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The 2013 Opener: Hyundai Tournament of Champions

hyundai tournament of champ kapalua 2013 pga tour

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

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The 2013 Opener: Hyundai Tournament of Champions
By Ben Alberstadt
GolfWRX Contributor

The 2013 PGA Tour season gets started in its customary fashion with last year's winners facing the enviable task of four rounds of golf in Hawaii at the beginning of January. Last year, Steve Stricker strung together four consecutive rounds in the 60's and survived early final round blunders secure victory.

For golf fans, the opportunity to watch golf in primetime (in an enhanced format this year, no less) and to see top golfers competing at beautiful Kapaula is a welcome departure from snow and off-season speculation.

The Course

The Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, and opened for play in 1991. It's a par 73, measuring 7,411 yards. Historically, Kapalua's Plantation Course is one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour, with the winner often reaching 20-under-par.

Field Notes

The field is limited to tournament winners from 2012.

FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, Masters winner Bubba Watson and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson are the most notable. Ian Poulter, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner and last year's winner, Steve Stricker, are also competing.

Sixteen players from the top 30 in last year’s final FedExCup standings are participating, the most since the advent of the FedExCup, and one-third of the field is under the age of 30.

Story lines

As the PGA Tour recently announced, “NBC’s award winning golf production team will be coming to Kapalua this year led by Producer Tommy Roy, co-producer Tom Randolph and Director Doug Grabert.” Additionally, there will be “Sunday Night Football Style” player introductions -- no word on whether Faith Hill is recording a theme song for the event.
Young Players are Winning, and thus playing at Kapalua

Players younger than 30 claimed 19 victories on tour last year. Overall, 15 of the 37 winners on the PGA Tour last year were 30 or younger. Kyle Stanley, Bill Haas, Hunter Mahan, John Huh, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Ted Potter, Jr. and Scott Stallings, Keegan Bradley, Ryan Moore, Jonas Blixt, and Charlie Beljan all won last year and will be at Kapalua this week.
Short Game Wins at Kapalua

No surprise here. The PGA Tour’s “Tour Report” recently said that the key to victory at Kapalua is putting:


“Four of the last seven Hyundai Tournament of Champion winners have led the field for scrambling en route to their respective victories....Three of the last five winners have led the field for putts gained....Seven of the last nine winners have either ranked first or second for strokes gained-putting.”


Numbers of Note

72-hole record: 261, Ernie Els (2003). 18-hole record: 62, K.J. Choi (3rd round, 2003), Graeme McDowell (4th round, 2011).
500 FedEx Cup Points awarded. Purse: 5.7 million

Last Year

Steve Stricker shot a blistering second-round 63 to propel him to the front of the pack. Although he faltered over the succeeding two days, he was able to hold off Martin Laird of Scotland in the final round, finishing at 23-under for his first career win at the Tournament of Champions. The win was Stricker's ninth victory after the age of 40.

T.V. Times

Friday-Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m. EST (Golf Channel)
Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (NBC), 6-10 p.m. (Golf Channel)
Monday, 4-8 p.m. (Golf Channel)


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#2 KPH808

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

Looking forward to it.
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#3 Password Is Taco

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

QUICK HELP - WHO DO I BET ON???

My new years resolution is to gamble on every PGA Tour event.  I was thinking Kuchar (+1200) because he said he really didn't have much of an off season.  DJ (+1000) said something similar and the long ball comes in handy at Kapalua.

Who should I bet on?

#4 Yosef

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

So glad the new season is about to start! May be old news but I saw Team Titleist tweeted a pic of Webb with AP2s this week.

#5 pcirelli

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

Nick needs to freshen up on his interview skills. He was asked what advantage Nike gives him over his old equipment (Titleist) and he didn't even answer the question. I'm a fan of Watney but he prob should have just told the the truth that he didn't leave Titleist for better equipment. Posted Image
-Pete

Edited by pcirelli, 03 January 2013 - 09:37 PM.


#6 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:46 PM

I'd be betting on dufner.   Wish this tournament included last two years champions. Would make for slightly better and larger field.

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#7 scotee

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

Can we combine the duplicate threads please? (asking politely) Or post Bens fine article as a closed stand alone or post it in the established thread? The dups. make posting and reading confussing.

#8 ProjectX

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

View PostPassword Is Taco, on 03 January 2013 - 09:11 PM, said:

QUICK HELP - WHO DO I BET ON???

My new years resolution is to gamble on every PGA Tour event.  I was thinking Kuchar (+1200) because he said he really didn't have much of an off season.  DJ (+1000) said something similar and the long ball comes in handy at Kapalua.

Who should I bet on?

Stricker has a 2nd, T4, T10 and a Win in his starts here. Gotta ride that kind of a hot streak especially since there have been multiple repeat winners at this event in the past. Don't go for length, if you look at past champions you can almost guarantee it won't be a bomber that wins this week.
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#9 Rwhjr3

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

Their going to have to call it a day.  That weather is horrible.  You see the wind?!?!

#10 Silzildrummer

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

Unfortunate break for Kuchar there in the bunker.

Yikes, these conditions look like fun...


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#11 ZINC68

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Where are you guys watching this, thought it wasn't on tv until 5cst?

#12 Sean2

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

4 club wind on some shots. What a way to start the season.
Hey...be nice.

#13 Jim Clark

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

View Postscotee, on 04 January 2013 - 02:19 PM, said:

Can we combine the duplicate threads please? (asking politely) Or post Bens fine article as a closed stand alone or post it in the established thread? The dups. make posting and reading confussing.

Agree, please combine the threads.

#14 gregcindyh

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

View Postpcirelli, on 03 January 2013 - 09:37 PM, said:

Nick needs to freshen up on his interview skills. He was asked what advantage Nike gives him over his old equipment (Titleist) and he didn't even answer the question. I'm a fan of Watney but he prob should have just told the the truth that he didn't leave Titleist for better equipment. Posted Image -Pete

Nick is a stand up guy...you won't hear him trash talking.
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