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June 19, 2012

Following U.S. Open, exciting list of qualifiers for Hyundai Tournament of Champions


Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii (June 19, 2012) – With two of golf’s four major championships in the books and the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup on the horizon, winners on the PGA TOUR in 2012 include an exciting mix of some of the game’s biggest names as well as a group of fresh and up-an-coming players. These winners are all qualified for the 2013 season-opening event, the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on January 3-7. 

Webb Simpson, 26, entered the final round trailing by four strokes, but carded a 2-under 68 to finish 1-over 281 to win the 112th U.S. Open, edging out Michael Thompson and Graeme McDowell by one stroke for his third PGA TOUR victory and his first win at a major championship. Simpson’s victory means that a player in his 20s has won six of the last eight major championships (Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen). He joins Dustin Johnson (6), Sean O’Hair (4), Anthony Kim (3) and Rory McIlroy (3) as players under the age of 30 with three or more victories on the PGA TOUR. Simpson finished T3 at last year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, his first-ever appearance at the event. 

Dustin Johnson returned from injury with his sixth career victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic two weeks ago. The 27-year-old’s victory made him the first player since Tiger Woods (1996-2000) to go directly from college and win in each of his first five seasons on the PGA TOUR. No player currently in his 20s has more wins than Johnson. 

Just a week before Johnson won in Memphis, Tiger Woods recorded his second victory of the PGA TOUR season in dramatic fashion with birdies on three of the final four holes, including a memorable chip-in on the 16th hole for his fifth career win at The Memorial. Tournament host and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus called the flop shot at the par-3 16th, “One of the greatest shots I have ever seen.” The win tied Woods with Nicklaus for the second-most victories on the PGA TOUR with 73. 

Hunter Mahan won his second World Golf Championships event earlier this year at the Accenture Match Play Championship, defeating Rory McIlroy in the finals. Mahan, who also won the Shell Houston Open, has six additional top-25 finishes this season to go along with his two victories. The five-time PGA TOUR winner is looking to win three events in a season for the first time in his career. 

England’s Luke Donald has made nine of 10 cuts in PGA TOUR events in which he has played, recording four top-10 finishes, including his playoff victory at the Transitions Championship. Since the start of the 2010 season, no player has finished in the top 10 more than Donald’s 25 top-10 finishes. 

Rickie Fowler, one of the most recognizable young players in the game, broke through at the Wells Fargo Championship for his first PGA TOUR win in a memorable playoff against McIlroy and D.A. Points. Fowler nearly went on to win the following week but finished T2 at THE PLAYERS Championship. For the season, Fowler has five top-10 finishes and is 10th in the FedExCup standings. Fowler finished T2, with Donald, at last year’s Bridgestone Invitational. 

“The list of champions on the PGA TOUR this year includes the biggest names in golf,” said Nancy Cross, executive director, Hyundai Tournament of Champions. “Golf fans will be treated to an amazing group of the game’s great young players as well as established veteran champions to start the 2013 PGA TOUR season here at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.”

Tickets will go on sale in early August, and there are limited Pro-Am spots available. For more info, go to www.pgatour.com/hyundai or call 808-665-9160.

About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Journalists are invited to visit our news media website: www.hyundainews.com

About Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the season-opening event of the PGA TOUR and held at the legendary Plantation Course, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore in Kapalua Resort, Maui, Hawaii. The tournament’s unique format allows only champions from the 2012 PGA TOUR season to qualify for this one-of-a-kind winners-only event. During their stay, tournament guests enjoy world-class accommodations at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Since 1999, the host organizations of the event have distributed more than $4 million to the Maui community.

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Contact: Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR, 904-273-3286, chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com

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