To paraphrase PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, the low attendance at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions may be because of babies and injuries. Whatever the reason, the truancy at Kapalua will significantly hurt the world ranking of the 27 men who finish the season-opener on Monday.
The winner at Kapalua will earn 38 world ranking points for the victory, which is the lowest in the last five years. Beginning last year, the champion of champions received 50, 46, 44 and 48 points, respectively.
A win for Steve Stricker or Webb Simpson will still do them well, despite defeating the smallest field since the tournament moved to Kapalua in 1999. The victory will catapult either of them into the top 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Nevertheless, it could have been even better.
If every eligible PGA Tour member had competed, the field rating would have more than doubled. The winner would have taken home 56 world ranking points. By comparison, Bill Haas earned 54 points for taking the Tour Championship in September.
But even with perfect attendance, a win would not have improved Stricker or Simpson beyond fifth in the world rankings.