The 2010 PGA Tour kicks off in Kapalua, Hawaii with the SBS Championship – a tournament only open to players who won an event on the 2009 PGA Tour. The small field will compete for a prize fund of $5,600,000 and Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy defends the title.
For this year’s tournament, Seoul Broadcasting Systems (SBS) has taken over from Mercedes as the title sponsor and a strong line-up will compete for the $1,120,000 winner’s cheque and 500 FedEx Cup points – a great chance to get a head start on the pack. All four of last year’s Major winners are in the 28-man field as are Steve Stricker and Paul Casey.
Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, the stunning Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort opened for play in 1991. It’s a reasonably open and forgiving layout but can bear its teeth if the wind blows. If conditions stay benign, expect to see some super-low scoring.
Venue: The Plantation Course, Kapalua Resort, Maui, Hawaii
Date: Jan 7-10
Course stats: par 73, 7,411 yards
Purse: $5,600,000 Winner: $1,120,000
Defending Champion: Geoff Ogilvy (-24)
Thursday 7 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 8pm
Friday 8 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 11pm
Saturday 9 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 11pm
Sunday 10 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 11pm
Steve Stricker – Three times a winner in 2009, “Strick” was second in this event in 2008. He seems to have the ability to make a fast start to the season.
Geoff Ogilvy – Last year’s winner has the ability to overpower any field when he’s on his game. He clearly likes the course here and will rightly be among the favourites.
Retief Goosen – Has shown signs of returning to form and a win here would be the perfect kick-start to his season. He’s twice finished in the top five in this tournament.
Key hole: 18th. The closing hole at Kapalua is a striking downhill par-5 measuring 663 yards. Despite its length, it’s reachable in two because of the slope and the prevailing wind. Expect some enormous drives on this one – 400 yards plus.
Skills required: Making birdies. In 2003 Ernie Els finished the event at an amazing -31. The winning total at Kapalua always tends to be well into double figures under par – Geoff Ogilvy won last year with a -24 total.