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December 11, 2012

Simpson returns to Hyundai Tournament of Champions with major triumph in tow, Fowler, Beljan to make first appearances at winners-only event


Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii (December 11, 2012) – Defending U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson has officially committed to the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions and will compete in the event for the second-consecutive year, tournament officials announced today. Simpson made his debut at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2012 and nearly won in his first appearance, finishing T3, four shots behind winner Steve Stricker.

Tournament officials also announced a pair of first-time participants have declared their intentions to play next month. Fan favorite Rickie Fowler, who earned his first victory this past May at the Wells Fargo Championship, and Charlie Beljan, who won the final official event of the 2012 season at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, will both compete for the first time when the Hyundai Tournament of Champions returns to the Plantation Course at Kapalua, December 31 – January 7, 2013.

“We’re thrilled to announce Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler and Charlie Beljan will compete in the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions,” said Executive Director Nancy Cross. “Webb nearly won in his first appearance here in 2012 and went on to win the U.S. Open while Rickie and Charlie both collected their first PGA TOUR victories this past season and we look forward to welcoming them to Maui for the first time.”

Simpson qualified for the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions by virtue of victories at the Wyndham Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship in 2011. He posted rounds of 68-68-69-68 to post 19-under and finish T3 in his first appearance. Simpson went on to collect his first victory in a major championship in June at the U.S. Open at Olympic Club and was a member of the United States Ryder Cup team for the first time in September.

After nearly posting his first PGA TOUR victory on four occasions in his first 66 starts on TOUR, Fowler broke through for the first time in dramatic fashion at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Entering the final round three shots off the 54-hole pace, Fowler carded a closing 3-under 69 to force a sudden death playoff with Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points. He went on to win the playoff on the first extra hole with a birdie. Fowler nearly made it two victories in two weeks when he finished T2 at THE PLAYERS Championship, finishing two shots off Matt Kuchar’s winning pace.

Beljan’s victory at the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Classic proved dramatic in a completely different way than Fowler’s playoff triumph at the Wells Fargo Championship. After opening with 68, Beljan carded an eight-under 64 in the second round while battling symptoms of a panic attack during the round. He received medical attention on the golf course and was taken to a local hospital via ambulance immediately after signing his scorecard. After being discharged from the hospital early Saturday morning, Beljan closed in 71-69 to earn his first TOUR victory by two shots over Matt Every and Robert Garrigus, earning the invitation to the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.  

Tickets are on sale now, and there are limited Pro-Am spots available. For more info, visit www.pgatour.com/hyundai or call 808-665-9160.

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsi

diary 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 820 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. Please visit our media website at 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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