An elite field of 18 players will tee it up this week at Sherwood Country Club in California for the 12th running of the Chevron World Challenge. Jim Furyk defends the title and tournament host Tiger Woods will play for the first time since 2007.
Woods didn’t play in 2008 as he was recovering from knee surgery and he missed the event in 2009 because he’d been involved in a car crash outside his Florida home the previous week.
At number 2 on the Official World Golf Ranking, Tiger is the top ranked player in the 18-man field. Six more of the world’s top-10 will start.
The UK will be well represented in the tournament with five players on the starting line-up. They are – Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
Defending champion Jim Furyk will make his first strokeplay start since securing victory in the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup.
In last year’s Chevron World Challenge, Furyk finished a single shot clear of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell. The Golf Monthly columnist only made it into the field as a late replacement for Tiger and he made the very most of the opportunity, collecting $800,000 for finishing as runner-up. Perhaps more importantly, McDowell picked up crucial World Ranking points that pushed him towards a place in the World’s top-50. Getting there gave McDowell the chance to play in the Majors in 2010 and to go on and win the US Open at Pebble Beach.
McDowell is the only Major winner from 2010 in the field this week. Martin Kaymer was a late withdrawal and neither Phil Mickelson nor Louis Oosthuizen will play.
Proceeds from the tournament will go to programmes implemented by the Tiger Woods foundation.
Venue: Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California
Date: Dec 2-5
Course stats: par 72, 7,027 yards
Purse: $5,000,000 Winner: $1,200,000
Defending Champion: Jim Furyk (-13)
Thursday 2 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm
Friday 3 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm
Saturday 4 – Live on Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday 5 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Ian Poulter – He won two weeks ago in Hong Kong and narrowly lost in a playoff last week in Dubai. He’s, perhaps, the most on-form player in the world at the moment and he’ll be looking to round off a great year with another victory.
Nick Watney – The American has been given the opportunity to play this week because Martin Kaymer has withdrawn. He’ll be keen to make the most of the chance and to replicate what Graeme McDowell achieved as a late entry in last year’s event.
Tiger Woods – He’s won this event four times and comes into this week on the back of a solid performance in the Australian Masters. This is his last chance to win an event in 2010. If he fails, it’ll be the first time he hasn’t won during a calendar year since he turned professional.
Key hole: 15th. A beautiful par 3 of 189 yards. The tee-shot is all carry across water to a narrow green. Getting the correct club here is essential.
Skills required: Beating the best. With a select field featuring many of the world’s best players, the man who comes out on top will have to produce an awesome week’s golf.