This week marks the beginning of the World Golf Championships – HSBC Champions tournament taking place at Mission Hills Golf Course in China. Due to the time difference, the first round has already been completed. Winners from the PGA and European Tours are invited annually to participate in this star studded event.
Two of the biggest names in golf were noticeably absent, however. Those two begin Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. McIlroy is currently in Bulgaria watching his girlfriend compete in a tennis tournament, while Woods is in Singapore for business reasons. Some golfers said openly they see this as an opportunity to make up some serious ground on the European Tour money list. McIlroy is currently at the top of the money list on the European Tour after clinching the number one position on the PGA Tour, but his lead across the pond is dwindling.
Peter Hanson is closest to Rory on the money list and feels that McIlroy’s absence gives him a chance to gain some ground. “Hopefully, I can keep this form going and be up there again Sunday because I will need to keep playing like I did last week to have a chance of catching him, given how well he is playing this year.”
Despite all of the big names in the event, it does feel a little strange not having Woods and McIlroy at a tournament specifically for the best players on both tours. I understand that they have previous engagements, especially now, during the downtime of the tour, but it would have been nice to see them compete.
The good news is that we only have two months until the 2013 season kicks off in Hawaii.