Golf Rankings for Hyundai Tournament of Champions
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Golf Rankings for Hyundai Tournament of Champions

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A field of only 28 players, all winners from last year, will kick the 2012 season of the PGA Tour off in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The event is played on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Kapalua is the only par 73 on the schedule and features super wide greens. There will be loads of birdies in his low scoring affair.

Fantasy managers should be mindful this event will start on Friday and conclude on Monday. Only the Deutsche Bank Championship, the Tour's Labor Day weekend tournament, follows that same schedule.

1. Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #27

Despite a win, a top-five and a top-10 finish in the first three events of the PGA Tour Playoffs, Simpson’s 22nd-place in the TOUR Championship cost him the FedExCup. On the season, he ranked first in All-Around Ranking thanks the second best scoring average and third best birdie average. Among players that played in 25 or more Tour events, Simpson’s average finish of 25.8 was tops.

2. Steve Stricker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #15

Although this event does not have a cut, Stricker's streak of 42 consecutive cuts speaks to his top-notch ability as only four other players are in double digits. Now healthy, Stricker will again figure to be a fixture atop the leaderboard every time he suits up. In 19 events played last year, he only finished outside of the top-25 on four occasions.

3. Nick Watney [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #49

After finishing the regular season first in points, Watney failed to record a top-20 finish in the final three postseason events and ended the year in ninth. Watney began the year on fire with five straight top-10s, capped off by winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship. He would go on to win the AT&T National and finished the year fifth in birdie average, scoring average and All-Around Ranking.

4. David Toms [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #149

After losing THE PLAYERS Championship in a heart-breaker to K.J. Choi in a playoff, Toms bounced right back the next week to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Toms would struggle in his next few events until taking time off to recover from a hip injury. In his final seven events upon returning, Toms recorded three top-10s and finished worse than 17th just once.

5. Gary Woodland [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #48

In 25 events, Woodland only missed four cuts and recorded five top-fives, six top-10s and 15 top-25s. He ranked fifth in driving distance, 12th in greens in regulation percentage, 13th in birdie average and 14th in scoring average. With so many impressive performances by young players in 2011, Woodland is among the top standouts.

6. Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #18

Of all the surprises on Tour in 2011, Bradley’s two victories as rookie, most notably the PGA Championship, stands above them all. While he dropped from fifth to 20th in the FedExCup standings during the playoffs, Bradley ranked 12th in total driving and 34th in All-Around Ranking. As a young player, there is sure to be some bumps along the road, however Bradley does not appear to be a typical young player.

7. Bill Haas [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #31

Last year, Haas entered the playoffs 15th in points and did not record a top-15 finish in the first three postseason events. However, Haas managed to become the youngest player to hoist the FedExCup by winning THE TOUR Championship, his only victory of the season. Haas competed in this event last year, finishing eighth. In 2011, the Carolina native finished 19th in All-Around Ranking and 11th in Total Driving.

8. K.J. Choi [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #92

Despite finishing 70th in All-Around Ranking, Choi ended the regular season seventh in points and 11th after the playoffs. Prior to winning THE PLAYERS Championship, Choi recorded four straight top-10s and concluded the season with two more. Indeed, when he's playing well the veteran from South Korea is capable of impressive results when he gets on a roll.

9. Bubba Watson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4

Even though Watson won twice in 2011 he only managed a total of eight top-25 finishes in 22 events. Watson is an elite bomber off the tee but can struggle with accuracy and putting. Despite some erratic performances, Watson is a threat to go off on any given week.

10. Rory Sabbatini [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #162

While the South African isn't typically a top play, he's a flashy one when you count the cowboy hats and collection of large belt buckles. Sabbatini finished as the runner-up in his event in 2010 and ranked 34th in birdie average a year ago. Consider Sabbatini a very solid play this week.

11. Chris Kirk [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #53

Of the 15 cuts Kirk made in 28 starts a year ago, he recorded one victory, four top-10s and half a dozen top-25s. Now entering his second season on Tour, Kirk will look to improve his consistency. With an All-Around Ranking that was good for 25th, Kirk is one of the better young players to monitor this season.

12. Aaron Baddeley [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #200

In 22 events played last year, Baddeley made 17 cuts and notched 11 top-25 finishes. The Australian ranked seventh in birdie average and 24th in All-Around Ranking. Among bottom-tier golfers, Baddeley presents a solid value.
 
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