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Strong field visits Bay Hill as PGA Tour resumes $20M events

PGA TOUR

ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL

Site: Orlando, Florida.

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

Prize money: $20 million. Winner's share: $3.6 million.

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

Defending champion: Scottie Scheffler.

FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm.

Last week: Chris Kirk won the Honda Classic.

Notes: This is the fourth elevated event of the PGA Tour season with a $20 million purse. The previous three have been won by Jon Rahm (Sentry Tournament of Champions and Genesis Invitational) and Scottie Scheffler (WM Phoenix Open). ... The field is stacked with nine of the top 10 in the world and everyone from the top 50 except the seven players suspended for joining LIV Golf. ... Scheffler will go after his second successful title defense. ... The top 64 players available from the world ranking after Bay Hill will get into the Dell Match Play in two weeks. That number likely will be close to 80 because of LIV suspensions and those choosing not to play. ... Six of the eight PGA Tour events this year have been won by players from the top 50 in the world. ... Adrian Meronk of Poland received a sponsor exemption, but at No. 52 in the world, he has fallen short of qualifying for The Players Championship. ... Eric Cole, who lost in a playoff at the Honda Classic, is playing as a sponsor exemption. ... Patrick Cantlay is playing Bay Hill for the first time.

Next week: The Players Championship.

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

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PGA TOUR

PUERTO RICO OPEN

Site: Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Course: Grande Reserve GC. Yardage: 7,506. Par: 72.

Prize money: $3.8 million. Winner's share: $684,000.

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).

Previous winner: Ryan Brehm.

FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm.

Last week: Chris Kirk won the Honda Classic.

Notes: Ryan Brehm won last year in his final start to retain his PGA Tour card. He is in the field at the $20 million Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. ... Ryan Gerard was a Monday qualifier for the Honda Classic. A fourth-place finish got him a spot in the field for the Puerto Rico Open. ... Geoff Ogilvy is playing for the third time in five weeks. The former U.S. Open champion has made the cut in his previous two starts during his return to a full schedule. ... Sangmoon Bae is in the field. He recently played in the Asian Tour International Series. ... The Puerto Rico Open has been part of the PGA Tour schedule since 2008. Among those to earn their first PGA Tour title in Puerto Rico are Tony Finau and Viktor Hovland. ... Grand Reserve hosted the Latin America Amateur Championship in January. ... Nine of the last 14 winners of the Puerto Rico Open had not previously won on the PGA Tour.

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: 6,749. Par: 72.

Prize money: $1.8 million. Winner's share: $270,000.

Television: Wednesday-Saturday, 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Jin Young Ko.

Race to CME Globe leader: Brooke Henderson.

Last week: Lilia Vu won the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Notes: Jin Young Ko won last year. It turned out to be her only victory on the LPGA Tour last season because of a wrist injury later in the year. ... Mao Saigo of Japan is in the field. A five-time winner on the Japan LPGA this year, she is missing her title defense this week in Okinawa as the Japan LPGA season begins. ... The field features nine of the top 10 players in the world. The only one sitting out is Lexi Thompson. ... The tournament was supposed to be the second of three weeks of an early Asia swing. But with the event in China canceled next week, the LPGA Tour will be off for three weeks until it resumes in Arizona. ... Lorena Ochoa won the inaugural HSBC Women's World Championship in 2008. The only player to have won more than once is Inbee Park. ... Michelle Wie West earned her fifth and final LPGA title in Singapore in 2018. Lydia Ko won in Saudi Arabia and tied for sixth last week in Thailand. She has opened a comfortable lead at No. 1 in the world over Nelly Korda.

Next tournament: LPGA Drive On Championship on March 23-26.

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

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

COLOGUARD CLASSIC

Site: Tucson, Arizona.

Course: Omni Tucson National. Yardage: 7,123. Par: 72.

Prize money: $2.2 million. Winner's share: $330,000.

Television: Friday, 7-9 p.m. (Golf Channel-Tape Delay); Saturday, 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4:30-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker.

Last tournament: Bernhard Langer won the Chubb Classic.

Notes: Coming off a victory two weeks ago in Florida, Bernhard Langer will have a chance to set the record for most PGA Tour Champions wins. He is tied with Hale Irwin at 45. The 65-year-old Langer has won every year he's been on the 50-and-over circuit. ... Kapalua head pro Michael Castillo was given a sponsor exemption. He is a cancer survivor whose first detection came from a home test similar to Cologuard. The 60-year-old Castillo also played the Sony Open for his first PGA Tour start. ... Mario Tiziani, the brother-in-law of Steve Stricker, received a sponsor exemption. Stricker also is in the field, having won already this year in Hawaii. ... Padraig Harrington is not playing in Arizona. He received an exemption to play Bay Hill on the PGA Tour. ... David Duval won at Omni Tucson National in 1996 when the Tucson Open was part of the PGA Tour schedule. Kirk Triplett also is in the field. He won the final edition of the Tucson Open in 2006.

Next tournament: Hoag Classic on March 17-19.

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

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EUROPEAN TOUR

Last week: Marcel Siem won the Hero Indian Open.

Next week: Magical Kenya Open.

Race to Dubai leader: Victor Perez.

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

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LIV GOLF

Last week: Charles Howell III won the LIV Golf Invitational-Mayakoba.

Next tournament: LIV Golf Invitational-Tucson on March 17-19.

Points leader: Charles Howell III.

Team leader: Crushers.

Online: https://www.livgolf.com/

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KORN FERRY TOUR

Last tournament: Rhein Gibson won the Astara Golf Championship.

Next tournament: Club Car Championship on March 23-26.

Points leader: Chandler Phillips.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour/

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OTHER TOURS

Epson Tour: Florida's Natural Charity Classic, Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Florida. Defending champion: Kum-Kang Kim. Online: https://www.epsontour.com/

Ladies European Tour: Joburg Ladies Open, Modderfontein GC, Johannesburg, South Africa. Defending champion: Linn Grant. Online: https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

Asian Tour: New Zealand Open, Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown, New Zealand. Defending champion: Brad Kennedy. Online: https://asiantour.com/

Japan LPGA: Daikin Orchid Ladies, Ryukyu GC, Okinawa, Japan. Defending champion: Mao Saigo. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en/

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