Why this is the best Tournament of Champions since '05


For the first time in more than a decade, the PGA Tour’s annual lid-lifter has the field to match the stellar views. 

Lacking in star power the last few years, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will boast the strongest field since 2005 when it kicks off the new year Thursday at Kapalua. 

It's no soft launch this year. Just look at the numbers.

Six of the top 10 players in the world are teeing it up this week, including No. 1 Jordan Spieth and No. 2 Jason Day. According to the Official World Golf Ranking formula, the TOC has the highest strength of field rating (360) and the most world-ranking points awarded to the winner (52) since the event 11 years ago. 

In 2005, the Kapalua event drew seven of the top 10 players in the world, including Nos. 1-4: Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.

This year marks the first time since 2005 that the world No. 1 made the trip to Maui, and only the second time since '07 that the No. 2-ranked player was in the field. 

The weakest field over that span was in 2012, when Steve Stricker and Webb Simpson were the lone representatives from the OWGR top 10 and the event had a strength of field rating of 201.

In addition to Spieth and Day, this year's event also attracted top-10 players Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed.