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PGA - Northwestern Mutual World Challenge Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, December 5th through Sunday, December 8th
SITE: Sherwood Country Club, Thousand Oaks, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (1989)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,052
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 342 yds10 - Par 4 384 yds
2 - Par 5 531 yds11 - Par 5 517 yds
3 - Par 3 198 yds12 - Par 3 186 yds
4 - Par 4 456 yds13 - Par 5 568 yds
5 - Par 5 531 yds14 - Par 4 455 yds
6 - Par 4 422 yds15 - Par 3 189 yds
7 - Par 4 446 yds16 - Par 5 567 yds
8 - Par 3 228 yds17 - Par 3 166 yds
9 - Par 4 422 yds18 - Par 4 444 yds
--------------------------
36 3,576 yds36 3,476 yds
 
Annual:  15th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 4:30-7:30 p.m. (et),
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 3-6 p.m. (et),
Defending Champion:  Graeme McDowell
Runner-Up:  Keegan Bradley
72-Hole Record:  266 (Davis Love III, 2000; Tiger Woods, 2007)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Padraig Harrington, 2002)
36-Hole Record:  129 (Sergio Garcia, 2000)
Course Record:  62 (Tiger Woods, 2007)
Total Purse:  $3,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,000,000; 2nd Place - $500,000; 3rd Place - $300,000
 
2012 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Graeme McDowell271Bubba Watson283
Keegan Bradley274Matt Kuchar284
Bo Van Pelt278Nick Watney284
Jim Furyk279Dustin Johnson285
Tiger Woods279Brandt Snedeker285
Rickie Fowler279Jason Day287
Webb Simpson281Jason Dufner287
Steve Stricker282Ian Poulter288
Hunter Mahan283Zach Johnson293
 
Past World Challenge Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Graeme McDowell (271) -- Keegan Bradley
2011Tiger Woods (278) -- Zach Johnson
2010*Graeme McDowell (272) -- Tiger Woods
2009Jim Furyk (275) -- Graeme McDowell
2008Vijay Singh (277) -- Steve Stricker
2007Tiger Woods (266) -- Zach Johnson
2006Tiger Woods (272) -- Geoff Ogilvy
2005Luke Donald (272) -- Darren Clarke
2004Tiger Woods (268) -- Padraig Harrington
2003Davis Love III (277) -- Tiger Woods
2002Padraig Harrington (268) -- Tiger Woods
2001Tiger Woods (273) -- Vijay Singh
2000Davis Love III (266) -- Tiger Woods
1999Tom Lehman (267) -- David Duval

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Williams World Challenge (1999-2002),
Target World Challenge (2003-07), Chevron World Challenge (2008-11), World Challenge (2012).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2003200420052006200720082009201020112012
Graeme McDowell------------------2ndWon---Won
Keegan Bradley------------------------17th2nd
Tiger Woods2ndWonT-14WonWon------2ndWonT-4
Jim Furyk---6thT-9---3rdT-5Won11thT-6T-4
Webb Simpson------------------------T-137th
Steve Stricker------------T-52nd10th12th16th8th
Hunter Mahan---------------T-3---5thT-4T-9
Bubba Watson---------------------T-14T-6T-9
Matt Kuchar---------------------18thT-4T-11
Dustin Johnson---------------------T-16---T-13
Jason Day------------------------15thT-15
Jason Dufner---------------------------T-15
Ian Poulter---------------------T-6---17th
Zach Johnson------------2nd---T-5T-92nd18th
Bill Haas------------------------T-13---
Rory McIlroy---------------------4th------
Lee Westwood------------4th---T-3---------
Jordan Spieth------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Steve Stricker
Darkhorse - Ian Poulter
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Australia) - Won
Last Week's Darkhorse (France) - Finished tied for 7th
 
NOTES:
Another outstanding field is assembled this week for the 15th annual Northwestern Mutual World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods. This year's field consists of the top 11 available players from the Official World Golf Ranking, the current four major championship winners, the defending champion and two special exemptions. Three of the major winners are not playing - Adam Scott (Masters), Justin Rose (U.S. Open) and Phil Mickelson (British Open). PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner is the only major winner in the field.

The field is represented by 18 of the top 30 players in the world rankings. PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Jason Spieth is competing in this event for the first time. The purse is $3.5 million, with the winner receiving $1,000,000.

Woods has won this tournament five times (2001, 04, 06-07, 11). He also owns four runner-up finishes. Woods has finished outside of the top two just three times in 12 appearances. He is the all-time money leader with $8,999,167 in career earnings. Woods has donated all of his earnings from this event to the Tiger Woods Foundation. Davis Love III (2000, 2003) and Graeme McDowell (2010, 2012) are the only other players to win twice.

Sherwood Country Club outside Los Angeles is hosting for the 14th straight year. The inaugural tournament in 1999 was contested at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation. The programs reach underserved youth in all stages of academic life. For scholars in grades 5-12, the Tiger Woods Learning Centers provide hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math coupled with college preparation workshops to create a unique environment focused on college and careers.

Last year, McDowell poured in a birdie putt on the final hole to seal his second win in three years. McDowell carded rounds of 69-66-68-68 to end at 17- under-par 271. He also won this title in 2010, when he beat tournament host Woods in a playoff. McDowell has played this event three times and has two wins and a second-place finish.

In 2011, Woods collected his first win of any kind since 2009. The drought lasted 749 days, 107 weeks and 27 starts, by far the longest span in between victories for Woods. His last win came at the 2009 Australian Masters. Woods birdied the last two holes in the final round, besting overnight leader Zach Johnson by just one stroke at Sherwood Country Club. Woods finished at 10- under 278. He entered the tournament ranked 52nd in the world.

McDowell birdied the 18th in regulation and did it again on the first playoff hole to beat Woods in 2010. McDowell closed with a 3-under 69 in the final round, while Woods struggled to a 1-over 73. The duo ended at 16- under-par 272. McDowell was the only player in the field to fire four rounds in the 60s. The playoff was the first in tournament history.

Jim Furyk carded a 5-under 67 in the final round to hold off McDowell and win by one stroke in 2009. Furyk completed the tournament at 13-under-par 275, winning for the first time since the 2007 Canadian Open. McDowell, who got into the event when Woods withdrew, closed with a 2-under 70 to end alone in second at minus-12. The 2009 tournament was the first-ever limited field event to receive world ranking points.

Vijay Singh fired a 5-under 67 in the final round of 2008 to rally and win. Singh, who topped the PGA Tour's money list in 2008 and won the FedExCup, completed his first win at this event at 11-under-par 277.

In 2007, Woods fired a course-record 62 in the second round to take the lead and cruised to a 7-stroke victory over Zach Johnson. Woods closed with a 4-under 68 in the final round to finish at 22-under-par 266, which tied Davis Love III's tournament record from 2000. He won his own tournament for the fourth time and became the first player to repeat as champion. The 7-shot win by Woods was the largest in tournament history.

The PGA Tour travels to Naples, Florida, next week for the Franklin Templeton Shootout, where Sean O'Hair and Kenny Perry captured the title last year.

12/04 12:24:44 ET

As of December 4, 2013, at 12:24 PM ET

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