Monday, March 27

Dustin Johnson: 'I'm Proud of the Way I Played'

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK of this Johnson kid?

Sheesh. Dustin Johnson is owning it. What's "it"? I'd say everything in the golf world.

DJ won another World Golf Championship this past weekend, this time the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club. He knocked off Jon Rahm in the final, 1-up.

"I feel like I didn't really give him any holes except for 10," Johnson told Golf Channel. "It was tough out there. The greens got really fast. The wind was affecting all the putts. Jon played really well; I just didn't really give him anything."

Rahm was impressed, too. With Dustin Johnson.

"He's just a perfect, complete player," Rahm said (via USA Today).

DJ added: "I'm proud of the way I played. The way I stayed in there even though he made some birdies on the back nine… I just couldn't get any putts to drop, but I'm proud of the way I played."

Johnson's most recent victory widened his lead in the world rankings. He has amassed a 12.8 points average. Rory McIlroy is second at 9.01 and Jason Day registers 8.86. That's a huge gap for Dustin. I think he is going to be on top for a while.

"He seems to be consistently great," NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller said during the Sunday telecast.

"That's the thing you've got to be impressed with. He seems to just have it all the time. Rory McIlroy has got it, he doesn’t have it. It seems like it fluctuates a lot more. Of course, Jason Day has had his fluctuations too."

Wednesday, March 22

Golf on TV: WGC Dell Technologies Match Play, Kia Classic, Puerto Rico Open

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 21, 2017) – 64 of the top players in the world gather in Austin this week for golf’s version of a March bracket event with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. World No. 3 Jason Day will defend his 2016 title, alongside Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, with nearly 35 hours of live tournament coverage scheduled to air across Golf Channel and NBC. The LPGA Tour is in southern California for the Kia Classic, where world No. 1 Lydia Ko will defend among a field that includes every single player from the LPGA top-100 money list in 2016. And the PGA TOUR will stage the Puerto Rico Open, featuring a field led by Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter and Andrew Johnston, along with former major champions, including Graeme McDowell, Angel Cabrera, Retief Goosen and Y.E. Yang.


WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Dates: March 22-26
Venue: Austin Country Club, Austin, Texas

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     2-8 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Thursday         2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              2-8 p.m. (Live) / 10:30 p.m.-4:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          2-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            3-7 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Event format: The 64-player field is divided into 16 four-player groups competing in a round-robin format over the first three days on Wednesday through Friday. The player in each group with the most points (1 point for a win, ½ point for a halved match) advances to single elimination match play with the Round of 16 and quarterfinals scheduled for Saturday and the semifinals and final scheduled for Sunday. The top-16 seeded players in Pool A are the top seeds of their respective groups and the rest of the players in each group were determined through a blind draw on Monday, March 20. Those other 48 players were randomly assigned to their group of four based on three pools: seeds 17-32 in Pool B, seeds 33-48 in Pool C, and seeds 49-64 in Pool D.
Day defends: Jason Day defeated Louis Oosthuizen 5&4 in the finals to claim his ninth career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Sergio Garcia, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatten and Danny Willett.


Kia Classic
Dates: March 23-26
Venue: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         8:30-10:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Live Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Friday              8:30-10:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 7-9 p.m. (Live Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          5:30-9 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            5:30-9 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Ko defends: Lydia Ko finished four shots ahead of Inbee Park to earn her 11th LPGA victory.
Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, In Gee Chun, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu, Ha Na Jang, Inbee Park, Amy Yang, Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist and Michelle Wie.


Puerto Rico Open
Dates: March 23-26
Venue: Coco Beach Golf & Country Club (Championship Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7 a.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Live) / 4:30-7 a.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          2-5:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            2:30-5:30 p.m. (Live) / 2-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Headlining the field: Bryson DeChambeau, Andrew Johnston, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell, Thorbjorn Olesen, Retief Goosen, Angel Cabrera, K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Sam Saunders.

Tuesday, March 21

Sports Economist Study: Second Shot Gamble Fails to Pay Off at Masters

The following press release comes from Wake Forest University. And I'm sure it will have no bearing on Phil Mickelson in the upcoming Masters.

That tee shot lost in the rough or hit in the water at Augusta is likely to be followed by a risky, aggressive second shot — a decision you might expect from a recreational golfer, not a pro. 

Research by Wake Forest University sports economist Todd McFall suggests that a faction of players beginning holes with penalty strokes will regularly take greater risks in their subsequent shots to avoid any additional strokes — a decision predicted by behavioral economics that can lead to disastrous consequences for golfers’ performances. 

"Our findings support the basic tenants of prospect theory  top players have a hard time sticking to their game plan, even after a setback," said McFall.

"When players try to do too much to compensate for a poor prior shot, we found it has few benefits and often sets them back even further. Even for top professionals, it's important to find a way to avoid making mental errors. Think about Zach Johnson's 2007 Masters win where he didn't try to reach a green with his second shot all week, yet birdied 11 of 16 holes. He never tried to overreach."

The study presents a rare glimpse into the decision-making patterns of professional golfers by using real data from more than 10 years of U.S. PGA Tour events. For this research, McFall had access to the PGA Tour's ShotLink database, which contains a record of every shot a professional player takes on the tour.

McFall studied golfers playing on par five holes, comparing the behaviors of players in three categories: those penalized for a lateral water hazard tee shot, those penalized for an out-of-bounds tee shot, and those with no penalties on their first shot. The data showed that golfers with an out-of-bounds penalty or a lateral water hazard penalty were much more likely to adapt riskier approaches compared with their non-penalized rivals.

"Loss aversion leads penalized golfers to violate not only basic economic principles regarding efficient decision making, but also golf orthodoxy, which is to play one shot at a time regardless of previous outcomes." McFall said. "The cost they suffer for this is inefficient performance and ultimately, higher scores."

Monday, March 20

Marc Leishman: 'Today was the Day'

AUSTRALIAN MARC LEISHMAN SHOT A 69 on Sunday to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by one shot over Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman. Leishman's second PGA Tour title gives him a three-year exemption and also means he'll be back at the Masters.

"I've been playing well all year," Leishman told Golf Channel.

"I've been driving it better than I ever have. It's funny, this game's a lot easier out of the fairway. That's been probably the biggest difference. Then the putter. The putter has been amazing this year. The stats probably show that, especially this week. But I feel like all year it's been really close and I just haven't quite played how I wanted to on Sundays, but today was the day."

Leishman continued an Aussie streak at Arnie's place. Jason Day won at Bay Hill in 2016.

"Mr. Palmer was an awesome guy who I was lucky enough to meet a few times at this tournament. So obviously to honor him was huge," Leishman added.

"Another reason why it was so special this week is this is the first time I've won a tournament with my family here… It all came together, and to do it here, especially on a Presidents Cup year as well. I was outside those standings, so to get back inside those is really good. And I guess the Masters too; I wasn't in there. It's just an unbelievable day."

Friday, March 17

VIDEO: Cody Gribble: 'The Gator Looked Like He Needed Some Exercise'

CODY GRIBBLE HAD AN ALLIGATOR ENCOUNTER in the opening round of the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"The gator looked like he needed some exercise," Gribble said. "If you think that's crazy, you should meet my father, Bill Gribble."

Thursday, March 16

Golf on TV: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Tucson Conquistadores Classic

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2017)  NBC Sports Group this week will celebrate Arnold Palmer’s legacy through a series of dedicated tributes and remembrances surrounding its coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard from Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. With nearly 50 live hours of on-site news and live tournament coverage across Golf Channel and NBC, the field includes four of the top-5 players in the world in Jason Day (No. 2), Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Hideki Matsuyama (No. 4) and Henrik Stenson (No. 5), along with Rickie Fowler (No. 9). The LPGA returns to the United States with the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Arizona, featuring a strong field led by World Nos. 1 and 2, Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn. The PGA TOUR Champions also are in Arizona this week, with Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples leading the field at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, along with Steve Stricker and Bob Estes, who are both set to make their PGA TOUR Champions debut.


Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Dates: March 16-19
Venue: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2-6 p.m. (Live) / 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              2-6 p.m. (Live) / 11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday          12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            12:30-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 10 p.m.-3 a.m. (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          2:30-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            2:30-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Mike Tirico to serve as tournament host on Golf Channel, NBC: NBC Sports personality Mike Tirico will host live tournament coverage of the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Golf Channel and NBC, marking the first time Tirico will cover the event on-air after initially joining NBC Sports Group last summer ahead of The Open.
Day defends: Jason Day finished one stroke ahead of Kevin Chappell to earn his eighth PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Hadwin.
NBC Sports Broadcast Team:
Host: Mike Tirico
Play by Play: Rich Lerner (Golf Channel) / Dan Hicks (NBC)
Analyst: Frank Nobilo (Golf Channel) / Johnny Miller (NBC)
Tower: Gary Koch / Peter Jacobsen / David Feherty / Steve Sands / Jimmy Roberts
On-Course: Roger Maltbie (Weekend only) / Mark Rolfing / Notah Begay
Interviews: Steve Sands / Todd Lewis (Golf Channel, Saturday-Sunday)
Essays: Jimmy Roberts (Weekend only)

* * *        


Bank of Hope Founders Cup
Dates: March 16-19
Venue: Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-9 p.m. (Live)
Friday              6-9 p.m. (Live)
Saturday          7-9 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            7-9 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Kim defends: Sei Young Kim finished five shots ahead of the field to claim her fourth LPGA victory.
Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, In Gee Chun, Ha Na Jang, Lexi Thompson, Amy Yang, Inbee Park, Sei Young Kim, Brooke Henderson and Brittany Lincicome.

* * *


Tucson Conquistadores Classic
Dates: March 17-19
Venue: Omni Tucson National Resort (Catalina Course), Tucson, Ariz.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Friday              9:30-11:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 6-8 p.m. (Live Streaming on Golf Channel Digital)
Saturday          4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Sunday replay)
Sunday            4:30-7 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 a.m. (Monday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
Stricker, Estes making PGA TOUR Champions debut: Steve Stricker and Bob Estes are both making their PGA TOUR Champions debut this week.
Austin defends: Woody Austin finished one shot ahead of Jim Carter to earn his first PGA TOUR Champions victory.                      
Headlining the field: Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Steve Stricker, Bob Estes, Jerry Kelly, Mark O’Meara, Tom Lehman, David Toms, Paul McGinley, Woody Austin and Lee Janzen.

Wednesday, March 15

'Womankind Arise!': No More Men-Only at Muirfield

MUIRFIELD HAS JOINED THE 21ST CENTURY. Women will now be eligible for membership at the ancient Scottish links designed by Old Tom Morris. They really had no chance to continue the men-only tradition, at least not if they ever wanted to again host the Open Championship.

"Muirfield takes mulligan, votes in women," reported Global Golf Post. You can read Lewine Mair's story by clicking below.

Global Golf Post March 13, 2017

page 2 Table of Contents

Tuesday, March 14

VIDEO: #ArnieWould Is a Credit to Mastercard

THIS WEEK IS ABOUT ARNOLD PALMER. Mastercard hits the sweet spot with its above #ArnieWould spot.

Due to scheduling issues as a result of WGC events and the Masters in a few weeks, many top players will be absent from Bay Hill this week. Some are taking heat for that decision. In addition, the future of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in terms of quality of the field is uncertain. (Some of you might recall the drop-off at the Nelson after Byron passed.)

All that said, this is still Arnold Palmer's week. The golf world, and hopefully the wider sports world, will pause to remember "The King" and his many contributions to the game, to communities and charities and even to America.

Arnie loved people. And the people loved him back.

Monday, March 13

Tahiti Can Wait: Adam Hadwin Is Masters Bound

ADAM HADWIN STUMBLED ON THE 16TH hole on Sunday but steadied himself with two pars to claim his first PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida. The Canadian edged Patrick Cantlay by a single shot and earned a spot in the Masters. The 29-year-old Hadwin finished with a 71 for a 14-under total of 270.

That's very good scoring on the tough Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club.

"I don’t know what to say right now," Hadwin told Golf Channel. "I fully expected Patrick to make that putt. As I said yesterday, I just wanted a chance to win coming up at the last. And I had that chance. I thought we were going to have to make birdies to win it. I'm just lucky that 1-footer wasn't 1.5 feet."

Cantlay hit his approach shot on the final hole into a bunker and made bogey. It was a disappointing finish to a surprising week. He was one of the last men to earn a spot into the Valspar field and made a courageous run at the title.

Hadwin will get married a week from Friday and adjust his honeymoon trip to Tahiti in order to make his first appearance in the Masters. I expect his new bride will understand.

Friday, March 10

Tiger Woods: 'Presently, I Have No Timetable for My Return to Golf'

TIGER WOODS WILL NOT PLAY in the Arnold Palmer Invitational next week, he announced at
"Unfortunately, due to ongoing rest and rehabilitation on my back, I won't be able to play in this year's Arnold Palmer Invitational. I'm especially disappointed because I wanted to be at Bay Hill to help honor Arnold. This is one event I didn't want to skip. Arnold has meant so much to me and my family; I thought of him as a close friend, and Sam and Charlie were both born in the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. He will be greatly missed and can never truly be replaced. 
"Presently, I have no timetable for my return to golf, but my treatments are continuing and going well."
This announcement makes a return to the Masters seem highly improbable.

Meanwhile, I invite you to enjoy the below "greatest feeling shot" of Tiger's life, according to an interview with CNN. The shot was from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole in the second round of the 2002 PGA Championship.

"That was the greatest feeling shot I've ever hit in my life," Woods told CNN. "The wind was blowing about 25-30 mph off the left. The lip was in front of me, trees were in front of me, downhill lie and somehow I hit it -- I don't know how I hit it that solid, that clean, that flush and drew it up against the wind and held it, landed about 20ft away."


Thursday, March 9

Golf on TV: Valspar Championship, Hero Indian Open

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 7, 2017) – The PGA TOUR returns to Florida this week, as Henrik Stenson and Justin Thomas headline the field at the Valspar Championship outside of Tampa. On the European Tour, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Anirban Lahiri lead the field at the Hero Indian Open.


Valspar Championship
Dates: March 9-12
Venue: Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-11 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              2-6 p.m. (Live) / 7-11 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-3 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            3-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Schwartzel defends: Charl Schwartzel defeated Bill Haas with a par on the first playoff hole for his second career PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Henrik Stenson, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler and Lee McCoy.

* * *


Hero Indian Open
Dates: March 9-12
Venue: DLF Golf & Country Club (Gary Player Course), New Delhi, India

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         12:30-2:30 a.m. / 4-7 a.m. (Live) / 9 a.m.-Noon (Replay)
Friday              12:30-2:30 a.m. / 4-7 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          2:30-7 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            3-7:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Chawrasia defends: S.S.P. Chawrasia finished two shots ahead of Anirban Lahiri and Jeunghun Wang to claim his third European Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Anirban Lahiri, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Siddikur Rahman, Peter Uihlein, Arjun Atwal and Chase Koepka.

Wednesday, March 8

VIDEO: Jordan Spieth Imitates Old Tom Morris, Donning Tweed Suit and Swinging Hickory Clubs

THE GOLF MOVIE 'TOMMY'S HONOUR' about Scottish golf legends Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris (father and son) is coming on April 14.

In the meantime, Jordan Spieth and his father, Shawn, appeared in a Golf Channel documentary about the making of the film. And, as you can see above, they gave it the "Old Tom" try.

(H/T Geoff Shackelford)

Tuesday, March 7

The Ego Boost and Burden of Being World No. 1

DUSTIN JOHNSON IS ON A TEAR that has made him the world's top-ranked golfer for the first time in his career. Johnson is the 20th player to sit on top of the mountain. 

How is DJ handling it?

So far, so good. He won in Mexico to widen the gap between him and World No. 2 Jason Day, who felt the burden of No. 1 until Johnson relieved him of the throne.

Karen Crouse penned a New York Times feature on the No. 1 ranking, which included this candid admission from the Australian:
When Day possessed the title, it also possessed him. The public acclamation became a personal albatross that blurred his identity, with his obligations as the public face of the sport bleeding into his time as a husband and father. 
"It's very, very difficult," said Day, who became the third men's No. 1 from Australia, after Greg Norman and Adam Scott. "It's tough to be at the top of a sport and trying to deal with new things and trying to compete and handle certain parts of your life and be able to put them in boxes."
As his reign came to a close, Day sounded worn out.... 
"Oh, man, being No. 1 in the world is tough," Day said before the Genesis Open, adding, "I wouldn't trade it for the world, even though it is mentally and sometimes physically demanding."
In the same article, Rory McIlroy said, "I think for a lot of guys, it's an ego thing."

We'll see how Dustin carries it. If being No. 1 bothers him, it might be hard to tell due to his placid demeanor. But I'm pretty sure nothing is bothering him right now.

Monday, March 6

Dustin Johnson: 'I Played Just Well Enough'

NEW WORLD NO. 1 DUSTIN JOHNSON made another statement by winning the WGC-Mexico Championship at Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City by one shot over England's Tommy Fleetwood. Johnson fired a final-round 68 to finish 14 under. It was his fourth WGC title.

DJ is suddenly a closer. Tournaments used to slip through his fingers. Now they slip into them.

"It means a lot," Johnson told Golf Channel's Steve Sands about winning as the top-ranked player in the world.

"Obviously it is a tough spot to be in. There is a lot of pressure on you and I came out and played really well. I felt like I hit the ball great all week. You know, the greens, they are tough to putt on. I didn't feel like I putted my best. But I really hit the ball well. I played just well enough I guess because I won by one."

Other top guns played well. Back in action after a rib injury, Rory McIlroy was the 36-hole leader but couldn't keep pace on the weekend with a 70 and 71. Third-round leader Justin Thomas faded on Sunday. Jon Rahm made a charge and was tied for the lead with Johnson until two three-putt bogeys dropped him to a T3 finish.

Phil Mickelson showed promise with a 10-under total, good for a seventh-place tie with McIlroy and Brandt Snedeker.

A new venue for a WGC event, the world's best players struggled on the deceptive putting surfaces. Johnson, who seems unfazed by anything that happens on a golf course, hung in there and putted well enough to prevail.

"The first day I didn’t feel like I was hitting bad putts," he said. "I was frustrated, but you know I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong with the putter. So I just kept trying to read the putts as best as I could and just really commit to the lines I was going to pick and make a good stroke."

Friday, March 3

VIDEO: Guinness World Record: Longest Made Putt (135.67 Yards)

MY LONGEST MADE PUTT IS PROBABLY in the neighborhood of 60 feet, but I honestly can't remember. It's not something I've given much thought. We've all made some long ones, especially if we've played the game for years.

These fellows in the above video had something different in mind. A Guinness World Record. Watch.

"The achievement toppled the previous record held by Fergus Muir, of Scotland, who made a 125-yard [putt] using an 80-year-old hickory-shafted putter in 2001," wrote

Thursday, March 2

Golf on TV: WGC-Mexico Championship, HSBC Women's Champions, Tshwane Open

From a Golf Channel press release.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2017) – Forty-nine of the top-50 in the world make up a stellar field at the WGC-Mexico Championship, with more than 20 hours of live tournament coverage airing across Golf Channel and NBC. The event shifts to a new venue in 2017, with the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City staging the event for the first time, at an altitude of more than 7,600 feet above sea level. The LPGA Tour is in Singapore for the HSBC Women’s Champions, featuring a similarly impressive field that includes 19 of the top-20 in the world. The European Tour continues with the South African stretch of its schedule at the Tshwane Open, with Darren Clarke and Trevor Immelman both in the field.


WGC-Mexico Championship
Dates: March 2-5
Venue: Chapultepec Golf Club, Mexico City, Mexico

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         2-7 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Friday              2-7 p.m. (Live) / 8 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Saturday          Noon-3 p.m. (Live) / 7-10:30 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            Noon-2 p.m. (Live) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

Tournament Airtimes on NBC (Eastern):
Saturday          3-6 p.m. (Live)
Sunday            2-6 p.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Elite field featuring 49 of top-50 in the world: 77 players are in the field at the WGC-Mexico Championship, including 49 of the top-50 in the world, and nine of the 12 winners on the PGA TOUR this season. The 72-hole, stroke play event features no cut.
New venue: This year marks the first time the event will be staged in Mexico City, after previously being played in Miami. Chapultepec Golf Cub previously hosted the Mexico Open 18 times and is played at an altitude of more than 7,600 feet above sea level.
Scott defends: Adam Scott finished one shot ahead of Bubba Watson at Trump National Doral to claim his 13th PGA TOUR win.
Headlining the field: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren.

* * *


HSBC Women’s Champions
Dates: March 2-5
Venue: Sentosa Golf Club (New Tanjong Course), Sentosa Island, Singapore

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 2:30-5:30 a.m. (Thursday replay)
Friday              Midnight-2:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          Midnight-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Replay) 10:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. (Live) / 2-6 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Broadcast Notes:
New course: After being contested on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club for the previous four years, the venue shifts to the New Tanjong Course, which also is scheduled to host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Jang defends: Ha Na Jang finished four shots ahead of Pornanong Phatlum to claim her second LPGA Tour victory.
Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Shanshan Feng, In Gee Chun, Ha Na Jang, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, Sei Young Kim, Brooke Henderson and Sung Hyun Park.

* * *


Tshwane Open
Dates: March 2-5
Venue: Pretoria Country Club, Waterkloof, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes on Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         5:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday              5:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay) / 7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          5-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            5-9:30 a.m. (Live)

Broadcast Notes:
Headlining the field: Darren Clarke, Darren Fichardt, Justin Hicks, Trevor Immelman, Haotong Li, Graeme Storm, Peter Uihlein and Jaco Van Zyl.

Wednesday, March 1

Arnold Palmers' Shoes: Impossible to Fill, Very Expensive to Buy ($66,000)

THE GOLF SHOES ARNOLD PALMER WORE when he won the 1958 Masters fetched $66,000 at Heritage Auctions' Platinum Night in Dallas last Saturday, setting a record for golf shoes.

The final price for Palmer's shoes made them the sixth highest selling game-worn shoes to be sold at auction.

The Top 5

1. Boxer Muhammad Ali’s "Thrilla in Manila" boots, $119,500.

2. NBA superstar Michael Jordan "Flu Game" Nike shoes, $104,765.

3. Muhammad Ali "Rumble in the Jungle" boots, $100,725.

4. NFL Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas' Baltimore Colts final-game cleats, $71,700.

5. Michael Jordan, pre-Air Jordans, $71,553.

Plus "The King" ...

6. Arnold Palmer, 1958 Masters golf shoes, $66,000.