Brandt Snedeker starts a new year in golf with hopes of avoiding an old problem -- staying healthy.
The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday in Kapalua, Hawaii, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee.
"I had been on one all day," Snedeker said Wednesday. "I hit a sprinkler head, lost control a little bit and jumped off. I landed on my knee and my knee popped."
He feared he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament. Just his luck, he only suffered a small tear, along with a cracked tibia.
Snedeker said the knee feels good, though the real test starts Friday. He spent last week playing at Hideaway in the California desert, walking 18 holes a day and carrying his own bag.
"I've had a few aches and pains of playing again, but nothing that concerns me," he said.
In his seven years on tour, Snedeker has had surgery on both hips to correct a degenerative problem. He missed the 2012 U.S. Open because of a rib injury. Last year he had recurring problems with his ribs and missed a month. Snedeker said his rookie season was his only injury-free year.
"Over the course of your career, you're going to have injuries. I'm hoping all mine are in a five-year stretch," he said.
The list of those who failed to qualify is nearly as impressive as the 30 players that did -- Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker and Sergio Garcia from the top 10 in the world, along with Jason Day, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Charl Schwartzel, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley to round out the top 20.
Only nine players who were in the 2012 field at Kapalua returned this year, starting with defending champion Dustin Johnson.