PGA Tour Expert Picks: Tournament of Champions

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Will Bill Haas get 2014 started on the right foot? (USATSI)
Will Bill Haas get 2014 started on the right foot? (USATSI)

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The Tournament of Champions is the seventh tournament of the PGA Tour season but the first of 2014. Doesn't make sense, does it?

Here's a little Q&A on what to expect from this week's event.

What is it?

The Tournament of Champions ususally kicks off the PGA Tour season but with the new wraparound schedule the tour has six events in the fall which means it's the seventh of this season.

Where is it?

Kapalua Resort in Kapalua, Hawaii. Likely warmer than wherever you're reading this from right now.

When is it?

January 3-6, 2014

What is the purse?

$5.7 million

Seems kind of low for a "Tournament of Champions"

Well yes, but the field is small because it only includes golfers who won a tournament in 2013 (and not all of them, at that). The field is only 30 golfers.

How can I watch it?

Friday, Jan. 3 -- 5:30-10 PM on Golf Channel
Saturday, Jan. 4 -- 2:30-7 PM on Golf Channel
Sunday, Jan. 5 -- 3-4 PM on NBC and 4-10 PM on Golf Channel
Monday, Jan. 6 -- 4-8 PM on Golf Channel

All times Eastern

Wait, Monday?

Yes, it's the perfect appetizer for Monday night's national title game between Auburn and Florida State.

This is kind of a vacation, isn't it?

If Jordan Spieth's Instagram account is any indication then yes, it is.

Who's playing

Some notable names include Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, and Brandt Snedeker.

A strong, small field.

Who are the former champions?

2013 -- Dustin Johnson
2012 -- Steve Stricker
2011 -- Jonathan Byrd
2010 -- Geoff Ogilvy
2009 -- Geoff Ogilvy

Where's Tiger?

Tiger Woods doesn't play this tournament. Neither does Phil Mickelson.

So who are you picking?

I'm glad you asked. Here are my picks for the Tournament of Champions (one of the few tournaments I picked correctly last season):

Winner

Bill Haas (22-1) -- Finished eighth here in 2011 (his best finish at this tournament) but I like his odds at 22-1 and I think he's playing as well as he ever has in his career. Got into this tournament by winning the AT&T National which is no joke and is coming off a solid Presidents Cup (2.5 points) and two top 25s in fall events on the PGA Tour.

Lock for top 10

Matt Kuchar (8-1) -- His last three finishes at this tournament: T9, T6, and third. If that's not a lock for the top 10, I don't know what is.

I'll be intrigued to see how he goes about this season in getting ready for the majors. That's the last check box on his career resume that needs to be filled and he's getting up there in age. Will be a fascinating season from him.

Sleeper

Jordan Spieth (20-1) -- He's not a sleeper, per se, but there's no reason he should be 20-1 in any tournament with 30 golfers. He should also not have higher odds than Harris English and Ryan Moore. Tons of value with him here (and I promise I won't say this about him at every tournament...I think).

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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