Chevron World Challenge Preview

An elite field of 18 will tee it up this week in the 11th Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in California. Tournament host Tiger Woods is not playing following last week's car accident.

Graeme McDowell replaces Woods

Lowdown: For the second year running, tournament host Tiger Woods will not play in the Chevron World Challenge. Last season it was because he was recovering from knee surgery, this time it's because he's recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash outside his home last week. Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell has taken Tiger's place in the exclusive 18-man field. This season the tournament will, for the first time, carry Official World Ranking points so there's an even greater incentive for the players than just the $1,350,000 winner's cheque. The field for the event consists of the winners of golf's four Majors, two exemptions selected by the Tiger Woods foundation then the top available players on the Official World Golf Ranking. Defending champion Vijay Singh has withdrawn from the event. A number of European players will tee it up at Sherwood Country Club for the 11th running of the tournament. Newly crowned European Number 1 Lee Westwood has made the trip across the Atlantic as have Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey as well as McDowell. Proceeds from the tournament will go to programmes implemented by the Tiger Woods foundation.

Venue: Sherwood Country Club, California Date: Dec 3-6 Course stats: par 72, 7,027yards Purse: $5,750,000 Winner: $1,350,000 Defending Champion: Vijay Singh (-11)

TV Coverage: Thursday 3 - Live on British Eurosport from 8pm Friday 4 - Live on British Eurosport from 8pm Saturday 5 - Live British Eurosport from 8pm Sunday 6 - Live on British Eurosport from 8pm

Player Watch: Lee Westwood - Coming off an awesome performance at the Dubai World Championship, the Englishman will be the man to beat. Padraig Harrington - The Irishman won this tournament in 2002 and was runner-up in 2004. A victory is overdue for the three-time Major champion. Steve Stricker - Last year's runner-up will be looking to go one better this time out.

Key hole: 15th. A beautiful par 3 of 189 yards. The tee-shot is all carry across water to a narrow green. Getting the correct club here is essential. Skills required: Beating the best. With a select field featuring many of the world's best players, the man who comes out on top will have to produce an awesome week's golf.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?