The event is only open to those who won a PGA Tour event in 2012, providing the perfect opportunity for the 30 players in the field to start 2013 in style.
Once again, the tournament returns to the 7,411 yard Plantation Course at Kapalua, but prevailing winds and undulations mean drives in excess of 400 yards are relatively commonplace.
The average wining total over the past three years is 23-under-par, with Steve Stricker shooting a final-round 69 last year to win by three from Scotland’s Martin Laird.
He is in the field again this year, but the likes of Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter will make defending his title an unenviable task.
Dustin Johnson, at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, should feature prominently this week. He returned four top-10 finishes at the back end of 2012 and should have no rust issues after a relatively busy off-season. His length from the tee should set up numerous birdie opportunities, and the wide fairways and lack of rough will suit his somewhat erratic driving. He was eighth on the PGA Tour in Scoring Average last season and 12th in the All-Around, and will be confident returning to a course where he has notched three top-16 finishes in his last three starts.
Rickie Fowler, at 20/1 with Labrokes, is worth considering this week. Granted, debutants don’t traditionally fare well at Kapalua, but the young American has all the attributes to succeed around this golf course. His combination of long, straight driving and solid putting should stand him in good stead this week, and he’ll be desperate to start the season with aplomb after a relatively lacklustre end to 2012.
Mark Wilson, at 66/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good each way bet this week. He isn’t the biggest hitter in the world, but someone with course experience and past success in Hawaii is worth considering at such long odds. Wilson is renowned for his early season from, as he showed when winning the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2011. He finished last season with a top 10 at the McGladreys Classic and, as Stricker showed last year, length isn’t a prerequisite to success at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions advised bets:
4pts each way on Dustin Johnson at 14/1 with Ladbrokes
3pts each way on Rickie Fowler at 20/1 with Ladbrokes
3pts each way on Mark Wilson at 66/1 with Ladbrokes