PGA Tour 2022
Get ready folks, because the regular PGA Tour season is getting ready to ramp up. As always, the new year begins with the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, so we can soak in the beautiful scenery and watch last year’s tournament winners battle it out on the tube. 2021 certainly provided a ton of exciting moments, and this weekend will give us a taste of what 2022 has in store. While it may seem unlikely that anything could top Phil capturing his sixth major title at the PGA Championship, the tour never fails to deliver eye popping thrills and excitement. 2021 saw Hideki Matsuyama dominate at the Masters for his first Major title and Jon Rahm overcome a stacked leader board at the U.S. Open for his first major. Collin Morikawa won the Open Championship for his second major victory, and Patrick Cantlay dropped a cherry on top by winning back-to-back playoff events to take home the FedEx Cup. And we also saw Jordan Spieth rising to the top again with his first win in almost four years. You can’t really top that, can you? Keep in mind that Mr. Woods is back, and 2022 is the “Year of the Tiger” on the Chinese calendar. I’m starting to feel the excitement building already.
The Sentry Tournament of Champions
Each year the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii hosts the Tournament Champions, and once again the field is stacked with some of the most skilled players the tour has to offer. Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, and Patrick Cantlay headline a star-studded group. Of course, we can’t forget about a few of the wild cards out there like Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Viktor Hoveland. The field consists of the 2021 tournament winners, a slender group of only 39 players. But since Phil pulled off his amazing win at the PGA last year, we also get the special treat of watching Lefty early in the year. Kapalua is a gorgeous track, but also tough, particularly if the wind is blowing. The Tournament of Champions has always been a fun event to watch, as often you get a feel for how a player is going to look for the season ahead. Last year Harris English took home the trophy in a playoff against Joaquin Niemann, and it proved to be a prelude to an excellent season as Harris recorded 8 top 10’s and a win at the Travelers.
Kapalua Resort offers two phenomenal tracks, the Plantation course and the Bay course. The Plantation was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw back in 1991, one of their first in an impressive group that includes Bandon Trails, Streamsong, Cliffside at Barton Creek and Ozarks National at Big Cedar Lodge. The Bay course was designed by Francis Duane and Arnold Palmer, with updates by Robin Nelson, Rodney Wright and Hale Irwin. Kapalua is a dream golf destination, with fantastic practice facilities (designed by Hale Irwin), one of the top-rated golf academies in the country, and first-class accommodations at the Ritz Carlton, Maui. And on top of all that, you’re in Hawaii—how can anything be better.
In his first appearance since the accident last year, Tiger looked great at the PNC parent-child Championship in December. Given the severity of his injuries, there have been grave doubts that he would ever again compete at the highest levels of competition. But once again, Tiger continues to amaze us. With twelve-year old Charlie at his side, they finished runner up to John Daly and his son, John, Jr. Jack has always been the standard for Tiger in golf, but perhaps he can pull a page from Ben Hogan, who returned to win six times after sustaining massive injuries in a near-fatal car crash in 1949. Tiger will definitely be back in 2022, that’s for sure—the only question is when. The Masters perhaps?