Tournament of Champions Preview

Preview of the first PGA Tour tournament of the year

Golf Ball

The Tournament of Champions kicks off the PGA Tour action in 2020 when it takes place at Kapalua in Hawaii from January 2-5.

Xander Schauffele 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, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are also on the roll of honour.

Kapalua Plantation Course Guide

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

Four former winners are among the select field who will tee it up at Kapalua for the first PGA Tour event of 2020.

They include defending champion Schauffele, two-time winner Johnson who triumphed in 2013 and 2018, the 2015 victor Patrick Reed and 2017 winner Thomas.

Two major names will be missing, however, after Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy opted against taking part and beginning their 2020 campaigns in the Tournament of Champions.

READ: McIlroy named PGA Tour Player of the Year.

Jon Rahm, who was runner-up to Thomas in the 2017 edition, is the pre-tournament favourite. Second in the betting is Thomas followed by Johnson and Schauffele.

Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, who was runner-up behind Schauffele last year, and Matt Kuchar are other big names who will be looking to make a wining start to the new year.

Selections:

Dustin Johnson (EW)
Patrick Reed (EW)

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