Wednesday, March 4

Golf on TV: WGC-Cadillac Championship, Puerto Rico Open, HSBC Women's Champions, Africa Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

The PGA TOUR continues its Florida Swing in Miami this week with the WGC-Cadillac Championship. World No. 1 Rory McIlroy headlines an elite field of 74 players, including each of the top-50 in the Official World Golf Rankings. The PGA TOUR will also stage the Puerto Rico Open.

The LPGA concludes its stretch of international events before returning to the United States with the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The field includes 19 of the top-20 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, including World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who is coming off a victory at the New Zealand Women’s Open.

On the European Tour, Thomas Aiken defends at the Africa Open.

* * *


WGC-Cadillac Championship
Dates: March 5-8
Venue: Trump National Doral (Blue Monster), Miami, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         1-6 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              1-6 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday         Noon-3 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 10 p.m.-2 a.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 11 p.m.-5 a.m. (Replay)

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

Event Notes

Reed defends: Patrick Reed finished one shot clear of Jamie Donaldson and Bubba Watson for his third career PGA TOUR victory.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler.

Puerto Rico Open 
Dates: March 5-8
Venue: Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico (Championship Course), Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         6-8:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-4:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday              6-8:30 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-4:30 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday          6-9 p.m. (Tape delay) / 1-4 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Sunday            7-10 p.m. (Tape delay) / 2-5 p.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Event Notes

Hadley defends: Chesson Hadley finished two shots ahead of Danny Lee for his first career PGA TOUR win, and finished as the only rookie to win during the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season.

Headlining the field: Peter Uihlein, Brendon de Jonge, Zac Blair, Will Mackenzie, Jeff Overton, Boo Weekley, Max Homa, John Daly, Jarrod Lyle, David Duval, Lee Janzen and Chesson Hadley.

* * *


HSBC Women’s Champions
Dates: March 4-8
Venue: Sentosa Golf Club (Serapong Course), Sentosa, Singapore

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Wednesday     11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live)
Friday              4:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday          4:30-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            5-7:30 a.m. (Tape delay)

Live Stream Airtimes on Golf Live Extra:
Wednesday     11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Thursday         11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Friday              11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)
Saturday          11 p.m.-3 a.m. (Live streaming on Golf Live Extra)

Event Notes

Creamer defends: Paula Creamer defeated Azahara Munoz on the second playoff hole with a 75-foot eagle putt for her 10th career LPGA Tour win.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Shanshan Feng, Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie, Hyo-Joo Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Karrie Webb, Amy Yang and Paula Creamer.

* * *


Africa Open
Dates: March 5-8
Venue: East London Golf Club, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday              7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)
Saturday          7:30-9:30 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            7:30-10:30 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Aiken defends: Thomas Aiken defeated Oliver Fisher on the first playoff hole for his third career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Darren Clarke, Andy Sullivan, Oliver Wilson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, David Howell, Gregory Bourdy, George Coetzee, David Horsey and Jeev Milkha Singh.

Tuesday, March 3

Lydia Ko Aiming for Third Straight Victory

THE WINS ARE STACKING UP for Lydia Ko. She won again this past weekend, hoisting the Patricia Bridges Bowl Trophy at the Women's New Zealand Open, her national championship. A week earlier Ko won the Women's Australian Open. Ko will try for her third consecutive win at this week's LPGA event in Singapore.

A Ladies European Tour (LET) event, the latest victory was Ko's 10th professional title. Her performance included a career-best 61 in the second round.

"[T]his is even better than I would ever have imagined," Ko said. "It's just great to have won the two Opens back to back."

Ko, 17, is setting a new standard in her sport. How old were other top golfers when they claimed their 10th professional victory? A sampling:

Jiyai Shin 19
Nancy Lopez 22
Jack Nicklaus 24
Tiger Woods 24
Rory McIlroy 24
Annika Sorenstam 25

The Ko victories chart from

 2012 Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open ALPGA ((as an amateur)
 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open LPGA (as an amateur)
 2013 ISPS Handa New Sealand Women’s Open LET
 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open LPGA (as an amateur)
 2013 Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters KLPGA
 2014 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic LPGA
 2014 Marathon Classic LPGA
 2014 CME Group Tour Championship LPGA
 2015 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open LPGA
 2015 ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open LET

Monday, March 2

Padraig Harrington Finds 'Mental Edge'

THE LAST TIME PADRAIG HARRINGTON WON on the PGA Tour Barack Obama was 17 days from being nominated for president of the United States. Harrington won the PGA Championship on August 10, 2008. It was the Irishman's second consecutive major and third overall. "Paddy" was on top of the golf world. There was only one way to go.

Padraig Harrington explained his decline on Feherty
in July 2014. (Golf Channel image)
"There's no doubt on your way back down it's a lot different," Harrington told Golf Channel's Steve Sands after winning the Honda Classic in a sudden-death playoff, "but hopefully this isn't an isolated win."

Harrington made up four shots on the lead over the closing nine holes and sank a birdie on the final green to get into a playoff. (As usual, PGA National was brutal. The winning total was 6 under.) He then closed out the victory when Daniel Berger hit into the water on the treacherous par-3 17th and made double bogey.

The water also drowned the hopes of others.

Ian Poulter started the final round with a three-shot lead. Poulter hit into the water five times during a round that stretched over two days, missing the playoff by a single shot.

"It's a shame to hand tournaments away," Poulter told Sands. "I've handed one away this week. It's going to hurt."

Meanwhile, Harrington, who claimed his first PGA Tour title at the Honda Classic a decade ago, is heading in a better direction.

"I really do believe in myself," he said.

"I think I really found that mental edge that has been lacking the last number of years and, hopefully, I can stick with that going forward and be consistently contending. Because I know if I am contending I can win."

NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller was impressed by what he saw.

"Yesterday we pretty much had written him off because he was going the wrong direction missing short putts," Miller said.

"But you talk about a sweet win. At 43 years old he's gone through the bottom dregs of golf ... from a three-time major champion winner to almost, sort of, embarrassing. And just stuck with it."

Harrington lost his PGA Tour card last year and got into the Honda Classic field with a sponsor's exemption. With the 20th victory of his professional career, Harrington moved from 297 to 82 in the world golf rankings.

If he's not back, he's certainly on his way.

Thursday, February 26

Golf on TV: The Honda Classic, Honda LPGA Thailand, Joburg Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

The PGA TOUR kicks off the Florida Swing this week. The field includes 16 of the top-25 players in the world, including World No. 1 Rory McIlroy making his 2015 PGA TOUR debut.

The LPGA Tour continues the international stretch of its 2015 schedule, with nine of the top-10 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in the field for the Honda LPGA Thailand. And the European Tour stages the first of three consecutive events in South Africa with the Joburg Open.

* * *


The Honda Classic
Dates: Feb. 26-March 1
Venue: PGA National Resort & Spa (Champion Course), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         2-6 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Friday              2-6 p.m. (Live) / 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (Replay)
Saturday         1-3 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)
Sunday            1-3 p.m. (Live) / 3-5 p.m. (Live, Spotlight Coverage) / 7 p.m.-Midnight (Replay)

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

Event Notes

Henley defends: Russell Henley defeated Rory McIlroy, Russell Knox and Ryan Palmer with a birdie on the first playoff hole for his second career PGA TOUR win.

Headlining the field: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Billy Horschel, Patrick Reed and Russell Henley.

* * *


Honda LPGA Thailand 
Dates: Feb. 26-March 1
Venue: Siam Country Club Pattaya (Old Course), Chonburi, Thailand

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):
Thursday         1-5 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              1-5 a.m. (Live) / 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday          1-5 a.m. (Live)
Sunday            1-5 a.m. (Live)

Event Notes

Nordqvist defends: Anna Nordqvist finished two shots ahead of Inbee Park for her third career LPGA Tour victory.

Headlining the field: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Shanshan Feng, Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen, So Yeon Ryu, Hyo Joo Kim, Karrie Webb, Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist.

* * *


Joburg Open
Dates: Feb. 26-March 1
Venue: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club (East & West Courses), Gauteng, South Africa

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

Event Notes

Coetzee defends: George Coetzee won by three shots for his first career European Tour win.

Headlining the field: Darren Clarke, George Coetzee, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Edoardo Molinari, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Andy Sullivan, Gregory Bourdy, Alex Noren and David Horsey.

Wednesday, February 25

Will Love Cure My Ryder Cup Fatigue?

I HAVE RYDER CUP FATIGUE. To be honest, I don't feel like talking about it. At least not about the US of A. But I do feel obligated. That's because the PGA of America's ballyhooed 11-member task force, after just two meetings, has announced its choice for U.S. Ryder Cup captain in 2016.

Davis Love III will get another turn
as U.S. Ryder Cup captain. (Edelman)
Davis Love III.

OK, fine. No, really, I'm OK with this selection.

I felt that Love did a great job in 2012. He was considered to be positively brilliant until his squad coughed up a commanding 10-6 lead on Sunday at Medinah.

Was that Love's fault? Um, no.

Love is a solid choice for 2016. A "company" man, so to speak, AND a players' captain. It should help the U.S. captain and his team that next time is a home game, but don't count on it. For a very long time, Europe has been better, period. That might continue. And yes, the U.S. players must play better if they want to win. The captain can only do so much.

Will they throw Davis under the team bus if the United States loses at Hazeltine in 2016?

Probably. I'm afraid so. That's what always seems to happen. It makes me sad.

For now, though, a new captain has been selected and all is well in Palm Beach Gardens. Maybe we can all finally move on from that U.S. loss five months ago. Please?

Tuesday, February 24

No Doubt About Lydia Ko

THERE WERE MILD RESERVATIONS THREE WEEKS ago when Lydia Ko achieved No. 1 status in the women's game. Just 17 years old, the New Zealander ascended to the top spot in the Rolex Rankings after a runner-up finish at the Coates Golf Championship in Ocala, Florida.

Lydia Ko
None of Ko's peers questioned her game or that Ko was more than capable of ruling the ladies circuit. But some openly wondered about the current points system and if it rewarded Ko too soon.

That small debate is now moot. Ko is for real. She has not let her foot off the accelerator.

This past weekend the teen solidified her ranking with a victory at the Women's Australia Open at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. It was her sixth title on the LPGA Tour. Watch out.

As the Australian media (via Geoff Shackelford) noted, Ko hit 64 of 72 greens in regulation, tops in the field. This is especially noteworthy at Royal Melbourne, home to elevated and contoured putting surfaces, and also one of the great courses on the planet.

Ko seems to take it all in stride. Again, she is 17. And she is confident. Youth and confidence can be a formidable combination.

"I didn't really know how I would play and how I would react to becoming world No. 1, and I always wondered that," Ko said at

"Sometimes I got close and I was still world No. 2, 3 or 4, and then after Ocala (the Coates Golf Championship) I couldn't pull off the win but then I became world No.1. I played average in the first two days in the Bahamas but then I fired back.

"It's good to know that just from my confidence that I can still play good and not really think about the world rankings."

Yes, that's good to know for Ko. Perhaps not so good for her competitors.

There's no doubt about it: Ko is good, very good, maybe even great. Time will tell.

Monday, February 23

Riviera Roughs Up Field, Hahn Wins Northern Trust Open in Playoff

MAN, THAT RIVIERA IS a tough track.

Hogan's Alley, as it has been called through the years, is a dark alley of sorts, the kind of scary alley you don't want to get caught in late on a Sunday when you're trying to get home with a win.

That was certainly the case yesterday in overcast, rainy, breezy Pacific Palisades, situated a short distance from the Pacific Ocean.

James Hahn
A player named James Hahn survived the Riviera gauntlet better than the others, outlasting Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey in a sudden-death playoff. It was the first PGA Tour title for Hahn, who came to Los Angeles ranked 297th in the world and left with a career-changing victory and ranked No. 86.

Riviera may have stolen Hahn's lunch money, but it mugged 54-hole leader Retief Goosen and roughed up other golfers who had legitimate chances to win on a gray Sunday in L.A. Names such as Johnson, Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and Sang-Moon Bae struggled over the closing holes.

The only moves were backwards. There was talk from the CBS towers of possible birdies, like on the 17th, a reachable par-5 with two big pokes. But it was just talk. As it turned out, for many contenders, that deceptively difficult 17th was a bogey hole not a birdie hole.

So was the 18th, one of the best finishing holes on the circuit.

In a TV interview immediately following the playoff, Hahn was humbled by his achievement.

"I never would have thought I would win this tournament," he said, paying homage to the name golfers he had beaten.

That seems about right at Riviera. The unheralded player wins, the name players only come close and a classic golf course is the master of them all.

Thursday, February 19

Golf on TV: Northern Trust Open, ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, Hero Indian Open

The following edited content was supplied by Golf Channel in a news release.

The PGA TOUR shifts to Southern California this week with 2014 Northern Trust Open winner Bubba Watson defending at Riviera Country Club.

The LPGA Tour returns with the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, as 41-time LPGA Tour winner and Australia native Karrie Webb will try to defend in her home country in an event she has won on five previous occasions. And, the European Tour will co-sanction the Hero Indian Open for the first time ever this week.

* * *


Northern Trust Open
Dates: Feb. 19-22
Venue: Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Friday              5-8 p.m. (Live) / 8:30-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Saturday         1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 6:30-9 p.m. (Replay)
Sunday            1-2:30 p.m. (Live) / 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (Replay)

Saturday: 3-6 p.m.
Sunday: 3-6 p.m.

Event Notes

Watson defends: Bubba Watson finished two shots ahead of Dustin Johnson to earn his fifth career PGA TOUR victory.

Headlining the field: Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Hideki Matsuyama, Fred Couples and Davis Love III.

* * *


ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Dates: Feb. 18-21
Venue: Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Composite Course), Melbourne, Australia

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Wednesday     11 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Thursday replay)
Thursday         11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 1:30-4:30 p.m. (Friday replay)
Friday              11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 3-6 p.m. (Saturday replay)
Saturday          9 p.m.-2 a.m. (Live) / 3-6:30 p.m. (Sunday replay)

Event Notes

Webb defends: Karrie Webb won by one stroke over Chella Choi for her 40th career LPGA Tour win, and it was her fifth time winning her national open championship.

Headlining the field: Lydia Ko, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, Jessica Korda, Shanshan Feng, Karrie Webb, Charley Hull, Ai Miyazato, Chella Choi, Minjee Lee and Cheyenne Woods.

* * *


Hero Indian Open
Dates: Feb. 19-22
Venue: Delhi Golf Club (Lodhi Course), New Delhi, India

Tournament Airtimes On Golf Channel (Eastern):          
Thursday         9 a.m.-1 p.m. (Tape delay)
Friday              5-7 a.m., 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (Tape delay)
Saturday          5:30-9:30 a.m. (Tape delay)
Sunday            5:30-10 a.m. (Tape delay)

Event Notes

Tournament being played as official European Tour event for first time: This is the 51st edition of the Hero Indian Open, but the first time that it will be contested as an official European Tour event. It is co-sanctioned by both the European Tour and Asian Tour, and marks the first European Tour event in India since the 2013 Avantha Masters.

Headlining the field: Miguel Angel Jimenez, Arjun Atwal, Anirban Lahiri, Jeev Milkha Singh, Siddikur Rahman, Daniel Chopra, S.S. P. Chawrasia and Jyoti Randhawa.