The number of golfers attending the PGA Tour’s “kick start” event in Hawaii is the highest in 68 years.

Starting in 1968, the Sentry Tournament of Champions (STOC) is annually held by the PGA Tour at the beginning of each year and is exclusively for the champions of events in the previous administrative year. And usually, the list was played with no more than 34 people.

However, the epidemic caused the 2020 match schedule to lose 10 official events, so the PGA Tour had to apply the expansion policy for STOC 2021 – taking place from January 7 to January 10. As a result, 45 players are eligible to participate in this year’s tournament, of which 17 golfers did not win the championship but entered the Tour Championship – the event that lowered the defining curtain of FedEx Cup in early September. On January 2, the organizers closed the list with 42 people because Rory McIlroy and Tyrell Hatton did not want to fight, and Jim Herman was infected with Covid-19.

42 golfers will compete at Plantation from January 7 to January 10 during the PGA Tour's opening event.  Photo: Kapaluainfo

42 golfers will compete at Plantation from January 7 to January 10 during the PGA Tour’s opening event. Image: Kapaluainfo

“End the year with bad news. I have been infected with Covid-19 for a few days and cannot compete for STOC. I do not know the ability to compete with the Sony Open after this award,” Herman announced on Twitter on New Year’s Eve.

McIlroy is fourth while Hatton closes the top 10 of the world rankings (OWGR). However, the composition of the competition for the title through 72 holes has not been cut since January 7, there are still eight players in the top 10 OWGR, 14 people considering the top 20. Top 5 from top to bottom include Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas , McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.

The tournament took place on Plantation, par73 on the island of Kapalua. Last year, Thomas finished at -14 and had to add two extra holes to eliminate Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed, respectively, to win the championship with a bonus of 1.34 million USD. It was Thomas’ second time crowned at STOC, after his first time in 2017. World number one Johnson also won twice, in 2013 and 2018.

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