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10/11/2011

Accomplished 18-player field set for 2011 Chevron World Challenge

13th-annual golf tournament the marquee event of the PGA TOUR Challenge Season

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- A quintet of major champions, three PGA TOUR FedExCup champions, nine of the top 12 golfers in the 2011 FedExCup standings and 13 selections for the 2011 Presidents Cup are among those in the decorated, 18-player field eager to compete at the 13th Chevron World Challenge, Nov. 30-Dec. 4.

The Chevron World Challenge, co-sponsored by the PGA Tour, is a four-round, 72-hole stroke-play event with a $5 million purse and a $1.2 million winner's check. The unique showcase, which awards Official World Golf Ranking points, is being held at the challenging, par-72, 7,052-yard Sherwood Country Club for the 12th consecutive year.

The 16 who qualified for the Chevron World Challenge, based on the Official World Golf Ranking as of Sept. 19, are Steve Stricker (No. 5 world ranking), Dustin Johnson (No. 6), Jason Day (No. 7), Matt Kuchar (No. 8), Nick Watney (No. 11), Webb Simpson (No. 13), Bubba Watson (No. 15), K.J. Choi (No. 16), 2001 PGA Championship winner David Toms (No. 18), Paul Casey (No. 20), Hunter Mahan (No. 23), 2003 U.S. Open and 2010 FedExCup champ Jim Furyk (No. 24), Brandt Snedeker (No. 25), 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley (No. 28), Martin Laird (No. 31) and 2007 Masters champ Zach Johnson (No. 33).

In addition, the Chevron World Challenge awarded exemptions to tournament host, Southern California native and four-time event winner Tiger Woods -- the PGA TOUR's active leader with 71 wins and 14 major championships who is making his only 2011 PGA TOUR appearance in the greater Los Angeles area -- and newly minted FedExCup champion Bill Haas.

Fourteen of the 18 players in the Chevron World Challenge are Americans, with the other four players representing Australia (Day), England (Casey), South Korea (Choi) and Scotland (Laird). The Chevron World Challenge field also boasts 13 players taking part in November's Presidents Cup in Australia -- 11 of the 12 players on the American team and two International team members in Day and Choi.

The Chevron World Challenge will be televised live on Golf Channel, Dec. 1-2, from 1-4 p.m. PT, and will receive live network coverage on NBC, Dec. 3-4, from 12-3 p.m. PT.

Chevron World Challenge tickets are on sale at ChevronWorldChallenge.com. Tournament beneficiaries include the Tiger Woods Foundation, which offers college-access programs for underserved youth in all stages of academic life, and local youth organizations.

Daily gallery passes for Wednesday's pro-am (Nov. 30) and Thursday's and Friday's first two rounds (Dec. 1-2) of competition are $30, while daily tickets for Saturday's third round and Sunday's final round (Dec. 3-4) are $40. Daily tickets for kids ages 13-17 are $10; children 12 and under are free. Parking is also complimentary.

The best bargain for the most avid sports and golf fans is the Ticket Six Pack, which consists of two grounds passes for the Nov. 30 pro-am and one grounds ticket for each of the four competition rounds (Dec. 1-4) for $100 -- a 50 percent savings from the retail value. Other tickets providing clubhouse access are detailed online at ChevronWorldChallenge.com.

The Chevron World Challenge introduces a brand-new fan experience via the Champions Club, a fan pavilion equipped with comfortable seating; televisions; upgraded, premium food and beverage options; and a majestic view of the action as the players approach the ninth and 18th greens. Daily Champions Club tickets are $60 Wednesday-Friday of tournament week and $80 on Saturday and Sunday.

Woods is the only four-time winner of the Chevron World Challenge (only one other player has won two) with victories in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2007. Woods' bid for a fifth title fell short last year in a sudden-death playoff. Woods, who won two of the five FedExCup championships (2007 and 2009) and spent 281 consecutive weeks as world No. 1 until Nov. 1, 2010, endured an injury-riddled 2011 in which he played eight PGA TOUR events. His best result was a tie for fourth at the Masters in April.

Three-time PGA TOUR winner Haas, 29, became the youngest PGA TOUR Playoffs champion 16 days ago when he outlasted Mahan in a three-hole playoff to win THE TOUR Championship and the $10 million FedExCup jackpot, and move to No. 20 in the world. Haas' third playoff of 2011 was the charm as the son of Champions Tour star Jay Haas was runner-up at the Humana Challenge and The Greenbrier Classic. Haas won the 2010 Humana Challenge and Viking Classic.

Stricker is the top-ranked American in the world and has gained a reputation as being one of the most consistent golfers on the PGA TOUR and one of the most clutch players in the TOUR's Playoffs for the FedExCup. The 11-time TOUR winner has won two FedExCup playoff events, including the inaugural PGA TOUR Playoff event at the 2007 Barclays, and is one of six double-winners on the PGA TOUR in 2011, having won the Memorial Tournament and the John Deere Classic for the third consecutive year.

Dustin Johnson has staked his claim as one of America's finest young golfers as he collected his fifth PGA TOUR title (in the last three years) at The Barclays in August. He has been knocking on the door for a major championship the past couple years, finishing runner-up at this year's British Open and holding final-round leads in the 2010 U.S. Open and 2010 PGA Championship. One of the longest hitters on the PGA TOUR, Johnson is third on TOUR with an awesome average driving distance of 314.2 yards.

Day is the world's top-ranked Australian golfer and, since winning his first PGA TOUR event in 2010, is another 20-something who has launched himself into golf stardom. At 23, the youngest player in the Chevron World Challenge field recorded runner-up finishes in consecutive majors while playing the Masters and U.S. Open for the first time this year. Combined with his tie for 10th at the 2010 PGA Championship, Day has three top-10s in six career major starts. He is tied for second on TOUR with 10 top-10 results this year.

A three-time PGA TOUR winner, Kuchar has been as consistently excellent as anyone in the past two seasons. Kuchar ranks No. 6 on the PGA TOUR money list and in the final FedExCup playoff standings. A year ago, he was the TOUR's leading money winner and FedExCup runner-up. Kuchar led the TOUR with 11 top-10 results in 2010, highlighted by a victory at The Barclays, and has nine top-10s in 2011, including second-place finishes at this year's Memorial Tournament and The Barclays.

Watney is a 2011 PGA TOUR double-winner -- claiming his third and fourth TOUR titles at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and AT&T National -- who was atop the FedExCup standings going into the PGA TOUR Playoffs in August. Establishing himself among America's best young golfers, Watney recorded five consecutive top-10 results to begin the year, has 10 top-10s overall and is third on the TOUR money list.

Ranked No. 213 in the world entering 2011, Simpson came out of nowhere in the past two months to finish as the FedExCup runner-up by a mere 15 points. He gained his first PGA TOUR win at the Wyndham Championship in late August and won again two weeks later at the Deutsche Bank Championship, elevating him to No. 1 in the FedExCup standings and on the TOUR money list. Currently ranked No. 2 on the money list, Simpson's breakthrough year includes 10 top-10 finishes.

Watson is one of the most entertaining golfers on the PGA TOUR with his two wins this year at the Farmers Insurance Open and Zurich Classic of New Orleans, his long swing and 314.9-yard driving average that ranks him second on TOUR, and his outgoing personality and love for Twitter. Watson took his game to another level in 2010, when he won his first TOUR title at the Travelers Championship and finished runner-up at the Humana Challenge and PGA Championship.

Choi is the most successful Korean golfer in PGA TOUR history and has been a pioneer of sorts for Asian golfers with PGA TOUR aspirations. Choi won his eighth and most significant career TOUR title at this year's PLAYERS Championship. Choi ranks No. 4 on the TOUR money list. He has been in final-round contention at the Masters the past two years, placing in a tie for eighth this year and tying for fourth in 2010.

The 2011 Chevron World Challenge's oldest player at 44, Toms is a 13-time PGA TOUR champion who has enjoyed a career rebound in 2011. A week after losing a playoff to Choi at the PLAYERS Championship, he won his first TOUR event in five years at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. The 2001 PGA champion also tied for third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and tied for fourth at the PGA Championship. He ranks in the top 10 on this year's TOUR money list.

Casey has spent much of 2011 on the European Tour but returns to play in his sixth consecutive Chevron World Challenge. He finished third at Sherwood in 2010, a nice cap to a year that saw him finish second at the WGC-Accenture Match Play and BMW Championship and tie for third at the British Open.

Mahan is a three-time PGA TOUR winner who won twice in 2010 and came within a sudden-death playoff of winning September's TOUR Championship and FedExCup. Mahan also finished second at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and is tied for fifth on TOUR with nine top-10 finishes. Mahan's wacky, fun-loving personality came out on the internet as he starred with Watson in the famed "Golf Boys" video.

Making his fifth consecutive Chevron World Challenge start, Furyk is one of two past champions in this year's field (along with Woods) and is one of America's leading veteran golfers. He has won 16 PGA TOUR events, including the 2003 U.S. Open. He won last year's TOUR Championship, the last of his three wins in 2010, which locked up his first FedExCup championship.

Snedeker is concluding his best year on the PGA TOUR, having won his second TOUR title in a sudden-death playoff at The Heritage to go along with four other top-four finishes this season. He registered back-to-back ties for third in the PGA TOUR Playoffs at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship and placed eighth in the final FedExCup standings.

Chevron World Challenge rookie Bradley is the only double-winner of six PGA TOUR rookie champions in 2011. He won August's PGA Championship in a three-hole playoff and claimed the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May. In winning the PGA, Bradley became the first golfer to win a major the year after graduating from the Nationwide Tour and only the third golfer to win his first major start. Bradley is the nephew of World Golf and LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley.

Laird, Scotland's No. 1 golfer who is also poised to make his Chevron World Challenge debut, claimed his second PGA TOUR title this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and tied for third in February's Waste Management Phoenix Open. He has posted three runner-up finishes on TOUR over 2009 and 2010.

Zach Johnson is a seven-time PGA TOUR winner and two-time U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup player. He has won on TOUR from 2007-10, including the 2007 Masters, as his driving accuracy and consistency with his irons overcame the big hitters at Augusta National. Johnson, a 2007 Chevron World Challenge runner-up, will be making his fourth start at Sherwood in the last five years.

About the Chevron World Challenge: The Chevron World Challenge celebrates its 13th year by once again bringing golf's finest stars to Southern California. The tournament is played at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on a course designed by famed architect and professional golfer Jack Nicklaus.

The 72-hole, regulation-play event features an elite field of 18 elite PGA TOUR players competing for a $5 million purse. The field is made up of the current four major winners, the top 11 available from the Official World Golf Rankings, the defending champion and two special-exemption players. The winner receives $1.2 million, and the 18th-place finisher receives $140,000. For additional tournament information please visit ChevronWorldChallenge.com.

About Chevron: Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide. The company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at Chevron.com.