Crown jewel of the PGA Tour with The Players Championship
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Course: TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium). Yardage: 7, 256. Par: 72.
Prize money: $20 million. Winner’s share: $3.6 million.
Television: Thursday-Friday, noon-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Justin Thomas.
FedEx Cup leader: Scottie Scheffler.
Last week: Scottie Scheffler won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Ryan Brehm won the Puerto Rico Open.
Notes: The PGA Tour’s premier tournament has the richest purse in golf at $20 million, with $3.6 million going to the winner. ... Phil Mickelson is not in the field as he takes time away following his controversial remarks regarding the Saudi-funded rival league. Mickelson has missed only two other times dating to 1992 — in 1994 because of a broken leg from skiing, and in 2003 because of the birth of his son. ... Bryson DeChambeau withdrew for the second straight week, saying he was not fully healthy. ... Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Harris English and Kevin Na also are not playing. ... Scottie Scheffler and Hideki Matsuyama are the only two multiple winners on the PGA Tour this season. ... The winner gets a five-year exemption, and a three-year exemption into the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. ... Rickie Fowler is not eligible for the first time since his rookie season in 2010. He won The Players in 2015. ... Justin Thomas has not won since his victory a year ago. ... With so many ranking points offered at The Players, No. 1 is up for grabs among the top five players. ... Ryan Brehm won the Puerto Rico Open to earn his first trip to The Players Championship.
Next week: Valspar Championship.
HONDA LPGA THAILAND
Site: Chonburi, Thailand.
Course: Siam CC (Pattaya Old). Yardage: 6,576. Par: 72.
Prize money: $1.6 million. Winner’s share: $240,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday 1-3 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1:30-3:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 1:30-4:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Ariya Jutanugarn.
Race to CME Globe leader: Danielle Kang.
Last week: Jin Young Ko won the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
Notes: Jin Young Ko, who played last week for the first time this season, is taking off Thailand and will return to the LPGA at the end of the month in California. ... Nelly Korda is missing the two-week Asia swing this year. ... Players from four countries have won each of the four LPGA events this year — United States (Danielle Kang), New Zealand (Lydia Ko), Ireland (Leona Maguire) and South Korea (Jin Young Ko). ... The tournament dates to 2006. ... Jessica Korda holds the tournament record at 25-under 263 in 2018. She is not playing this year. ... Among those receiving special invitations are Thai rookie Atthaya Thitikul, former Women’s British Open champion Hinako Shibuno of Japan and Lucy Li. ... Thitikul was the runner-up last year to Jutanugarn. While a rookie on the LPGA, at No. 14 in the world she is the second-highest ranked Thai player behind Patty Tavatanakit at No. 13.
Next tournament: JTBC Classic on March 24-27.
EUROPEAN TOUR AND SUNSHINE TOUR
Site: Hartbeespoort, South Africa.
Course: Pecanwood Golf & CC. Yardage: 7,697. Par: 72.
Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $250,000.
Defending champion: New event.
DP World Tour points leader: Viktor Hovland.
Last week: Ashun Wu won the Magical Kenya Open.
Notes: This is the second of three consecutive tournaments in Africa. The European tour will not return to Africa until the Nedbank Challenge in early November. ... The Qatar Masters, which was postponed because of travel restrictions, has been rescheduled to March 24-27, the same week as the WGC-Dell Match Play. ... Richard Bland of England at No. 56 in the world is the highest-ranked player in the field. Also playing is Bernd Wiesberger of Australia, who is No. 68 in the world. After this week, the top 64 players available from the world ranking are eligible for the WGC-Match Play in Texas with a $12 million purse. ... The Sunshine Tour in South Africa is co-sanctioning the tournament. ... Bland is No. 3 on the DP World Tour points list, trailing Viktor Hovland and Thomas Pieters.
Next week: Steyn City Championship.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Last week: Retief Goosen won the Hoag Classic.
Next tournament: Rapiscan Systems Classic on April 1-3.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Miguel Angel Jimenez.
KORN FERRY TOUR
Last tournament: Byeong Hun An won the Lecom Suncoast Classic.
Next week: Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
Points leader: Brandon Matthews.
PGA Tour of Australasia: TPS Hunter Valley, Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort, Pokolbin, Australia. Defending champ: New event. Online: https://pga.org.au/
Japan LPGA: Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Ladies, Tosa CC, Kochi, Japan. Defending champion: Mone Inami. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en/
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