Well, that didn’t go as planned.
The Hyundai Tournament of Champions ended up being rained out Friday and Saturday and became a 54-hole tournament of 36 holes played on Sunday and 18 on Monday, eventually won by Dustin Johnson.
DJ now has won the last three PGA Tour events reduced to 54 holes because of weather—Pebble Beach in 2009, The Barclays in 2011 and the psychotic winds in Kapalua.
But that’s over now. The next tournament should be 72 holes.
The first, weather permitting, full tournament of the 2013 PGA Tour will be the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Won last year by Johnson Wagner, the Waialae field is less star-studded than last week but will be equally competitive.
This season the Golf Channel has started a fantasy golf game called Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge. Fantasy players select four golfers from four groups (one per group) competing in that week’s tournament, and their scores and prize money determine their fantasy value. Each week, I will pick my four players and write why I think they will do well in that particular tournament.
Here are my picks for this week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions from the Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Group 1: Dustin Johnson: Momentum exists in golf and Johnson has been gaining it for months now. Usually close to the top of the leaderboard, the sometimes mentally-fidgety Johnson is trying his hardest to lose that urge to blow tournaments on Sunday. This course is very similar to Kapalua and will play to his strengths. This could be a Hawaiian Double for Johnson who is interestingly paired with the other two “Johnsons,” Zach Johnson and last year’s Sony Champ Johnson Wagner.
Group 2: Bud Cauley: This one’s a gut call. The young Cauley needs to step up his game to compete with these guys if he wants to finish better than 29th like he did last year in Waialae. I think this tournament could be the start of a big year for him. Plus, his Alabama Crimson Tide just won the National Championship in football for the second year in a row, and for the third time in four years. He should be buzzing.
Group 3: Stewart Cink: Down years happen to the best of us, even Major champions. Stewart Cink had a down year. In 2012, Cink had no top 10s, 5s or tournament victories during the regular season, but he made every cut in his three fall series events played and needs a big comeback for the 2013 season. Maybe the 39-year-old Cink’s woes will continue, but he’s too good of a player to miss nine cuts out of 22 tournaments. He should break out of his funk soon.
Group 4: Patrick Reed: The All-American from Augusta State, who led his school to back-to-back NCAA national golf titles, dominated in college and had a respectable year last year – going from cut to cut and playing a journeyman-type year. Finishing in three top 25s of his final four 2012 tournaments, with a tie for 11th in the Frys.com Open and a 22nd place finish in Q-School, Reed is poised for a breakout season, maybe even Rookie of the Year consideration.
So go pick your own team and good luck!
Follow Jonathan on twitter @Jonathan_Biles