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Former Kansas Jayhawk Golfer Gary Woodland Starts 2012 PGA Season In Hawaii

Topeka native Gary Woodland, who played golf collegiately at Kansas, is one of last year's PGA champions who is teeing it up this weekend at the Tournament of Champions on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland

When the PGA Tour season-opener gets under way today in Kapalua, Hawaii, on the island of Maui, former Kansas Jayhawk golfer and Topeka native Gary Woodland will be in the field.

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the first event on the 2012 PGA Tour schedule, is limited to the winners of last season's PGA Tour events. Woodland, 27, qualified for the trip to Maui this week as the winner of the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., last March, his only win at the PGA's top level of tournament play. He has three career wins on the Nationwide Tour.

Woodland finished the 2011 season in 17th place on the PGA Tour money list. For the year, he had six top-ten finishes in 25 tournaments. Woodland also teamed with Matt Kuchar, winning a match for the U.S. team that competed in the World Cup in November in China. He ranked fifth on the PGA Tour in 2011 in driving distance, averaging 310.5 yards off of the tee.

Woodland says he's ready to go in Hawaii. "I am so far ahead of where I was last year," he told media during practice for the Tournament of Champions, which runs through Monday.

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PGA Tour