This week in the world of golf . . .
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
All Times EDT
PGA TOUR: ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL
Site: Orlando, Fla.
Course: Bay Hill Club and Lodge (7,419 yards, par 72).
Purse: $6 million. Winner’s share: $1.08 million.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight; Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m., 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-6 p.m.).
Last year: Scotland’s Martin Laird became the first European winner in the event, overcoming a three-shot deficit with four holes to play with two birdies and two remarkable pars. He closed with a 75 to beat Steve Marino by a stroke.
Last week: England’s Luke Donald won the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor to regain the No. 1 spot in the world from Rory McIlroy. Donald closed with a 5-under 66, then beat Jim Furyk, Robert Garrigus and Bae Sang-Moon with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
Notes: Six-time Bay Hill winner Tiger Woods is returning to tour play two weeks after withdrawing in the final round at Doral because of a mild strain in his left Achilles tendon. He played the Tavistock Cup exhibition event Monday and Tuesday. ... Phil Mickelson, the 1997 winner, won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February for his 40th PGA Tour victory. ... No. 7 Webb Simpson and No. 8 Justin Rose, the Doral winner, are the only players in the top 10 in the world in the field. ... Tournament host Arnold Palmer is 82. ... U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft is in the field. He is a former SMU player. ... The Houston Open is next week, followed by the Masters.
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LPGA TOUR: KIA CLASSIC
Site: Carlsbad, Calif.
Course: La Costa Resort and Spa, Legends Course (6,490 yards, par 72).
Purse: $1.7 million. Winner’s share: $255,000.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday, 6:30-9 p.m.; Friday, 1-3 a.m., 6:30-9 p.m.; Saturday, 3-5 a.m., 6:30-9 p.m.; Sunday, 3-5 a.m., 7-9 p.m.; Monday, 3-5 a.m.).
Last year: Sandra Gal became the second German winner in LPGA Tour history, birdieing the final hole to beat Jiyai Shin by a stroke at Industry Hills.
Last week: Yani Tseng on the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix for her second victory of the year and 14th LPGA Tour title. The top-ranked Taiwanese star held off Ai Miyazato and Na Yeon Choi by a stroke in cold, rain, wind and hail in the final round.
Notes: The Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major championship of the year, is next week at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage. ... Tseng is in the field. ... Kia endorser Michelle Wie is making her third start of the year. She tied for 38th in the LPGA Thailand and was 59th in Singapore in the HSBC Women’s Champions. ... Hee Kyung Seo won the 2010 event at La Costa.
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CHAMPIONS TOUR: MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC
Site: Saucier, Miss.
Course: Fallen Oak Country Club (7,119 yards, par 72).
Purse: $1.6 million. Winner’s share: $240,000.
Television: Golf Channel (Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 a.m., 2:30-5 p.m.; Monday, 1-3 a.m.).
Last year: Tom Lehman won the second of his three 2011 victories, beating Nick Price, Jeff Sluman and David Frost by four strokes.
Last week: Loren Roberts won the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., for his 13th Champions Tour title. Mark Calcavecchia, Bernhard Langer and Tom Kite tied for second, two strokes back.
Notes: Fred Couples is coming off an eighth-place tie Sunday in Newport Beach. He’s scheduled to play the PGA Tour’s Houston Open and the Masters the next two weeks. ... Ian Woosnam received a sponsor exemption. ... David Eger won the inaugural tournament in 2010. ... The tour is off the next two weeks. Play will resume with the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am on April 13-15 in Lutz, Fla.
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EUROPEAN TOUR: HASSAN II TROPHY
Site: Agadir, Morocco.
Course: Golf du Palais Royal (6,945 yards, par 72).
Purse: $1.99 million. Winner’s share: $159,750.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.).
Last year: England’s David Horsey won his second European Tour title, making a hole-in-one and winning with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.
Last week: France’s Julien Quesne won the Andalucia Open for his first European Tour victory. He matched the Aloha course record with an 8-under 64 in the final round to beat Italy’s Matteo Manassero by two strokes.
Notes: John Daly, Rich Beem and Peter Uihlein are in the field. ... The Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Palais Royal sits inside the walls of the Royal Palace of Agadir. Other than the tournament, the course is used only by King Mohammed VI and his guests. ... The tournament, first played in 1971, is in its third season as a European Tour event. ... The Sicilian Open is next week.
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NATIONWIDE TOUR: LOUISIANA OPEN
Site: Broussard, La.
Course: Le Triomphe Country Club (7,006 yards, par 71).
Purse: $500,000. Winner’s share: $90,000.
Last year: PGA Tour winner Brett Wetterich beat University of Florida senior Andres Echavarria by a stroke. Wetterich also won the 2003 tournament.
Last event: Paul Haley II won the Chile Classic on March 11. The 24-year-old former Georgia Tech player was making his third career Nationwide Tour start.
Notes: The tournament, in its 21st year at Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Le Triomphe, is the fourth event of the season and first in the United States. Skip Kendall won the season-opening Colombia Championship and Edward Loar won the Panama Championship. ... The tour is off next week. Play will resume April 5-8 with the Soboba Classic in San Jacinto, Calif.
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ONEASIA TOUR: Indonesia Open, Thursday-Sunday, Emeralda Golf Club, Jakarta, Indonesia.
SUNSHINE TOUR: Platinum Classic, Thursday-Saturday, Mooinooi Golf Club, Rustenburg, South Africa.
TOUR OF THE AMERICAS: La Vitalicia International Open, Thursday-Sunday, Barquisimeto Golf Club, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.
eGOLF PROFESSIONAL TOUR: Irish Creek Classic, Wednesday-Saturday, The Club at Irish Creek, Kannapolis, N.C., and Cabarrus Country Club, Concord, N.C.
LPGA FUTURES TOUR: Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, Friday-Sunday, Lake Region Yacht and Country Club, Winter Haven, Fla.
LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR: Lalla Meryem Cup, Thursday-Sunday, Ocean Golf Agadir, Morocco.