The 2012 PGA Tour Season kicks off this week on the sun drenched side hills of the Kapalua Plantation course in Maui with the playing of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. This is a limited field event of the winners from last year’s PGA sanctioned events.
Good news is, this is a marvelous visual venue for golf. If you are stuck in the grip of winter on the mainland the Golf Channel broadcast of this event in prime time each night will warm the cockles of your heart. Broadcasts are Friday through Monday from 5:30 to 10pm ET.
The bad news is, 11 of the champions eligible for this event will be home snowboarding, surfing, or watching the event from the comfort of their couch. Missing from the action include (3) major champions-Schwartzel, McIlroy, and Clarke, (3) WGC event winners-Donald, Scott, and Kaymer, and (2) FedEx Playoff event winners-Johnson and Rose.
The absence of highly ranked players from this event is a continuing trend. Mickelson has not played since 2001 and Tiger last played here in 2005. Clearly the extended world golf season until early December and the plethora of rich events through the calendar year make the lure of this season opening event much less than it used to be.
Having said that, this is one incredible golf course to see in HD and the elevation changes on the last two holes will offer you some 400 + yard drives to behold. If the choice is a another silly bowl game or some second rate college hoops I recommend the clicker lands on this broadcast from sunny Hawaii.