Got the post-holiday blahs? Cheer up, friends: You can forget about the winter blues for a bit when the 2015 PGA Tour heads to Hawaii for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
A Winning-pros Tourney to Start the Year
Founded in 1953, the Tournament of Champions is exactly what the name suggests: Only players who won a tournament during the previous year’s Tour may compete.
Until 2013, the tournament also held the prestigious position as the PGA Tour opener. When the tour switched to an October−September season, the Tournament of Champions had to settle for being the opening game of the calendar year instead (still not a bad distinction, if you ask us!).
Top Tournament of Champions Fun Facts
The tournament has been held in multiple venues over the years, but its home has been the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Kapalua, Hawaii, since 1999. The course features dramatic elevation changes and each hole showcases the natural beauty of the ocean and mountains that surround it.
Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most Tournament of Champions wins. Between 1963 and 1977, he won it an astonishing 5 times. Yet while Nicklaus may have the most wins, best score honors go to Ernie Els. In 2003, he finished his game with a score of 261—that’s 31 under par!
Our favorite shot from this tournament, though, came from Bubba Watson in 2011. His 305-yard driver shot off the deck got him within 10 feet of the cup on his second swing. He was able to complete the hole on his next putt, earning him an eagle on this par-5 hole.
For those of you who need a refresher, last year’s tournament winner was Zach Johnson. Johnson put his wedge to good use to earn four birdies over a five-hole stretch. That gave him just enough of an advantage to edge out his closest competitor—Jordan Spieth, currently the #9 golfer worldwide—by a total of one stroke.
Who will emerge victorious this year? Tune in January 5−12 to find out! And if the excitement of the tournament makes you want to head to the green to show off your own skills, remember to stock up on balls from Lost Golf Balls.