2013 Golf: Northwestern Mutual World Challenge Preview And TV Schedule


Mandatory Credit: JD Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern Mutual World Challenge 2012 champion Graeme McDowell leads a top-notched field of 18 players into Southern California for the final playing of this event at the Sherwood Forest Country Club. The tournament will be moved in 2014 to Isleworth in the Orlando area. Host, Tiger Woods lived in the Isleworth complex for many years, but has since moved to Jupiter, Florida. Isleworth is the home of the Tavistock Cup.

Graeme McDowell beat Keegan Bradley in this event last December, and has went on to have a somewhat mediocre 2013 season. He picked up one victory back in April at the RBC Heritage. McDowell finished in third place at the WGC-HSBC Championship last month. After a strong start in 2012, the 2010 US Open Champ faded down the stretch with only four top ten finishes on the PGA Tour, and a 28th place finish in the FedEx Cup.

Fresh off of his first win in 2013 at the Australian Open on Sunday, Rory McIlroy will return to Sherwood Forrest to test his newly found golf game against some of the best players on the PGA Tour, and in the world. McIlroy look like his old-self on Sunday when he made up a four-stroke deficit against Adam Scott to spoil the Masters Champ’s Aussie sweep.

The Field:

Bradley, KeeganDay, JasonDufner, Jason
Furyk, JimHaas, BillJohnson, Dustin
Johnson, ZachKuchar, MattMahan, Hunter
McDowell, GraemeMcIlroy, RoryPoulter, Ian
Simpson, WebbSpieth, JordanStricker, Steve
Watson, BubbaWestwood, LeeWoods, Tiger

2012 FedEx Cup Champion, Brandt Snedeker was forced to withdraw due to physical problems, and will be replaced by 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth.

The World Challenge started in 1999 as the Williams World Challenge, and it was played at the Grayhawk Golf Course in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tom Lehman defeated David Duval for the innagural event, and pocketed $1 Million Dollars for his effort. That first year, Tiger Woods, and David Duval played at Sherwood Forest in the Showdown at Sherwood. In 2000 the events were combined as one, and the event was moved to Southern California.

In the early days, the field consisted of 16 players. The defending champion, the top 11 players available from the Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR), and four sponsors exemptions. The field was increased to 18 in 2008 to include the defending champions, winners of the years majors, eleven top ranked players, and two sponsor exemptions.

Through the years, the name changed based on the sponsors, and in 2008, started benefiting the Tiger Woods foundation, and in 2012 became sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. Tiger Woods has won this tournament five times in his career, and did not play in 2008 while recovering from Knee Surgery.

The Sherwood Forest Country Club is a private golf course located in the Santa Monica mountains in Thousand Oaks, and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The golf course was built on the origional site of Potrero Lake, which is a 165 acre man-made lake and is one of the largest man-made lakes in California. The name was changed to Sherwood Forrest after being used to film Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1921.

The 375 member golf club includes such names as Tom Selleck, Kevin James, Sylvester Stallone, and Mel Gibson.

Sherwood Forrest is 7052 yards from the tips, and is rated at 74.7 with a slope rating of 143. It has Bentgrass fairways with Poa annu greens. The rough is ryegrass. In 2009, the course underwent a bunker restoration.

Tiger Woods holds the course record with a 62 which he shot during the 2007 Target World Challenge.

You can see the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge on the Golf Channel from 3-6PM for Thursday and Friday and 1 to 3PM for the weekend. NBC will pick up the weekend broadcast at 3PM on Saturday and Sunday until 6PM or the completion of play. All times are Eastern Standard Time(EST).

Source: PGATour.com

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