Honda Classic starts Florida swing to Masters, minus stars
Site: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Course: PGA National (Champions). Yardage: 7,125. Par: 70.
Prize money: $8 million. Winner’s share: $1,440,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Matt Jones.
FedEx Cup leader: Hideki Matsuyama.
Last week: Joaquin Niemann won the Genesis Invitational.
Notes: The tournament returns to the start of the Florida swing and no longer has a World Golf Championship before it. But it failed to attract anyone from the top 10 in the world ranking. Louis Oosthuizen is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 13. ... Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer is making his first start of the year. His agent says the German became a first-time father at the start of the year. ... The field includes several other Europeans, such as Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson. ... The Honda Classic is the first of four consecutive stops in Florida before the PGA Tour goes to Texas for two weeks ahead of the Masters. ... Matt Jones has recorded only one top 10, third place at Kapalua, since winning the Honda Classic last year. ... Among those living in the West Palm Beach area who are not playing a home event are Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas. ... Brooks Koepka is playing, while his younger brother Chase received a sponsor exemption.
Next week: Arnold Palmer Invitational.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Site: Tucson, Arizona.
Course: Omni Tucson National. Yardage: 7,218. Par: 73.
Prize money: $1.8 million. Winner’s share: $270,000.
Television: Friday, 7-9 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Kevin Sutherland.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Last week: Bernhard Langer won the Chubb Classic.
Notes: The PGA Tour Champions goes from Florida to two weeks out West in Arizona and California. ... Phil Mickelson, who tied for 20th at the Cologuard Classic a year ago, is not playing. He has not competed on any tour since playing in the Saudi International. ... Bernhard Langer is in the field after winning last week for the 43rd time. He needs two more to tie the career record set by Hale Irwin. ... Langer has four wins in the Chubb Classic on three different courses. ... Steven Alker of New Zealand now has finished in the top 10 in all but one of his 12 starts on the PGA Tour Champions. Seven months ago, Alker was having to go through qualifying to get into the field. ... David Duval, Kirk Triplett and Jeff Sluman are playing this week. All won PGA Tour events at Tucson National. ... Brian Gay finished fourth last week in his debut on the PGA Tour Champions. He is back on the PGA Tour this week at the Honda Classic.
Next week: Hoag Classic.
Last tournament: Leona Maguire won the LPGA Drive On Championship.
Next week: HSBC Women’s World Championship.
Race to CME Globe leader: Danielle Kang.
Last tournament: Ryan Fox won the Ras al Khaimah Classic.
Next week: Magical Kenya Open.
DP World Tour points leader: Viktor Hovland.
KORN FERRY TOUR
Last week: Byeong Hun An won the Lecom Suncoast Classic.
Next tournament: Chitimacha Louisiana Open on March 17-20.
Points leader: Brandon Matthews.
Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour: Jonsson Workwear Open, Durban CC and Mount Edgecombe CC, Durban, South Africa. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://sunshinetour.com/ and https://www.europeantour.com/challenge-tour/
Asian Tour: Royal’s Cup, Grand Prix GC, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://www.asiantour.com/
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