Once a TOC regular, Love returns to Kapalua


KAPALUA, Hawaii – For the better part of two decades the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions was a staple for Davis Love III, who played the event 13 times between 1988 and 2009.

But as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain aged trophies became more difficult to collect, and it seemed the 51-year-old had played his last event at Kapalua. That is until he emerged from a crowded leaderboard last August to win the Wyndham Championship.

“It's obviously a goal for everybody when you start the year. Different goal for me,” he said on Wednesday at the Plantation Course. “Obviously at my age, you start thinking you're not going to get back to tournaments like this.”

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For Love, who spent the last few weeks snowboarding in Utah and admitted his game is rusty, the Tournament of Champions kicks off a three-week stretch in Hawaii, with planned starts this week, next week at the Sony Open and later this month at the Champions Tour’s Mitsubishi Electric Championship.

He also said the added benefit of winning will allow him to spend more time scouting players for this year’s Ryder Cup, a process that begins this week.

“I've already gotten a good start on thinking about how to hang out with these guys this year for the Ryder Cup,” said Love, who won the Tournament of Champions in 1993. “It's great for me to be here, The Players, the Masters, starting off the year and kind of on top of things, not only with my game but with my responsibilities as Ryder Cup captain.”