Tournament of Champions Preview

Golf Ball

The Tournament of Champions kicks off the PGA Tour action in 2018 when it takes place at Kapalua in Hawaii from January 4-7.

Justin Thomas is the defending champion of the event, which sees the winners of PGA Tour events from the previous calendar year usher in the new year by going head-to-head.

Tournament of Champions History

The Tournament of Champions was first held in 1953 and has always started the golf action at the beginning of each year. It previously started each PGA Tour season before the schedule was changed to run from October to September each year in 2013.

Now the Tournament of Champions begins the calendar year and is restricted to only those golfers who won a tournament on the PGA Tour the previous year.

It has been won by some of golf’s biggest names with Jack Nicklaus the most successful with five victories. The names of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth are also on the roll of honour.

Tournament of Champions Course

The Tournament of Champions has been held at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the island Maui in Hawaii since 1999. Previously it was staged in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Carlsbad, California.

Sitting in the West Maui Mountains, the Plantation Course is a par-73 measuring 7,452 yards favoured by big hitters thanks to the wide fairways on offer. The contenders face five par-5s and three par-3s to create the unusual par-73.

The course record is 62, an 11-under total achieved by four golfers in history, the most recent being Jason Day and Chris Kirk.

Tournament of Champions Contenders

After a memorable 2017 season in which he not only won the Tournament of Champions but also triumphed for a first major in the USPGA Championship and was crowned FedEx Cup champion, Justin Thomas will attempt to start 2018 by defending his title in Hawaii.

Thomas won last year with a total of 22-under and will be one of three former winners of the event lining up this year. Jordan Spieth, the 2016 winner who added another major to his CV with Open Championship success last year, and 2013 champion Dustin Johnson will also be part of the line-up this year.

That means the world’s top three ranked golfers will make it a star-studded start to the PGA Tour action for 2018.

Last year’s runner-up Hideki Matsuyama is another of the leading contenders along with Rickie Fowler, who signed off his 2017 campaign with victory in the Hero World Challenge.

Jon Rahm, last year’s US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Leishman are other top names teeing it up in Hawaii.

%d bloggers like this: