The tournament is no longer exclusive to tournament winners from the previous calendar year. That’s been the case since 2021. The newest eligibility criteria beginning in 2024 now opens the doors for players to stroll into Kapalua if they were a winner the previous year, or a top-50 finisher in the previous season’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.
There’s a field of 59 players in attendance for this no-cut event. A notable absence among eligible players is Rory McIlroy, who has only played the Tournament of Champions once in 2019.
Another key note is the last two tournament champions won’t be in attendance. The 2022 champion Cameron Smith and 2023 champ Jon Rahm have both defected to the LIV Tour. The way things are going, it’s possible they may get to come back to this event someday, but not in 2024.
The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort is this week’s venue. It has been since 1999. It’s a unique par-73 measuring 7,596 yards with just three par-3s, 11 par-4s and four par-5s. It’s a very hilly course with elevation changes and sidehill lies commonplace throughout the property. It’s also an unfavorable jaunt for caddies, so I hope they are tipped out a little bit extra this week.
Kapalua is a favorable course given the wide fairways and lack of gnarly rough at this resort course. Despite its length on the card, players tear this place up. Smith set the tournament record (-31) in 2022. Rahm won at 27-under last year.
Tees and fairways feature Celebration Bermuda grass and TifEagle Bermuda is on the greens.
There could be some rain midway through the tournament, but it is otherwise expected to be a dry week. Temperatures project in the 70s Fahrenheit with mile-per-hour winds in the teens and twenties.
Let’s get into the top 10 power ranking of the PGA Tour’s first Signature Event of the year: