Four reasons why the Hero World Challenge field will make you excited
Since 1999, the Hero World Challenge has carried a reputation for bringing together the finest golfers in the world for intense competition. This year’s tournament features a pool of talent from five different countries that have combined for 91 victories on the PGA TOUR. It’s a field that certainly will make you more excited after reading this post, and one that already has its tournament host displaying that sentiment.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase a star-studded, elite field that, with its international flavor, represents the rapid growth of golf worldwide,” Tiger Woods said.
The field of 18 PGA TOUR players is determined as follows: the current four major championship winners, the top 11 players available from the Official World Golf Ranking, the defending champion and two special-exemption players.
This year’s special exemptions are India’s Anirban Lahiri, who played on the International squad in October’s Presidents Cup, and six-time PGA TOUR-winning American Bill Haas.
Now let’s take a look at the 2015 field to gear up for an unforgettable event.
Presidents Cup encore at Albany
Though it won’t take on a match-play format, this year’s Hero World Challenge will showcase 14 golfers who played in October’s Presidents Cup. Ten of the 12 players that comprised the U.S. Presidents Cup team — Spieth, Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Kuchar, Walker, J.B. Holmes, Reed, Kirk and Haas, who earned the decisive point in the final singles match of the Presidents Cup to give the United States a 15½-14½ victory — are here. Australia’s Day and Scott, Japan’s Matsuyama and India’s Lahiri represented the Presidents Cup’s international roster.
Major championship winners
The 2015 Hero World Challenge field boasts all sitting major champions — Spieth (Masters and U.S. Open), Day (PGA Championship) and Zach Johnson (Open Championship). Even more impressive is that the participants have won six of the last dozen majors played. Rounding out the list of major champions in December’s invitational are Rose (2013 U.S. Open) and Scott (2013 Masters). Zach Johnson’s first major triumph occurred at the 2007 Masters.
The next generation of PGA TOUR stars
The average age of the tournament’s field will be 30.67 years old come tournament week, with eight of the 18 golfers in their 20s. Spieth, 22, is the tournament’s youngest player. Hero World Challenge rookies include Koepka, Holmes and Lahiri, while the tournament’s sophomore class includes Rose, Reed, Matsuyama, Horschel, Walker, and Kirk — all who debuted in 2014 — and Scott, who last played in 2006. The 2015 event will be Spieth’s third, Day’s fifth and Fowler’s fourth time competing in Tiger’s tournament. Lahiri, 28, and Matsuyama, 23, are the only players in Hero World Challenge history from India and Japan, respectively.
Return of the FedExCup champions
The Hero World Challenge field includes three of the past five PGA TOUR FedExCup champions in 2015 winner Spieth, 2014 winner Horschel and 2011 winner Haas. Spieth and Horschel are in their 20s, which further speaks to the rise of golf’s next generation on the PGA TOUR.
Feeling anxious about the showdown at the luxury resort community of Albany in the Bahamas and can’t wait for Dec. 2-6 to come? Visit the newsfeed of the Hero World Challenge for the latest updates.
UPDATE (11/23): Please note that Bubba Watson will replace Jason Day in the 2015 Hero World Challenge field.