The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge will feature 18 of the world’s best players, including tournament host Tiger Woods and defending champion Graeme McDowell.

First contested in 1998, the inaugural event was won by Tom Lehman. Since then Tiger Woods has won the title five times with Davis Love III, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Vijay Singh and Graeme McDowell the other champions.

Last year Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland took the title for a second time. He finished four shots clear of Keegan Bradley.

This year’s field is perhaps the strongest in the history of the event. World Number 1, Tiger Woods headlines, but all 18 of the entrants are placed in the top-30 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

The UK will be well represented at Sherwood: Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter will all tee it up.

Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California
Date: Dec 5-8
Course stats: par 72, 7,027 yards
Purse: $3,500,000 Winner: $1,000,000
Defending Champion: Graeme McDowell (-17)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm (red button)
Friday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 7 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm
Sunday 8 – Sky Sports 4 from 6pm

Player Watch:
Rory McIlroy – Fresh off his Australian Open victory, Rory will be keen to confirm that he’s back on form. Beating Tiger in his own event would do just that.

Matt Kuchar – A supremely consistent performer, Kuchar is currently seventh on the Official World Golf Ranking.

Dustin Johnson – The winner of the WGC-HSBC Champions in November, DJ will look to end the year on a high with another title here.

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.