Hyundai Tournament Of Champions 2012 Preview: Gary Woodland Seems To Be Favorite

The first event of the PGA Tour tees off this weekend as the world's top golfers head to Maui for the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions tees off this weekend as the PGA Tour begins its new season in Maui at the Plantation Golf Course in Kapalua. The Hyundai-sponsored event is worth 500 points in the FedEx Cup and has a $5.6 million purse with the winner being able to take home $1,120,000 if he's able to perform well in Hawaii.

Jonathan Byrd -- last season's champion -- is in the field, but the experts have seemingly decided that the first event of the season will belong to Gary Woodland. Rob Bolton, PGATour.com's fantasy expert, put Woodland at the top of his power rankings simply because the course seems to fit Woodland's style:

Given his power and precision, he could turn Kapalua into a personal playground. Ranked 12th in greens hit in 2011; also 13th in birdie average and 14th in adjusted scoring. Posted top-20s in seven of his last 10 starts worldwide.

The experts also picked Woodland, for the most part, though Brian Wacker and Lauren Deason both gave Byrd a fighting chance to defend his title.

For starters, he's the defending champion so he knows how to play well at Kapalua. For another, he's performed well at times in the past with a tie for sixth in 2003 (not to mention some good rounds in a couple of other top-15 finishes).

For more on the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, head over to the PGA Tour website. For more golf coverage, head over to Waggle Room and check out SB Nation's golf hub.

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