|Mercedes-Benz Championship - January 05, 2009
The Plantation Course at Kapalua
Par: 36-37—73Yards: 7,411
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 500
Purse: $5,600,000Winner: $1,008,000
2008 Champion: Daniel Chopra (274, -18)
Mercedes-Benz Championship Notes
Two-time PGA TOUR winners Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas will begin their seasons in Kapalua, a first for both players. The two will be paired together during the first round, a precursor to the 2008 BCS National Championship Game, which will kick off that night featuring their alma maters—the University of Florida (Villegas) and the University of Oklahoma (Kim).
Anthony Kim is coming off a fourth-place finish in the 2008 FedExCup, highlighted by victories at the Wachovia Championship and the AT&T National, and $4,656,265 in earnings.
Camilo Villegas capped off a highly-successful 2008 season ranked second in the FedExCup standings, including victories in the last two PGA TOUR Playoff events (BMW Championship and THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola).
Vijay Singh capped a banner year on the PGA TOUR by hoisting the FedExCup at the conclusion of the 2008 season. He’ll begin his quest for another FedExCup title this week, where he has been nothing less than dominant over his career. Of his last nine starts at the event, he has amassed seven top-five finishes—including a victory in 2007 and runner-up showings in 2004 and 2006.
Winning the Mercedes-Benz Championship has traditionally sparked an outstanding season for the winner. Out of the last 17 winners at the season-opening event, 2008 champion Daniel Chopra is the only one who failed to advance to THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the fourth and final event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Daniel Chopra returns in 2009 to defend his title at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. His win in 2008, his only top-10 finish of the year, came just two starts after his inaugural PGA TOUR victory, at the 2007 Ginn sur Mer Classic.
Kodak Challenge Begins this Week
A first-of-its-kind competition for PGA TOUR players gets underway this week at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. The Kodak Challenge celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments on the PGA TOUR. The Kodak Challenge offers $1 million to the winner There will be one designated Kodak Challenge Hole at 24 different PGA TOUR tournaments in 2008, with this week’s featured hole the 663-yard 18th hole.
Players, who must play at least 18 of the holes during the season to be eligible, will count their lowest score relative to par on the Kodak Challenge Hole made during an official competition round. The player, with the lowest cumulative score in relation to par at the end of the challenge, wins. For up-to-date standings, please visit pgatour.com/kodakchallenge.