The inaugural event of the 2023 season, the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, will celebrate its fifth anniversary this week with a variety of star power. Since 2019, LPGA winners and celebrities have converged on Orlando for a fun-filled event that always promises excitement.
Everyone in the 30-man field has secured their spot in this week’s competition with wins on the LPGA Tour the past two seasons, making the event packed with many of the best talent. The group is second ranked by Nelly Korda, who has reached the top 10 on every iteration of the event. Korda is also joined by the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings top 10 and is last year’s runner-up to No. 7 Brooke Henderson and No. 10 Nasa Hatooka.
Daniel Kang for defence
After losing in 2021 to Jessica Korda in a playoff, Daniel Kang came to Lake Nona in 2022 on a mission. Kang shot a final round 4-under 68 for her fifth LPGA win by three strokes over Henderson. The win came just a few months before Kang was sidelined for much of the summer with an injury. Kang returned to the Tour in the fall and had three consecutive top 20 finishers to finish the season. Although her game has seen a remarkable turnaround, Kang is riding a massive wave of momentum through 2023 and is preparing to defend her title this weekend.
First time winners at Rolex 2022
Last season saw a record 11 first-time Rolex winners, which means a whopping 10 players make their debuts at this year’s Tournament of Champions: Jennifer Kupshaw, Leona Maguire, Andrea Lee, Ayaka Furio, Judy Ewart Schadoff, Ashleigh Bohai and Nana. Kuertz-Madsen, Paula Retto, Gemma Dryburgh and Maja Stark. Maguire enters the new year with plenty of energy after finishing runner-up in the CME Group Tour Championship, which was buoyed by a Round 3 63. Dryburgh also found success in late 2022, winning the TOTO Japan Classic and earning a card into the T7 eventual championship CME Group Tour.
A number of celebrities will compete alongside the LPGA’s top player for the chance to win the game of golf. LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam will hit the field at Lake Nona alongside several current and former athletes including Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, Vince Carter and Roger Clemens. But the field extends to stardom, with everyone from actors Michael Pena and Brian Baumgartner to Larry the Cable Guy joining in on the fun.
Committed to Orlando
HGV Serves by Hilton Grand Vacations is a giving back initiative designed to support Orlando-area charities through the Tournament of Champions and beyond. This year HGV Serves will focus on youth development and the tournament will benefit 40 clubs affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida and the ANNIKA Foundation. On Saturday, children will have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the tournament as well as witness world-class athletes.