Golf World Monday: Hawaiian fields remain sparse
From the November 26 issue of Golf World Monday:
European players might be signing up for PGA Tour membership in increasing numbers, but some U.S. events aren't in a position to benefit. Case in point are the two Hawaii stops, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open.
The 2013 season opener at Kapalua Resort, in particular, has struggled for several years to attract top international players, and with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship scheduled to begin Jan. 17, there are indications there won't be many more players in Maui than the 27 who showed up in 2012.
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We're told that the world's top two players, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, won't be going. Neither are Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia -- and that's surprising since each has won at Kapalua's Plantation Course.
It doesn't help when the top two American draws, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have been long-time Maui no-shows. Hyundai's sponsorship expires with the completion of the 2013 edition, though secondary sponsor SBS is still on the hook for an additional six years.
What's a sponsor getting for its money? Good U.S. players but not the full complement of qualifiers. What a shame.