This event is exciting every year, because it represents the start of a new season. But it is frequently less than it could be, too, because of the notable absences.
Only golfers who won on the PGA Tour the previous year are eligible to play. In recent years, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have skipped the tournament. Both are absent this time, too.
But also missing are Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia.
Still, the Hyundai Tournament of Champion does tee off the 2013 season, and does include the likes of Bubba Watson and Jason Dufner, Ian Poulter and Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson. Thirty players in all are entered.
Note that this tournament begins on Friday and ends on Monday. Also note that it opens a year filled with significant changes for the PGA Tour:
- The changing format of the schedule. What used to be the "Fall Series" will, in 2013, be the opening portion of the following (2013-14) season.
- The Web.com Finals replaces Q-School for awarding tour cards for the following year.
- And perhaps we'll begin seeing golfers preparing for the coming ban on anchoring of putters, maybe with new putters, maybe with new putting styles.
2013 PGA Tour Schedule