This year’s World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual will feature 18 of the world’s best players, including tournament host and defending champion Tiger Woods.
In this, the 14th running of the tournament, 11 members of the US Ryder Cup team will tee it up. Only Phil Mickelson is missing. In addition, 2010 US Open winner and the champion in this event in the same year, Graeme McDowell makes an appearance, together with fellow Brit Ian Poulter. Other than the 13 Ryder Cup stars, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Bo Van Pelt and Nick Watney will all start.
In last year’s event, Tiger Woods ended a winning drought stretching back more than 24 months. He snuck past Zach Johnson with a final round of 69 to claim the title by a single shot.
This year, Tiger comes into the event on the back of three PGA Tour victories in 2012. He’ll be disappointed to not have secured a Major title this season but will be encouraged by his return to the upper-echelons of the game. He currently sits 3rd on the Official World Golf Ranking. Coming into this event last season he was outside the top-50.
Since it was first held in 2000, the proceeds from this tournament go to the Tiger Woods foundation. There’s a new sponsor this year. Northwestern have taken over from Chevron, although they are “presenting” sponsors rather than “title” sponsors.
Venue: Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California
Date: Nov 29 – Dec 2
Course stats: par 72, 7,027 yards
Purse: $4,000,000 Winner: $1,200,000
Defending Champion: Tiger Woods (-10)
Thursday 29 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 30 – Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 1 – Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Sunday 2 – Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Zach Johnson – Last year’s runner-up, Johnson is one of the most consistent players on the US Tour and his precision game is ideal for this course.
Nick Watney – A winner towards the end of the season out in Malaysia and a man who’s still desperate to prove he should have been at Medinah. If he could beat 11 of those who were this week, he’ll go a long way towards it.
Hunter Mahan – He’s another player that would love to finish 2012 on a high. Look for him to do just that.
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.
Nedbank Challenge – preview