Tournament of Champions 2013: Why Tiger Woods Really Needed to Play in Kapalua
The PGA Tour’s season-opening Tournament of Champions, played at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, is hardly what its grandiose name suggests. Golf’s first event of 2013 is lacking in star power.
In the Champions’ rather cozy field of 30 Tour pros, just three of the participating golfers are in the top 10 of the current Official World Golf Rankings, and none of the world’s top seven golfers are present. The highest-ranking competitors include Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker, but the absence of Tiger Woods, RoryMcIlroy and even Luke Donald definitely hurts.
Aside from stating the obvious—that the tournament’s wow-factor would be higher with TW in there—we’re going to explore a key reason why Tiger should have played in Kapalua.
How many majors will Tiger Woods win in 2013?
Michael Collins: One. He’ll win the U.S. Open at Merion. It will be ironic that a guy known for bombing tee shots wildly on the weekend will win playing a precision game from tee to green.
Farrell Evans: One. Tiger always raises his game at the majors. But it will be difficult to win more than one in 2013 because of the great depth in the fields.
Bob Harig: One. I like his chances at Muirfield, the place where he took Grand Slam hopes in 2002 before a third-round 81 — still his highest as a pro — in some of the most brutal weather imaginable.
Kevin Maguire: One. I’ll pencil him in for a win at Merion in the U.S. Open. The combination of a shorter-than-usual major venue with the historic nature of a course such as Merion will give Woods all the motivation he needs to get back into the major win column.
Which will be the higher number, Tiger’s missed cuts in 2013 or his major victories?
Michael Collins: Missed cuts. He’ll miss two cuts this year and win one major. One of his MCs will be at a major and the other will be at a regular tour stop.
Farrell Evans: Missed cuts. Tiger will have more missed cuts than major wins because it’s much more likely that he’ll have two bad rounds and miss a cut than it is for him to have four great days at a major. His poor performances in 2012 on the weekends in the majors illustrate this point.
Bob Harig: The number will be the same, one. Woods has missed only nine cuts total in his career, but two came in 2012. The view here is that he’ll miss one somewhere in 2013.
Kevin Maguire: Missed cuts. Two weekends off seems like a real possibility. Woods has had at least one MC each year since 2009, including a pair in 2012. With one major win prediction — at the U.S. Open — he’ll come up one short.
Fact or fiction: At season’s end, Woods will be the PGA Tour player of the year.
Michael Collins: Fiction. Rory McIlroy is going to do it again. But it will be close this time because Tiger will contend for the FedEx Cup.
Farrell Evans: Fact. If Tiger stays healthy, he will outplay Rory McIlroy to win his 11th player of the year award.
Bob Harig: Fiction. In a close call, he’ll lose out to McIlroy, who has the same number of majors, same number of worldwide victories. If it really works out that way, we’re in for an incredible year.
Kevin Maguire: Fiction. Tiger used to own the award, but hasn’t taken home that hardware since his off-the-course scandal. It won’t be impossible for him to win it, but the parity at the top of the game these days probably will prevent it from happening.
5 Golfers Who Can Challenge Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in 2013
Bubba Watson is one of the most charismatic golfers on the tour as well as one of its biggest hitters.
Watson won the Masters last year and in the weeks leading up to the first major, he was playing his best golf of the season. In the three events he entered prior to the Masters, Watson finished second in the World Golf Championships, second in the Tavistock Cup and fourth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational…
Jason Dufner is not the kind of golfer who you are going to look for if you happen to attend a PGA tour event.
At least not on Thursday or Friday. However, if you are there on moving day or Sunday, you just may want to know where Dufner is because he will likely be one of the contenders…
Justin Rose has shown that he can play well on the PGA tour whenever he comes over from Europe to take on the best golfers in the world…
He won just under $4.3 million last season, won one tournament and finished in the top 10 eight times. Few would argue that Rose does not have one of the most picture-perfect swings on the tour…
Keegan Bradley is not about to take his success on the tour lightly.
Golf fans saw just how excited Bradley can get during the Ryder Cup when he was teamed with Phil Mickelson in the first two days of the competition and the pair rolled to three victories against their European rivals…
Donald did not have a bad year in 2012, but his winnings fell to just over $3.5 million.
Donald has shown he is capable of getting to the top spot and the 35-year-old Evanston, Ill. resident (by way of Hermel Hempstead, England) has more than enough ability to get back to the top…