Biggest golf tours back in action from Hawaii to Middle East
THE AMERICAN EXPRESS
Site: La Quinta, California.
Courses: PGA West (Stadium). Yardage: 7,158. Par: 72. PGA West (Nicklaus Tournament). Yardage: 7,147. Par: 72. La Quinta CC. Yardage: 7,060. Par: 72.
Prize money: $7.6 million. Winner’s share: $1.368 million.
Television: Thursday-Sunday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Si Woo Kim.
FedEx Cup leader: Hideki Matsuyama.
Last week: Hideki Matsuyama won the Sony Open.
Notes: The field features Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay from among the top five in the world ranking. Also in the field from the top 20 are Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau and Abraham Ancer. ... Phil Mickelson is the tournament host, though the tournament does not have elite status as other player-hosted events like the Genesis Invitational (Tiger Woods), the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus) and Arnold Palmer Invitational. ... Cantlay last year closed with a 61 and finished one shot behind Si Woo Kim. ... Ancer, Lucas Glover and Sungjae Im are among six players who are competing in the first three PGA Tour events of the calendar year. ... Rickie Fowler makes his first start of the year and will be playing for the first time since his wife gave birth to their first child in November. ... Cameron Champ returns after having to miss the winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions with a positive COVID-19 test. ... This is the 20-year anniversary of Mickelson winning the tournament for the first time. He beat David Berganio Jr. in a playoff. ... Charley Hoffman in 2007 is the last player to win with a score worse than 20-under par. He was 17 under, and it was a five-round tournament.
Next week: Farmers Insurance Open.
HILTON GRAND VACATIONS TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Site: Orlando, Florida.
Course: Lake Nona Golf & CC. Yardage: 6,645. Par: 72.
Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $225,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday, noon to 3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 2-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-5 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 1:30-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2-4:30 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Jessica Korda.
Race to CME Globe champion: Jin Young Ko.
Last tournament: Jin Young Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship.
Notes: The 29-player field of LPGA winners over the last two years is highlighted by Nelly Korda, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, a major champion and Olympic gold medalist. ... Jin Young Ko, the No. 2 player who has won the Race to CME Globe each of the last two years, is not playing. ... Michelle Wie West makes her return to the LPGA Tour. Wie West is playing under a medical maternity exemption. She qualified by winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore in 2018 and missed playing because of having a child. ... Lexi Thompson hasn’t won since 2019 and is not eligible for the tournament. ... Other players from the top 10 in the world who chose not to play are Sei Young Kim and Minjee Lee, the only major champion from last year not playing. ... The field includes defending champion Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang, Inbee Park and Anna Nordqvist. This is the second year Lake Nona has hosted an LPGA Tour event. Nelly Korda won at Lake Nona last year when it was the site of the Gainbridge LPGA tournament.
Next week: Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.
ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIOSHIP
Site: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Course: Yas Links. Yardage: 7,200. Par: 72.
Prize money: $8 million. Winner’s share: $1.333 million.
Television: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Thursday, 6-8 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday, 3-9 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 3-8 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 2-8 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Tyrrell Hatton.
DP World Tour points leader: Thriston Lawrence.
Last tournament: Thriston Lawrence won the Joburg Open.
Notes: The European Tour resumes its season after playing only once in South Africa at the Joburn Open because of the emergence of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. ... The field is stacked with three of the top 10 in the world — Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland. ... Morikawa, who won the Race to Dubai last year by winning the final event, played the Dubai Classic last year. ... Adam Scott is among those playing for the first time this year. He has been spending the holidays at his home in Switzerland. ... Takumi Kanaya is playing after being in Honolulu last week, when he missed the cut in the Sony Open. ... This is the first of two straight Rolex Series events to start the year. ... Three of the last six Ryder Cup captains for Europe are in the field — Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjorn and Colin Montgomerie. ... English players have won Abu Dhabi four of the last year five years. The exception was former British Open champion Shane Lowry of Ireland in 2019. ... Lowry and Martin Kaymer (2010) are the only players to win Abu Dhabi and a major in the same year.
Next week: Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CHAMPIONSHIP AT HUALALAI
Site: Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
Course: Hualalai GC. Yardage: 7,107. Par: 72.
Prize money: $2 million. Winner’s share: $340,000.
Television: Friday-Sunday, 7-10 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Darren Clarke.
Charles Schwab Cup champion: Bernhard Langer.
Last tournament: Phil Mickelson won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Notes: Fresh off his sixth Charles Schwab Cup, 64-year-old Bernhard Langer leads the field after having knee surgery in the short offseason. ... The 42-man field is for PGA Tour Champions winners the last two years, senior major champions the last five years and sponsor exemptions. ... Among the seven players making their PGA Tour Champions debut is David Duval. He turned 50 a week after a Champions event last year on his home course of Timuquana in Jacksonville, Florida. ... Tom Watson returns to Hualalai. He is one of six World Golf Hall of Famers in the field, along with Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara and Langer. ... Jim Furyk is playing after spending four rounds at the Sony Open last week on Oahu. ... Darren Clarke is the defending champion and will try to become the first back-to-back winner since the tournament moved to Hualalai in 1997. ... After the start to a new year, the Champions Tour is off for three weeks before resuming in Florida.
Next tournament: Chubb Classic on Feb. 18-20.
KORN FERRY TOUR
THE BAHAMAS GREAT ABACO CLASSIC
Site: Great Abaco, Bahamas.
Course: The Abaco Club on Winding Day.
Dates: Jan. 23-26 (Sunday-Wednesday).
Prize money: $750,000. Winner’s share: $135,000.
2021 winner: Jared Wolfe.
Next tournament: Panama Championship on Feb. 3-6.
AUGUSTA NATIONAL, R&A AND USGA
LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic.
Course: Teeth of the Dog. Yardage: 7,210. Par: 72.
Television: Thursday-Friday, noon to 2 p.m. (ESPN); Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (ESPN).
2020 winner: Abel Gallegos.
Notes: The championship was canceled last year because of the pandemic. ... The winner receives an invitation to the Masters and will be exempt to the British Open. He also will be exempt to the final stage of U.S. Open qualifying and be exempt from qualifying for the British Amateur, U.S. Amateur and any other USGA amateur event for which he is eligible. ... Anyone finishing second is exempt into the final stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open and British Open. ... This is the third time the Latin American Amateur is held at Teeth of the Dog. Previous winners at the course were Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico in 2019 and Paul Chaplet of Chile in 2016.
Asian Tour: SMBC Singapore Open, Sentosa GC (Serapong), Singapore. Previous winner: Matt Kuchar. Television: Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Golf Channel). Online: https://www.asiantour.com/
PGA Tour of Australasia: Queensland PGA Championship, Nudgee GC, Nudgee, Australia. Defending champion: Michael Sim. Online: https://pga.org.au/