Record 42 starters set for US PGA Tournament of Champions

Published January 3, 2021, 9:44 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson of the United States celebrates with the FedEx Cup Trophy after winning in the final round of the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 07, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Sam Greenwood / Getty Images / AFP)

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson, third-ranked defending champion Justin Thomas and US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau will lead a record 42 starters when the US PGA Tournament of Champions tees off Thursday.

The traditional first tour event of a calendar year at Kapalua, Hawaii, opened its field to players who reached last season’s Tour Championship as well as event winners after a season disrupted by a two-month Covid-19 layoff.

PGA Player of the Year Johnson captured his second major title in November at the Masters after winning the Tour Championship in September. The 36-year-old American also won the Hawaii champions event in 2013 and 2018.

Thomas won the WGC St. Jude Invitational as well as the Tournament of Champions last year while fifth-ranked US compatriot DeChambeau won in Detroit last July before taking his first major crown at Winged Foot.

Fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Britain’s 10th-ranked Tyrrell Hatton are skipping the Hawaii event after qualifying, while American Jim Herman, ranked 96th, announced he will not play after contracting Covid-19.

“Some lousy news to end the year – I’ve had CV19 for the last couple of days and therefore will not be playing Kapalua,” Herman tweeted.