Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - PGA TOUR - HUMANA CHALLENGE, PGA West
(Palmer & Nicklaus Courses) and La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, California
- The PGA Tour returns to the mainland this week for the first of six events
on the west coast.
The six events will have four in California and two in Arizona. First up is
the Humana Challenge in La Quinta.
The event is spread over three courses - the Nicklaus and Palmer Courses at
PGA West and La Quinta Country Club - as professionals are paired with amateur
partners for the first three rounds.
Last year, Brian Gay birdied the second playoff hole to defeat Charles Howell
III and David Lingmerth to win for the fourth time on the PGA Tour. Gay posted
a 9-under 63 in the final round, while Lingmerth carded a 64 and Howell fired
Howell's 62 was the third of the final round, and the fourth of the week.
Scott Stallings entered the final round last year with a 5-shot lead, but
managed a 2-under 70, which left him tied for fourth, one stroke out of the
Gay will face a field that includes only five of the top 30 players in the
world rankings. Tournament of Champions winner Zach Johnson and Brandt
Snedeker, the 2012 FedExCup champ, headline that group.
Birdies are a must this week as the last two winners posted 24- and 25-under
par through four rounds. In the 25 years before that, when the event was
played over 90 holes, 22 of the 25 winners posted 20-under or lower.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of David Duval's final-round 59 on the
Palmer Course at PGA West. He was just the third player to shoot 59 in PGA
Tour history. Three more players have done so since.
Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds this week.
The PGA Tour shifts to La Jolla next week for the Farmers Insurance Open,
where Tiger Woods won the title for a seventh time last year. Snedeker, the
2012 winner, shared second place, four strokes behind Woods.
ABU DHABI HSBC GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates - The European Tour starts it's desert swing this week with the Abu
Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Jamie Donaldson fended off Justin Rose and Thorbjorn Olesen for a 1-stroke win
last year. The victory was Donaldson's second on the European Tour.
The win moved Donaldson inside the top 30 in the world rankings, and he
remains there as he is ranked 25th this week.
Donaldson will not have to face Rose this week. Rose, who had at least a piece
of the lead after each of the first three rounds last year, is battling
shoulder tendinitis and is out of action for about a month.
Though Rose is skipping the event, there is a strong field on hand as Henrik
Stenson, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia are all teeing it up
this week. They are four of the top-10 players in the world.
Stenson won the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai last year, while Mickelson won
his first British Open crown. McIlroy is a two-time runner-up at this event
and Garcia took third at this event in 2006, the first season of the
Golf Channel will have coverage of all four rounds this week.
The European Tour shifts to Qatar next week for the Qatar Masters, where Chris
Wood held off Garcia and George Coetzee last year.
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CHAMPIONSHIP AT HUALALAI, Hualalai Golf Club, Kaupulehu-
Kona, Hawaii - The Champions Tour kicks off its season this week in Hawaii
with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Last year, John Cook birdied the second extra hole to defeat second-round
leader David Frost. Cook closed with a 67 to join Frost at minus-17. The
victory was Cook's second at this event and ninth on the Champions Tour.
The season opener has half the field as a normal event does with only 41
players teeing it up this week. The field includes winners from the past two
seasons, major winners from the last five years and sponsor invites.
The field has combined to win 586 events on the PGA and Champions Tours,
including 81 majors, and has eight World Golf Hall of Fame members.
Golf Channel has coverage of all three rounds this week.
After a two-week break, the Champions Tour returns to action in Florida with
the Allianz Championship, where Rocco Mediate cruised to a 2-stroke win thanks
in part to an 11-under 61 in round two.
The Sports Network