Power Rankings: Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
January 13, 2020
By Bret Lasky, PGATOUR.COM
- January 13, 2020
- Scott McCarron starts the season looking for his first win at Hualalai. (Getty Images)
Jeff Maggert's shot heard around the golf world to win the 2019 Schwab Cup Championship and cap an incredible season is now 64 days old. The shot was incredibly significant as Maggert won in walk-off fashion, but also shifted the season-long Schwab Cup trophy to McCarron, who had to sweat out the tense moments watching in the player area. If Retief Goosen had won the playoff, he would have won the Schwab Cup.
What a season it was.
Now, it's onto 2020. As always, the season opens in beautiful Kona, Hawaii for the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, a 36-player field comprised of recent winners.
In addition to McCarron, Goosen, Maggert, Jerry Kelly and the rest of the stars of PGA TOUR Champions, Ernie Els will grab a lot of the spotlight as he makes his much-anticipated PGA TOUR Champions debut after turning 50 in October of 2019. The 19-time PGA TOUR winner just finished a well-received captaincy at the Presidents Cup.
The MEC at Hualalai is a long-standing event that dates back to 1984. It moved to Hualalai Golf Club in 1997. Hale Irwin won that year and is in the field this year. Irwin is making his 25th straight start in the event.
Last year, Tom Lehman scratched and crawled to secure a one-stroke win over David Toms, who made an untimely bogey on the 54th hole. Lehman turned in consecutive rounds of bogey-free 65 to clip Toms for his first title at Hualalai.
"As a competitor, you don't want to win that way. Honestly, you don't," Lehman said about a year ago. "You love winning. I'm not going to give the trophy back, but you would rather make a putt than have somebody miss a putt. So I felt bad for him because I thought he played extremely well."
In the long history of the event, the last player to successfully defend was Al Geiberger in 1992 and 1993. Nobody has defended since the tournament moved to Hualalai in 1997.
Here is a look at the first Power Rankings of the season.