KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP)—The list of who's not at the season-opening Tournament of Champions reads more like a “Who's Who.” Missing are three of the four major champions who at 22 already is on the very short list of golfers capable of moving the needle no matter where they play. abercrombie & fitch If that's not enough, three of the four World Golf Championship winners from last year are not at Kapalua, either.
That wouldn't solve the problem. Some would argue that golf has too many exclusive, limited-field tournaments already. This one is worth keeping because there's only one way to stand on the first tee with such splendid, sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Winning should still mean something. abercrombie uk sale It would be easy to suggest these guys are spoiled. How hard is it to fly to a tropical paradise at the start of the year, be treated to a free room at a Ritz-Carlton that hugs the Maui coastline, play in a small field with no cut for a $5.6 million purse and play a course carved out of a mountain that is different from anything they play all year? But there's more to it than that. Of the 11 players who aren't at Kapalua, most have a valid reason.are recovering from injuries. Kaymer and Clarke aren't even PGA Tour members, and might want to save their starts for later in the year, perhaps closer s wife just gave birth to their second child. hollister uk outlet And with winners coming from all over the world, respect must be shown to the worldwide game. played in the Tournament of Champions because this is when he traditionally takes his break from a long season. That's the case for McIlroy and Donald. Schwartzel has tournaments in his native South Africa this month. had a blast at Kapalua last year, especially when he shot 62 on the last day and finished third. Coming off a frenetic finish to his 2010 season that took him across oceans, however, he realizes now that he would have been better served taking an entire month off instead of going from Northern Ireland to Hawaii to the Middle East. He never quite recovered. One culprit for the Tournament of Champions lacking some punch might be the FedEx Cup. When the concept was pitched to the players in 2005, one of the selling points was that the regular season would end at the Tour Championship in late September, giving players three months off if they wanted. “That selling point is not there anymore,” Furyk said. hollister online outlet The PGA Tour now is pushing a plan to start the new season with the Fall Series, which might tempt some players to keep going. But that's only a small part of this big picture. Players still can choose to play whenever and wherever they want. More than the FedEx Cup, the global nature of the game is shaping golf's new landscape. There is simply no getting around it. For the international players, most of them PGA Tour members now, they are playing deep into the season on the European Tour. hollister uk online The fourth World Golf Championship—and the only one outside the United States—is in early November in China. There are strong tournaments leading to the season finale in Dubai, and there are other tournaments that offer small fields and big purses in South Africa and California that are hard to ignore. The PGA Tour remains the strongest in golf, which is not to say golf revolves around the PGA Tour. Golf is unlike other sports, and it's silly to try to pattern it after the other leagues. This is not opening day. It's not the Daytona 500. These days, golf has different starting points to the season. The first tou abercrombie and fitch uk sale rnament is for winners only at Kapalua. The first network TV event is at Torrey Pines. The first tournament with a super strong field is in Abu Dhabi. The first major is the Masters. All are respectively attractive to hard-core fans, casual fans and eventually the mainstream. For now, there are 28 players who chose to begin their season on Maui. It's not a bad place to start.