World No.21 Adam Scott will play in the PGA’s season-opening Tournament of Champions in Kapalua for the first time since 2014, in a field starkly different to previous years because of a unique 2020.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the PGA Tour for three months, the winners-only field at Kapalua was expanded to include anyone who made it to the Tour Championship.
Scott, a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour, won the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship in 2016 but didn’t play in the tournament in previous years because of playing in Australia deep in the year and requiring an offseason break.
But with Australian tournaments cancelled because of the pandemic, the Novacastrian has been in Switzerland with his wife and three children.
He only recently stopped over in the Bahamas to start practising.
He moved up his practice so he could spend the afternoon surfing, but later was spotted on the putting green.
“No waves,” he said, though clearly not the end of the world.
Others keen to get back in the swing after an absence at Kapalua include Sergio Garcia and Stewart Cink.
Garcia, who won the Sanderson Farms Championship, returns for the first time in 15 years.
The former Masters champ has been eligible before, though like several Europeans, he often limited travel because he started his new year in the Middle East.
Stewart Cink hasn’t played in 11 years.
“It’s always great to start the year in Maui because it’s Maui, but also it means that you’ve done something that’s worthy of an invite here,” Cink said.
The 42-man field is the largest in tournament history by adding players who reached the FedEx Cup finale, a list that includes two players – Scottie Scheffler and 2018 Australian Open winner Abraham Ancer.