Planet Golf — 29 December 2013 by GW staff and news services
Tiger, Phil out; 13 first-timers in

KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii – Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, two PGA Tour veterans with a combined 121 career victories, have each announced that they will not play in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions that begins Jan. 2.

The event is reserved for 2014 Tour winners.

However, there will be 13 first-time winners who will gladly show up. The fresh faces, from 2013 Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth (pictured) to multiple-winner Harris English, are in the field and will make their debuts in the tournament at The Plantation Course at Kapalua.

Here’s the list of first-time winners:

  • Russell Henley, Sony Open in Hawaii
  • John Merrick, Northern Trust Open
  • Michael Thompson, The Honda Classic
  • Scott Brown, Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com
  • Kevin Streelman, Valspar Championship
  • Billy Horschel, Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • Derek Ernst, Wells Fargo Championship
  • Sang-Moon Bae, HP Byron Nelson Championship
  • Harris English, FedEx St. Jude Classic
  • Ken Duke, Travelers Championship
  • Jordan Spieth, John Deere Classic
  • Patrick Reed, Wyndham Championship
  • Jimmy Walker, Frys.com Open

The group also collected 46 top-10 finishes during the 2013 season. English is the only multiple-winner, thanks to his second career victory at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2013.

Three first-time winners, Spieth, Horschel and Streelman finished inside the top 30 on the FedExCup points list at the end of the 2013 season. These three players, as well as Walker, are also currently ranked in the top 50 on Official World Golf Rankings.

Also in the group is 2013 Rookie of the Year Spieth, who made history at the John Deere Classic when, at age 19 years, 11 months, 18 days, became the youngest winner on the PGA Tour since Ralph Guldahl won the 1931 Santa Monica Open at age 19 years, 2 months, 4 days. Spieth picked up eight additional top-10 finishes during the 2013 season and was the youngest player in Tour history to qualify for the Tour Championship, where he finished T2 which led to a seventh place finish in the FedExCup.

For the first time, PGA Tour fans will choose a featured pairing in the first round of a tournament, visiting the PGATour.com site.

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