The season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions kicks off Thursday with 33
of the 39 eligible players teeing it up. Two-time defending champion Geoff
Ogilvy had withdraw before the tournament started. He sliced his finger while
swimming in the ocean on Monday and needed 12 stitches to close the cut.
Ogilvy and fellow Australian Stuart Appleby have dominated this event
recently. They have won five of the last seven titles. Appleby won three
straight from 2004-06. The two winners that snapped the Australian
strangle-hold on the event -- Vijay Singh and Daniel Chopra -- did not
qualify this year. Last year, Ogilvy trailed by one entering the final round,
but fired a six-under 67 to fend off Rory Sabbatini to repeat as champion.
Sabbatini fired a 10-under 63 to end one shot back. Third-round leader Lucas
Glover stumbled to a three-over 76, which dropped him into a share of 14th.
His 76 was the worst round of the day and one of just three over-par scores
in the final round. The field on the par-73 Plantation Course at Kapalua
Resort is missing three of the four reigning major champions -- Phil
Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer. Also skipping the tournament
is Quail Hollow winner Rory McIlroy as well as world No. 1 and St. Jude
Classic champion Lee Westwood. This marks the 13th straight year the
Plantation Course has hosted this tournament. Golf Channel has coverage of
all four rounds. Coverage runs from 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. (et) the first three
rounds, while Sunday`s coverage goes from 6-10 p.m. The tour remains in
Hawaii next week for the first full-field event of the season. Ryan Palmer is
expected to defend his title at the Sony Open.
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