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Kuchar, Johnson, Haas commit to Kapalua, other big names don't

December 27, 2012 - Robert Collias
Here is the lead to a press release I received from the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Wednesday:

Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii — Matt Kuchar, winner of THE PLAYERS Championship in 2012, has recently committed to play at the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at The Plantation Course at Kapalua, January 3-7, 2013. Kuchar is joined by fellow Ryder Cup team member, Dustin Johnson, and 2010 FedExCup Champion, Bill Haas.

"It is our pleasure to welcome Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Bill Haas back to Kapalua for the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions," said Executive Director Nancy Cross. "These three players are great additions to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions field and will bring excitement to Kapalua as we kickoff the 2013 FedExCup season on the PGA TOUR."

The TOC field is taking shape, as we reported last week. Defending champion Steve Stricker will be a favorite again in my eyes. Stricker also notes there will be a different feeling with the TOC being the PGA Tour kickoff event for the final time, next week.

On a somewhat disappointing note, we have confirmed that Tiger Woods, currently ranked third in the Official World Golf Rankings, will not be among the final list of entrants when the deadline to commit to the field happens at noon HST on Friday. Others who will not be here include 17th-ranked Phil Mickelson, and No. 1 Rory McIlroy, neither one a surprise. No. 2 Luke Donald and No. 4 Justin Rose will also not be in the field.

A couple of notable surprises who will also not be here are former champions Sergio Garcia and — in an absolute shocker — Ernie Els. Els simply loves the Plantation Course, where he set a PGA Tour-record 31-under-par score in 2003.

With fifth-ranked Adam Scott, No. 6 Louis Oosthuizen and No. 7 Lee Westwood not eligible — they didn't win a PGA Tour event in 2012, a requirement to be in this field — the top-ranked player to be here will be No. 8 Bubba Watson.

One season after six players eligible to play here who were ranked in the top 10 skipped the event, this time around four will — and they just happen to be the top four in the world.


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