with a new chapter in the tournament’s history with Sentry Insurance as the new title sponsor.

Through six events in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season, five new players have qualified for the winners-only field including two first-timers – Ryan Armour and Patrick Cantlay.
Safeway Open: Brendan Steele began the 2017-18 season exactly the way he started the previous one, winning the Safeway Open for his third career PGA TOUR victory. In his second start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions a year ago, the 34-year-old finished T6. After finishing 33rd in the FedExCup standings a year ago to narrowly miss a spot in the field at the TOUR Championship, Steele is hoping to avenge his missed opportunity a year ago with a strong early start to the FedExCup season.
CIMB Classic: Despite being the self-proclaimed “last guy that expected to win this week,” Pat Perez did exactly that at the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur, winning by four shots over Keegan Bradley. The 41-year-old enjoyed a banner 2016-17 season, finishing 15th in the final FedExCup standings and earning a spot in the TOUR Championship for the first time. With his third career victory in Malaysia, Perez secured the opportunity to return to the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he finished T3 a year ago.
“I was in all the other tournaments anyway. The [Sentry Tournament of Champions] I wanted to get back to,” Perez said following his win. “I just told my caddie, because we had a long break we were going to take after the Shark Shootout, but we’ve got to change those plans now, which I will not be upset about. I’m just very excited.”
THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES: Justin Thomas, the 2017 FedExCup champion, didn’t have to wait long for his first win of the 2017-18 season, winning in only his second start of the season at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES for his seventh career victory. The 24-year-old birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Marc Leishman and climb into his highest ever spot in the Official World Golf Ranking at No. 3. A year ago in Maui, Thomas started the new year off with a bang, winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions by three shots over Hideki Matsuyama for his first of five victories in the calendar year.
World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions: Starting the final round eight shots behind Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose tied the largest final round comeback in PGA TOUR history with a final-round 67 to win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. Rose, who admitted he was playing for second heading into the round, birdied three of his last five holes to qualify for the Sentry Tournament of Champions with his eighth career PGA TOUR victory.
Sanderson Farms Championship: Just a month after advancing through the Tour Finals to return to the PGA TOUR, Ryan Armour is on his way to Kapalua after winning the Sanderson Farms Championship by five shots. The 41-year-old’s first career PGA TOUR victory came in his 105th career start, sending him to Maui and the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first time. The career journeyman, who made only one PGA TOUR start from 2009-2014, is now exempt on the PGA TOUR through 2020 after finishing 159th in the FedExCup standings a year ago.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open: Patrick Cantlay qualified for the Tournament of Champions with his first career PGA TOUR victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, defeating Alex Cejka and Whee Kim with a par on the second playoff hole. The 25-year-old had missed the better part of the three years with a back injury before a strong return last season with four top-10s and a spot in the TOUR Championship in just 12 PGA TOUR starts.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui offers a variety of opportunities to get involved and up close with some of the game’s biggest stars that have qualified for the event, such as defending champion and reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.
A variety of ticket packages are now on sale, including good-any-one-day tickets, daily tickets and weekly tickets. Clubhouse packages are also still available, both in weekly and daily tickets. Fans are reminded that each year, youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge to the tournament when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
All four competitive rounds will be broadcast on Golf Channel.

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