2015 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Preview Notes

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The PGA Tour, who we all need to thank for making this event possible brings this, the latest and greatest from the horse’s mouth about what is in store for golf fans on January 8-12, 2015.

Where: The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort
City, State: Maui, Hawaii
Par/Yards: 36-37–73/7,452 yards
Field: 34 winners of PGA TOUR events from the 2014 calendar year
2014 champion: Zach Johnson
Purse: $5,700,000
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play (no cut)
Website: PGATOUR.com/Hyundai
Facebook: www.facebook/HyundaiTOC
Twitter: @HyundaiTOC
Instagram: HyundaiTOC

Pre-tournament Interviews

Wednesday, Jan. 7
12 p.m. – Matt Kuchar
1 p.m. – Billy Horschel

Thursday, Jan. 8
Chesson Hadley AM before Pro-Am

Zach Johnson TBD
Hunter Mahan TBD

2014-15 PGA TOUR Storylines
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions marks the eighth official event of the PGA TOUR’s wraparound 2014-15 season schedule.
Year nine of the FedExCup consists of 47 events including the four FedExCup Playoff events.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions field includes winners from the 2014 calendar year, including the seven official events played last fall. The Hyundai event marks the resumption of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR schedule after a seven-week break from official events.

A look at the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Zach Johnson will return to Kapalua after he rallied from two shots behind at the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions for a closing-day 7-under 66. Johnson’s four birdies in a five-hole stretch proved pivotal on the back nine, where five players had a chance to win. His spectacular play on the back nine was enough for a one-shot win over Jordan Spieth.

Breakdown of the 34-player field:
The 34 players in the field have accounted for 100 PGA TOUR wins, led by defending champion Zach Johnson, who has notched 11 victories on the PGA TOUR. Geoff Ogilvy (8), Matt Kuchar (7), Bubba Watson (7) and Hunter Mahan 6) round out the top five.
Winners of six major championships including 2014 Masters champion Bubba Watson. Other major winners include Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Geoff Ogilvy
The field includes three players with multiple wins in the 2014 calendar year:
Bubba Watson – Northern Trust Open, Masters Tournament, World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions
Patrick Reed – Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship
Billy Horschel – BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
Six players who competed in The Ryder Cup 2014 are in the field: Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker.
There are 12 first-time winners in the field – Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, Chesson Hadley (2013-14 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year), Brian Harman, Matt Jones, Ben Martin, Hideki Matsuyama, Seung-Yul Noh, Kevin Stadler, Robert Streb, Nick Taylor, and Brendon Todd.
14 of the top 30 from the 2014 final FedExCup standings.
11 of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including Bubba Watson (4) and Jason Day (8).

A closer look at the field:
Zach Johnson
With 11 career victories, defending champion Zach Johnson has more PGA TOUR wins than any player in the field.
Johnson (2009 Sony Open in Hawaii, 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions) became the ninth player to win each of the PGA TOUR’s Hawaii events at least once: Jim Furyk (1996 Sony Open, 2001 Tournament of Champions), Jack Nicklaus (1974 Sony Open, 1963-64, 1971, 1973, 1977 Tournament of Champions); Lee Trevino (1968 Sony Open, 1981 Tournament of Champions); Lanny Wadkins (1988, 1991 Sony Open, 1982-83 Tournament of Champions); Paul Azinger (1991 Sony Open, 1990 Tournament of Champions); Mark O’Meara (1985 Sony Open, 1996 Tournament of Champions); Ernie Els (2003-04 Sony Open, 2003 Tournament of Champions); Vijay Singh (2005 Sony Open, 2007 Tournament of Champions).
With five top-10 finishes under his belt, including one win, Johnson finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 18 in the FedExCup standings. It marked Johnson’s sixth trip to the FedExCup Playoffs in his career. He owns the course record at East Lake – a 60 carded in the third round of the 2007 event, when he finished T2 for the tournament and seventh in the FedExCup. Last year’s fifth-place FedExCup finish is the best of his career.
This is Johnson’s eighth appearance at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Other than his victory last year, Johnson’s only other top-10 finish was a T6 in 2009.

Bubba Watson
After three wins in the 2014 calendar year (Northern Trust Open and Masters Tournament in 2013-14 season and World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in 2014-15 season), Bubba Watson returns to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions for the fourth time.
Watson moved into the top five in the FedExCup standings with the win at the Northern Trust Open and never fell further than sixth over the course of the season. His final standing of fifth was his career best.
Watson’s triumph at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai was the first World Golf Championships win of his career, and he won it in dramatic fashion. Needing an eagle to force a playoff on the par-5 closing hole in the final round, Watson holed out from a greenside bunker and defeated Tim Clark with a 20-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
One of Watson’s most memorable shots came in the 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions when he hit a driver off the deck on the par-5 18th hole from 305 yards to 10 feet in the first round, which led to an eagle.
Due to his victory at the HSBC Champions, Watson enters the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at No. 4 in the 2014-15 FedExCup standings.

Billy Horschel
To say that Billy Horschel gained momentum towards the end of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season would be an understatement. It would be more accurate to say that Horschel’s road to Kapalua picked up steam like a freight train at the end of the season, as he captured the BMW Championship, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup title to earn his second trip to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Horschel entered the FedExCup Playoffs at No. 69 in the standings, but found his game in Boston at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he contended and finished second. Though he came up short, the confidence returned to his game, and he clicked off two consecutive victories at the final two events of the season.
This will be Horschel’s second start in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, as he played in last year’s event after winning the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans — he finished tied for sixth.
To add drama to his FedExCup victory, Horschel’s wife Brittany was expected to go into labor at any moment. But all ended well, and she gave birth to the couple’s first child, daughter Skylar, the next week.
Horschel is an avid Florida Gators fan and can often be seen sporting blue and orange. He even did the Gator “chomp” on the green at East Lake following his victory.

Matt Kuchar
The most consistent player on the PGA TOUR over the last five years, Kuchar made 22 cuts in 24 starts in the 2013-2014 season including 11 top-10 finishes and his seventh career victory at the RBC Hertiage.
Since missing the cut at the 2010 PLAYERS Championship, Kuchar has made 78 of 81 cuts on the PGA TOUR and has more top-10 finishes than any other player on the PGA TOUR over that period. Since the start of the 2010 season, Kuchar has 48 top-10 finishes.
Kuchar entered the final round of the RBC Heritage on the road to Kapalua trailing fellow Luke Donald by four strokes but stormed out of the gate with a 6-under 30 on the front nine en route to a 7-under 64 and one stroke-win over Donald. It was a range of emotions for the veteran on the final two holes. After appearing on the verge of building a two-stroke lead on the 17th hole, he three-putted from 4-feet, 3-inches to drop into a tie at 10-under, with Donald. On the par-4 18th hole, he then holed a 56-foot, 7-inch bunker shot for a birdie-3 to move back to 11-under for the eventual one-shot win.
This will be Kuchar’s sixth trip to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He has finished in the top 10 in four of his five previous appearances including a third-place finish in 2010.

Jason Day
Jason Day was able to overcome a left thumb injury to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play over Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in extra holes, earning him his second trip to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and first since 2011, when he tied for ninth.
The championship match in the Cadillac Match Play was one of the most memorable rounds on the PGA TOUR during the 2014 calendar year, as Dubuisson orchestrated a comeback and made two miraculous par saves from the cacti before eventually losing to Day on the 23rd hole.
Day has five top-five finishes in major championships, including a couple of runner-ups at the Masters.
He enters the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, one of two players in the field in the top 10 (Bubba Watson-4th).

Geoff Ogilvy
After struggling through an inconsistent and disappointing 2014, two-time Hyundai Tournament of Champions winner Geoff Ogilvy came very close to skipping the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada. After deciding to play, the 37-year-old Australian capitalized on a five-point eagle on the 13th hole (the tournament utilizes the modified Stableford scoring system) to pull away for his eighth career PGA TOUR victory and his first since the 2010 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
This is Ogilvy’s fifth career trip to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions; he won back-to-back titles at the Plantation Course in 2009 and 2010.
Ogilvy is one of four major championship winners in the field (Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Angel Cabrera).
He joins Steven Bowditch, Jason Day, John Senden, Matt Jones as one of five Australians in the field.

Full field list:

Sang-Moon Bae
Steven Bowditch
Angel Cabrera
Tim Clark
Ben Crane
Jason Day
Matt Every
Chesson Hadley
Brian Harman
Russell Henley
Charley Hoffman
J.B. Holmes
Billy Horschel
Zach Johnson
Matt Jones
Chris Kirk
Matt Kuchar
Hunter Mahan
Ben Martin
Hideki Matsuyama
Ryan Moore
Seung-Yul Noh
Geoff Ogilvy
Patrick Reed
John Senden
Kevin Stadler
Scott Stallings
Robert Streb
Kevin Streelman
Nick Taylor
Brendon Todd
Camilo Villegas
Jimmy Walker
Bubba Watson

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