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Rain, wind turn paradise into peril for PGA Tour's season opener

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    The championship trophy for the Tournament of Champions golf tournament is displayed as rainbow appears in the background, Friday morning, Jan. 4, 2013, in Kapalua, Hawaii. Tournament play begins Friday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)The Associated Press

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    Traditional Hawaiian dancer Kamalu Elaban dances in view of the championship trophy during an opening ceremony at the Tournament of Champions golf tournament, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)The Associated Press

The PGA Tour's 2013 season has begun in a setting that hardly feels like paradise.

Rickie Fowler hit the opening tee shot in the 30-man field of players who won last year in a strong wind accompanied by occasional bursts of rain. Fowler, whose first PGA Tour victory came at the Wells Fargo Championship, split the middle of the fairway with a 360-yard tee shot. Then again, the fairway is about 60 yards wide.

This is the 15th straight season the tour has started on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, built on the side of a mountain with severe changes in elevation. A year ago, there were 41 tee shots that traveled at least 400 yards.

Steve Stricker is the defending champion.