Power Rankings: Hyundai Tournament of Champions


The 2016 fantasy golf season is upon us, and the PGA Tour returns to action this week with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. A field of 32 players will tackle the Plantation Course at Kapalua, where the winner will receive an invitation to return to Maui next year.

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Patrick Reed won this event a year ago in a playoff over Jimmy Walker. Here are 10 players to watch in Hawaii:

1. Jordan Spieth: The top seed until proven otherwise. Spieth's lone appearance in Maui resulted in a runner-up finish two years ago when he finished 18 under par. Suffice it to say his game has improved somewhat over the last 24 months.

2. Jason Day: The Aussie hasn't teed it up since the Presidents Cup because of the recent birth of his daughter, but he should get right back on track at Kapalua. Last year's T-3 finish sparked a career year for Day, and it included a course-record 62 in the final round.

3. Patrick Reed: The defending champ closed out 2015 on a tear, with six straight top-10 finishes while playing largely in Asia. That run included a pair of runner-up results, and Reed has shot 6-under 67 in three of his eight competitive rounds at Kapalua.

4. Dustin Johnson: In five prior appearances in Maui, Johnson hasn't finished worse than T-16. That includes three straight top-10 finishes, highlighted by his 2013 victory amid blustery conditions. Few players enjoy a burly, wide-open track more than DJ.

5. Brooks Koepka: Koepka is one of 13 first-time winners in this week's field, but he is arguably the most well-equipped to win in his maiden appearance. His length off the tee is well-established, but Koepka also finished in the top 20 last season in scoring average, strokes gained putting and ball-striking.

6. Rickie Fowler: Fowler returns to Hawaii after a breakthrough season that included three worldwide wins. He finished T-6 here in his lone prior appearance in 2013, when the event was shortened to 54 holes, and could certainly improve on that result this week.

7. Justin Thomas: Thomas was one of the last to gain entry to this field, winning in Malaysia in November. While he lost the Rookie of the Year race, Thomas did have 15 top-25 finishes last season and nearly won the first event of the new season in Napa.

8. Bubba Watson: It seems the Plantation Course would suit Bubba Golf, but Watson has finished better than 10th only once in four prior appearances. He nevertheless remains a threat to contend, especially after cruising to victory in a limited field just last month in the Bahamas.

9. Jimmy Walker: Walker appeared poised to win here a year ago, but let a late lead slip away before losing to Reed in a playoff. The American clearly feels comfortable in Hawaii, as indicated by last year's result and his pair of trophies from the Sony Open in nearby Honolulu.

10. Zach Johnson: Johnson won this event in 2014, but that remains one of only three top-10 finishes in eight prior starts. Still, few in the field have more experience on the Plantation Course than does Johnson, whose wedge game is good enough to win a shootout regardless of venue.