Florida swing marches on to the home of the King at Bay Hill

March 1, 2022 GMT

PGA TOUR

ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL

Site: Orlando, Florida.

Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Yardage: 7,466. Par: 72.

Prize money: $12 million. Winner’s share: $2.16 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC).

Defending champion: Bryson DeChambeau.

FedEx Cup leader: Hideki Matsuyama.

Last week: Sepp Straka won the Honda Classic.

Notes: This is the second “elevated status” event in three weeks, offering a $12 million purse and having a 120-man field. But while Riviera attracted all the top 10 players in the world, only five of the top 10 will be at Bay Hill. ... Bryson DeChambeau withdrew because he didn’t feel he was fully healthy. He is the sixth player this season who is not defending a title on the PGA Tour. ... Rickie Fowler, who needed a sponsor exemption to play at Riviera, made it into the Bay Hill field based on his FedEx Cup standing this year (No. 75). ... Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson was given one of the 18 sponsor exemptions allowed for the tournament. Others getting exemptions were longtime Bay Hill supporter Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Sean O’Hair and Charles Howell III. ... U.S. Amateur champion James Piot of Michigan State makes his PGA Tour debut. ... Hideki Matsuyama is the only reigning champion in the field. ... Only five tournaments remain before the field for the Masters is set. Among those still not eligible and playing at Bay Hill are Jason Day and Ian Poulter.

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Next week: The Players Championship.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/

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LPGA TOUR

HSBC WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.

Site: Singapore.

Course: Sentosa GC (Tanjong). Yardage: 6,718. Par: 72.

Prize money: $1.7 million. Winner’s share: $255,000.

Television: Wednesday-Thursday, 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday-Saturday, 11:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Hyo Joo Kim.

Race to CME Globe leader: Danielle Kang.

Last tournament: Leona Maguire won the LPGA Drive On Championship.

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Notes: Jin Young Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, makes her LPGA debut this year. She stayed home in South Korea and did not play any of the three events in Florida. ... Nelly Korda, at No. 2 in the world, plans to miss the two-tournament Asia swing and return in California to prepare for the first major. ... Korda and Lexi Thompson (No. 10) are the only players from the top 10 in the world who are not playing Singapore. ... The LPGA’s first Asia swing goes from Singapore to Thailand before returning to the U.S. West Coast. ... The last five winners of the HSBC Women’s World Championship closed with a round of 65 or lower. ... This is the last tournament Michelle Wie won in 2018 before a series of injuries slowed her game. ... Annika Sorenstam, 51, has filed an entry to play in the U.S. Women’ Open at Pine Needles, where she won in 1996. Sorenstam also plans to play in the Senior LPGA Championship.

Next week: Honda LPGA Thailand.

Online: https://www.lpga.com/

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PGA TOUR

PUERTO RICO OPEN

Site: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Course: Grand Reserve CC. Yardage: 7,506. Par: 72.

Prize money: $3.7 million. Winner’s share: $666,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 2:30-5 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Branden Grace.

FedEx Cup leader: Hideki Matsuyama.

Last week: Sepp Straka won the Honda Classic.

Notes: The tournament typically is opposite the WGC-Match Play and this year is held opposite the Arnold Palmer Invitational. ... Chan Kim at No. 82 is the highest-ranked player in the field. This will be the last chance for Kim, who grew up in Hawaii, to qualify as one of the top 64 players available for the Match Play. ... The Danish twins are split up this week. Rasmus Hojgaard is playing Puerto Rico, while brother Nicolai is playing at Bay Hill. ... Branden Grace won the Puerto Rico Open last year. He is not back to defend because he qualified for Bay Hill. ... The winner receives a two-year exemption and gets in the PGA Championship, but he will not be exempt for the Masters. ... Rafa Cabrera Bello is among those receiving sponsor exemptions. ... Also playing is 56-year-old Carlos Franco of Paraguay. It will be the fifth PGA Tour start in seven years for the former Presidents Cup player.

Next week: The Players Championship.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

HOAG CLASSIC

Site: Newport Beach, California.

Course: Newport Beach CC. Yardage: 6,612. Par: 71.

Prize money: $2 million. Winner’s share: $300,000.

Television: Friday, 6-8 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4:30-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Ernie Els.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Last week: Miguel Angel Jimenez won the Cologuard Classic.

Notes: This is the last PGA Tour Champions event until a week before the Masters. ... Steve Stricker has told Wisconsin.Golf that he won’t be ready for The Players Championship next week and hopes to be able to return in April. ... Hale Irwin, Fred Couples and Jay Haas are the only two-time winners since the event began in 1995. ... The field includes Paul Goydos, who grew up at nearby Virginia Country Club and played college golf at Long Beach State. ... There are 20 major champions playing the Hoag Classic. Another one, former Masters champion Larry Mize, is on the alternate list. ... Bernhard Langer remains two victories away from matching the record 45 wins on the PGA Tour Champions set by Hale Irwin. ... Duffy Waldorf holds the tournament record at 20-under 193 in 2015. ... Billy Andrade received one of the two sponsor exemptions.

Next tournament: Rapiscan Systems Classic on April 1-3.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/champions.html

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EUROPEAN TOUR

MAGICAL KENYA OPEN

Site: Nairobi, Kenya.

Course: Muthaiga CC. Yardage: 7,184. Par: 71.

Prize money: 1.75 million euros (U.S. $1.94 Million). Winner’s share: 291,667 euros ($U.S. $324,832)

Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-10 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 5-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Justin Harding.

DP Tour points leader: Jon Rahm.

Last tournament: Ryan Fox won the Ras al Khaimah Classic.

Notes: No one from the top 50 in the world is playing. The field has five players from the top 100, led by Dean Burmester. ... The field features 14 players from Kenya, six of whom were offered amateur exemptions. ... A year ago, the European Tour played consecutive weeks in Kenya because of travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both were held at Karen Country Club. This year’s event moves back to Muthaiga. ... The European Tour says on the continent next week by going to South Africa for the next two weeks. ... The Kenya Open began in 1967. It became part of the Sunshine Tour in South Africa in 1977, and then the Challenge Tour in 1991. The European Tour added it to the schedule in 2019. ... Past champions include the late Seve Ballesteros (1978), Ian Woosnam (1986) and Trevor Immelman, who won in 2000 when it was part of the Challenge Tour.

Next week: MyGolfLife Open.

Online: https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/

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OTHER TOURS

Epson Tour: Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Florida. Defending champion: Janie Jackson. Online: https://www.epsontour.com/

Asian Tour: International Series Thailand, Black Mountain GC, Prachaubkhirikhan, Thailand. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://www.asiantour.com/

Challenge Tour: Mangaung Open, Bloemfontein GC, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://www.europeantour.com/challenge-tour/

Japan LPGA: Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tour, Ryukyu GC, Okinawa, Japan. Defending champion: Sakura Koiwai. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en/

Sunshine Tour: Kit Kat Group Pro-Am, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Johannesburg. Defending champion: Rhys Enoch. Online: https://sunshinetour.com/

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