This week in the world of golf . . .
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
All Times EDT
LPGA TOUR: KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Course: Mission Hills Country Club, Dinah Shore Tournament Course (6,738 yards, par 72).
Purse: $2 million. Winner's share: $300,000.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday, noon-3 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Friday, 1:30-4:30 a.m., noon-3 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30-4:30 a.m., 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday, midnight-4 a.m., 4:30-8:30 p.m.; Monday, midnight-4 a.m.).
Last year: Stacy Lewis won the major championship for her first LPGA Tour title, beating 2010 winner Yani Tseng by three strokes.
Last week: Tseng won the Kia Classic at La Costa for her second straight LPGA Tour title, third in five events this year and 15th overall. The 23-year-old Taiwanese star won by six strokes. She has had at least a share of the lead after all eight rounds the last two weeks in Phoenix and Carlsbad.
Notes: Tseng also won the LPGA Founders Cup two weeks ago in Phoenix and the LPGA Thailand in February. She led the tour last season with seven victories — including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open — and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles. ... The event, first played in 1972 as the Colgate Dinah Shore, became a major in 1983. ... Morgan Pressel won in 2007 to become the youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days. ... The tour is off the next two weeks. Play will resume April 18-21 with the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.
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PGA TOUR: HOUSTON OPEN
Site: Humble, Texas.
Course: Redstone Golf Club, Tournament Course (7,457 yards, par 72).
Purse: $6 million. Winner's share: $1.08 million.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m., 9-11:30 p.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Last year: Phil Mickelson beat Chris Kirk and Scott Verplank by three strokes. Mickelson had weekend rounds of 63 and 65 to finish at 20-under 268.
Last week: Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for his first PGA Tour victory since a sex scandal at the end of 2009. He beat Graeme McDowell by five strokes for his record seventh victory at Bay Hill and 72nd PGA Tour win.
Notes: The Masters is next week. The winner, if not already exempt, will earn a spot at Augusta National. ... Mickelson is in the field along with McDowell, defending Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, British Open champion Darren Clarke, PGA winner Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Fred Couples. ... Mickelson won at Pebble Beach in February for his 40th PGA Tour title. ... Couples, the 2003 winner on the adjacent Members Course, is coming off a Champions Tour victory Sunday in Mississippi. ... Els needs to win to get into the Masters.
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EUROPEAN TOUR: SICILIAN OPEN
Site: Agrigento, Sicily.
Course: Verdura Golf and Spa Resort (7,375 yards, par 72).
Purse: $1.33 million. Winner's share: $220,950.
Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7-11 a.m.).
Last year: France's Raphael Jacquelin won in a Monday finish, beating England's Anthony Wall by a stroke at Donnafugata.
Last week: Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey won the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco for his fourth European Tour title. Ireland's Damien McGrane was second, three strokes back.
Notes: Jacquelin is in the field along with 18-year-old Italian star Matteo Manassero, John Daly, Rich Beem and Tom Lewis. ... The Masters is week, followed by the Malaysian Open, China Open and Ballantine's Championship in South Korea.
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Next event: Encompass Insurance Pro-Am, April 13-15, TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, Fla.
Last week: Fred Couples made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Michael Allen in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. Couples has seven Champions Tour victories.
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Next event: Soboba Classic, April 5-8, The Country Club at Soboba Springs, San Jacinto, Calif.
Last week: Casey Wittenberg won the Louisiana Open for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for an eight-stroke victory and tournament-record 24-under 260 total.
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ASIAN TOUR: Indian Open, Thursday-Sunday, Delhi Golf Club, New Delhi.
PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA: New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship, Thursday-Sunday, The Hills Golf Course, Queenstown, New Zealand.
eGOLF PROFESSIONAL TOUR: River Run Classic, Wednesday-Saturday, River Run Country Club, Davidson, N.C.
NGA TOUR: Cutter Creek Golf Classic, Wednesday-Saturday, Cutter Creek Golf Club, Snow Hill, N.C.
JAPAN LPGA TOUR: Yamaha Ladies Open, Friday-Sunday, Katsuragi Golf Club, Shizuoka, Japan.