Field set for Hyundai Tournament of Championstext sizeDecember 30, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
KAPALUA, HI -- The field for the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions will include 28 champions of a combined 34 PGA TOUR events from 2011 who will compete for the first 2012 PGA TOUR title as the FedExCup regular season kicks off January 5-9 at The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort.
"The Hyundai Tournament of Champions has a world-class field with 28 champions from the 2011 PGA TOUR season. The field includes an interesting continuation of what happened on TOUR in 2011, with established veteran players like Steve Stricker, THE PLAYERS champion K.J. Choi and David Toms playing at Kapalua. The Hyundai Tournament of Champions will also host a number of players who emerged in 2011 and captured the imagination of our fans with compelling performances on big stages," said Tournament Director Nancy Cross.
Young stars in the Hyundai field include FedExCup champion Bill Haas, PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and major champion (PGA Championship) Keegan Bradley, and multiple 2011 tournament winners Webb Simpson and Nick Watney.
Of the players in the field, 13 won events in 2011 while they were still in their 20s accounting for 15 victories.
Five of the record six rookies who accounted for seven victories in 2011 will tee it up at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions: Jhonattan Vegas (Bob Hope Classic); Brendan Steele (Valero Texas Open); Chris Kirk (Viking Classic); Scott Stallings (The Greenbrier Classic); and Keegan Bradley (HP Byron Nelson Championship and PGA Championship).
Twelve of the 14 first-time winners on the PGA TOUR in 2011 are in the field.
Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, K.J. Choi, David Toms and Mark Wilson are among the veteran contingent. These five (Stricker/11 -- Choi/8 -- Toms/13 - Wilson/4 - Watson/3) have combined for a total of 39 TOUR wins and all but Wilson were members of their respective Presidents Cup teams in November.
Sticker will be playing in the event for the sixth time and the fourth since 2008 when he recorded his best finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions - a playoff-loss to Daniel Chopra. Stricker, who won at the Memorial Tournament and the John Deere Classic, is one of six players in the field who won multiple times on the PGA TOUR in 2011.
Watson won twice in 2011 with both wins coming down to the wire. His victory at the Farmer's Insurance Open came after a sensational up and down on the 18th hole for birdie before watching Phil Mickelson's attempt for birdie from the fairway to tie for the lead finish just short of the hole. Watson's second win of 2011 came in a playoff with Webb Simpson at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Watson had one of the more memorable shots in Hyundai Tournament of Champions history when he carved a driver off the fairway that reached the green in two on the par 5 18th hole.
Choi is also playing in his sixth Hyundai Tournament of Champions and also has a runner-up finish, when he finished T2 in 2003 to Ernie Els. Choi defeated fellow veteran David Toms in a playoff at the famous island-green 17th hole at THE PLAYERS to qualify for this year's field.
Of the players in the field, David Toms, 45, has the most top-10 finishes at this event (4). Toms 13 career PGA TOUR victories are the most of any player in the field this week. Following his disheartening playoff-loss to Choi at TPC Sawgrass, Toms showed incredible resolve by winning the next week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. He will be playing in the event for the eighth time in his career, but his first since 2007. Toms' best finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is a runner-up finish in 2002.
Mark Wilson may have been the best player on TOUR for a portion of the early 2011 season with victories at the Sony Open in Hawaii and the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Wilson will be making his third trip to Kapalua
The field includes six of the seven multiple winners from 2011 (Bradley, Simpson, Stricker, Watney, Watson and Wilson)
Final Field Aaron Baddeley Keegan Bradley Michael Bradley Jonathan Byrd K.J. Choi Ben Crane Harrison Frazar Lucas Glover Bill Haas Chris Kirk Martin Laird Bryce Molder Kevin Na Sean O'Hair Scott Piercy D.A. Points Rory Sabbatini Webb Simpson Scott Stallings Brendan Steele Steve Stricker David Toms Jhonattan Vegas Johnson Wagner Nick Watney Bubba Watson Mark Wilson Gary Woodland
Keegan Bradley - HP Byron Nelson Championship, PGA Championship Webb Simpson - Wyndham Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship Steve Stricker - the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance Nick Watney - World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, AT&T National Bubba Watson - Farmers Insurance Open, Zurich Classic of New Orleans Mark Wilson - Sony Open in Hawaii, Waste Management Phoenix Open