PGA Tour: Looking Ahead to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions

By Carl Conrad
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for golf fans, the offseason for the PGA Tour is not nearly as long as for other sports. That doesn’t mean that the anticipation isn’t as great, however. This week, the 2012 PGA season gets underway with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in Hawaii.

Steve Stricker will be looking to defend his 2011 title against a very strong field that includes the likes of Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Keegan Bradley, Ian Poulter and Dustin Johnson, just to name a few. This field is not anywhere near that of a major, but the competition is most definitely formidable.

I am looking forward to seeing some of the young talent that started to break out last year and how they hold up when they are no longer unknown. It’s a whole lot easier to consider yourself the underdog since there is no pressure. Now that some of these rookies from last year and other youngsters have begun to make a name for themselves, nobody is going to take them lightly.

If I were a betting man, I would have to put my money on Poulter this week. I’ve always been a big fan of his game, and this is the year I think he finally breaks through and makes himself a household name. He’s been on the cusp for a while now, and I have a feeling that his masterful performance in the Ryder Cup is going to be just enough to get him over the hump.

No matter who wins the tournament, the main thing is that meaningful golf is back, and that’s certainly a win for fans.

You can view all of Carl’s RantSports articles here and follow him on Twitter @CarlConrad81.



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