World Challenge announces 2013 field

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Courtesy of Tiger Woods Foundation

The 2013 Northwestern Mutual World Challenge returns to Sherwood CC Dec. 2 -8, welcoming an elite 18-player field that will include host Tiger Woods, 2012 defending champion Graeme McDowell, 2013 PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner, ten of the top 20 players in the FedExCup standings and an impressive roster of players from the 2013 Presidents Cup.

"We are thrilled about the depth and talent of our field, and I'm looking forward to another exciting year of intense competition at Sherwood Country Club," Tiger Woods said. "It's so great to welcome Northwestern Mutual as the tournament's title sponsor. They have been an exceptional partner to the Foundation over the years."

The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge is a four-round, 72-hole stoke play event with a $3.5 million purse and players competing for a $1 million winner's check. The unique showcase, which awards Official World Golf Ranking points, is held at the challenging par-72, 7,052-yard Sherwood CCfor the 15th consecutive year.

The 2013 field includes:
Tiger Woods has won the World Challenge five times throughout his career, his most recent win coming in 2011 with a dramatic six-foot birdie putt on the final hole, edging Zach Johnson by one stroke. Coming off a phenomenal season, Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open, the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass, and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, finishing the season with five TOUR wins. His list of career accomplishments is incredibly long, but the highlights are 79 victories on the PGA TOUR, the most of any active player, and 14 major championships, second to Jack Nicklaus’ 18.

The 2013 Northwestern Mutual World Challenge also showcases top European players on TOUR such as 2012 defending World Challenge champion Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

Fan favorite and 2012 defending World Challenge champion Graeme McDowell has won the 2012 World Challenge in an intense final round defeating Keegan Bradley by three strokes. McDowell shot a 4-under-par 68 at rain-saturated Sherwood Country Club to finish at 17-under 271. In addition to winning in 2012, McDowell also took home the trophy in 2010 after defeating Tiger Woods in the tournament's first playoff. McDowell had an impressive 2013 season, with the most notable winning his second PGA TOUR victory at the RBC Heritage, defeating Webb Simpson in a sudden-death playoff.

Rory McIlroy finished fourth at the 2010 World Challenge at 11-under 277 after turning in a 68. McIlroy continues to make his mark with a total of six PGA TOUR victories, four coming from the 2012 season where we won the Honda Classic, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship. After starting the season No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings, McIlroy's best finish in 2013 came at the Valero Texas Open where he placed second at 12-under 276, two strokes back from Martin Laird.

Westwood's best finish this season came at The Open Championship where he finished T3, opening with rounds of 72-68-70 to carry a two-stroke lead into the final round where he finished four-strokes behind champion Phil Mickelson.

Ian Poulter ended the season strong with four top-10 finishes, his best at The Open Championship where he placed T3 after having a remarkable Sunday with a 4-under 67, including an eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie stretch on Nos. 9-12 at Murifield.

Jason Dufner's biggest moment this season came at the PGA Championship when he defeated Jim Furyk by two shots at Oak Hill CC earning his third career TOUR victory. Later this season, Dufner finished T9 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, marking his third top-10 finish in his last four starts. Other PGA TOUR victories include 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

Finishing the season at No. 6 in the FedExCup standings, Matt Kuchar has had a successful 2013 season, winning the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Memorial Tournament where he took a two-stroke lead into the final round and never lost the advantage to claim a two-shot win over Kevin Chappell, making the win Kuchar's sixth PGA TOUR title. Also this year, Kuchar finished T4 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass., finishing five strokes behind Henrik Stenson.

Hunter Mahan has five career victories on the PGA TOUR, the last two coming during the 2012 season at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Shell Houston Open. This year he shared the opening-round lead with Russell Knox, shooting a 6-under 66 at Pebble Beach GL, eventually finishing T16 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. A week later at the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship, he nearly succeeded in his title defense before losing to Matt Kuchar in the final match. Also this year, he finished T8 at the Northern Trust Open, his first top-10 in eight starts at the event.

Brandt Snedeker's biggest moment this season came when he claimed his sixth PGA TOUR title with his victory at the RBC Canadian Open, after trailing Hunter Mahan by eight strokes after the second round. He seized the opportunity over the weekend with a bogey-free, 9-under 63 in the third round to set up a one-stroke lead headed into the final round. His three-shot win moved him to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings in defense of his 2012 FedExCup champion title. Snedeker finished No. 12 in the FedExCup standings.

Ernie Els has an impressive 19 PGA TOUR victories, the most recent coming during the 2012 season at The Open Championship. This season, Els's best finish came at the U.S. Open where he finished T4, carding a final-round, 1-under 69 to finish his 21st U.S. Open start. Other 2013 season notables include finishing T6 at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in England, shooting a final-round 67.

Zach Johnson had a dramatic 2011 World Challenge going shot for shot with Tiger Woods on Sunday losing by only one-stroke on the final hole to finish second. Finishing the season at No. 5 in the FedExCup standings, Johnson has made his mark on the TOUR this season with eight top-10 finishes, including winning the 2013 BMW Championship at Conway Farms. Johnson began the final round of the BMW Championship three strokes off Jim Furyk's lead, before a 6-under 65 on the Monday finish resulted in a two-stroke win over Nick Watney at 16-under 268. He finished the season at No.5 in the FedExCup standings.

Bubba Watson has four career victories on the PGA TOUR, the most notable being the 2012 Masters. This season Watson has had three top¬10 finishes, placing fourth at the Travelers Championship after holding the second-round lead and a share of the third-round lead.

Rounding out this exceptional field are veterans Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker. Jim Furyk took home the World Challenge trophy in 2010, with remarkable weekend rounds of 10-under 67-67 adding up to a 13¬under total of 275, worth a one-shot victory over McDowell. Furyk has a total of 16 PGA TOUR victories over the course of his career including the more recent wins such as 2005 Cialis Western Open, 2006 Wachovia Championship, 2007 Canadian Open, the 2010 Transitions Championship and the 2010 TOUR Championship. This season, Furyk's best finish came at the PGA Championship where he placed second after holding a share of the first-round lead and sole possession of the third-round lead. He entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Jason Dufner, but shot a 71 and finished two-shots behind. Steve Stricker has a total of 12 PGA TOUR victories over the course of his career including the more recent wins such as 2011 Memorial Tournament, 2011 John Deere Classic, and the 2012 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. This season, Stricker has finished second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, four strokes behind Dustin Johnson, also placing second at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship finishing two strokes behind Tiger Woods, making it his 13th career runner-up finish and second of the season. Stricker finished the season at No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.

In addition to the seasoned veterans on TOUR, the World Challenge will feature two young stars, Keegan Bradley and Jason Day. Keegan Bradley finished second at the 2012 World Challenge, coming up short three strokes behind Graeme McDowell. Bradley closed with a 69 to wind up at 14-under. Bradley currently has three PGA TOUR victories with the most recent coming from the 2012 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. This season Bradley has had seven top-10 finishes, with his most notable finishing second at HP Bryon Nelson Championship. Bradley finished No. 18 in the FedExCup standings. Jason Day has also had an impressive 2013 season with seven top-10 finishes on TOUR, including finishing third at the Masters Tournament. Day finished the PGA TOUR season at No. 17 in the FedExCup standings.

About The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge:

The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge celebrates its 15th year by once again bringing golf's greatest stars to Southern California. The tournament returns to Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where participants and spectators alike will experience the club’s world renowned course designed by famed architect and professional golfer Jack Nicklaus. Proceeds benefit the college-access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation. The 72-hole, stroke play event features an elite field of 18 PGA TOUR players competing for a $3.5 million purse. The winner receives $1 million, and the 18th-place finisher receives $120,000. Tickets, which start as low as $30, can be purchased online. For further information, visit www.worldchallengegolf.com.


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