The PGA Tour will wrap its first event of the 2014 season on Monday night, finishing off the annual Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Maui. The Tour has pushed this event to a Monday finish in recent years, trying to avoid a head-to-head matchup with the NFL playoffs.
Those plans were significantly altered last year, when unrelenting high winds made conditions unplayable at Kapalua and forced a 54-hole two-day jaunt to finish things on a Tuesday. There have been no weather-related issues this year, however, and things are on schedule to wrap up Monday evening just before kickoff in the national title game between Auburn and Florida State.
While it's a limited field event, the TOC at Kapalua is a "winners only" tourney with the champions from the prior season's slate only getting entry. The biggest names -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson -- have removed the trip to Hawaii from their annual schedule, but it's still a pretty stacked and small field. And the best names are all in contention, including the trio of co-leaders, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, and 20-year old phenom Jordan Spieth. Zach Johnson, the 36-hole leader, rounds out the final four in the last two pairings. Zach has been the most consistent American player in the world, but he was off form on Sunday and came back to the field with a 1-over round of 73, opening the door for the three others.
In addition to those last two pairings, Jason Dufner, Brandt Snedeker, and Adam Scott are also within striking distance and could make a run on a Plantation Course that is susceptible to low-60s rounds. So yes, there is no Tiger or Phil, but there are some world-class names and the course scenery, for me, is enough to watch while we all freeze back in the eastern U.S. and before we settle in for title game in Pasadena.
Here's the tee sheet for the final round of the Tour's first event of 2014 (all times ET):
|1:40 p.m.||Points, D.A.||Ernst, Derek|
|1:50 p.m.||Weekley, Boo||Merrick, John|
|2:00 p.m.||Henley, Russell||Blixt, Jonas|
|2:10 p.m.||Laird, Martin||Bae, Sang-Moon|
|2:20 p.m.||Walker, Jimmy||Haas, Bill|
|2:30 p.m.||Brown, Scott||Horschel, Billy|
|2:40 p.m.||English, Harris||Kuchar, Matt|
|2:50 p.m.||Thompson, Michael||Gay, Brian|
|3:00 p.m.||Duke, Ken||Moore, Ryan|
|3:10 p.m.||Scott, Adam||Austin, Woody|
|3:20 p.m.||Reed, Patrick||Kirk, Chris|
|3:30 p.m.||Snedeker, Brandt||Streelman, Kevin|
|3:40 p.m.||Woodland, Gary||Dufner, Jason|
|3:50 p.m.||Johnson, Dustin||Johnson, Zach|
|4:00 p.m.||Simpson, Webb||Spieth, Jordan|