ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL
Site: Orlando, Florida.
Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Yardage: 7,454. Par: 72.
Prize money: $9.3 million. Winner’s share: $1.67 million.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Tyrrell Hatton.
FedEx Cup leader: Patrick Cantlay.
Last week: Collin Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championship and Branden Grace won the Puerto Rico Open.
Notes: Bay Hill was the last PGA Tour event with full fans before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down golf for three months. The tournament is allowing 25% capacity this year. … This is the second PGA Tour event in three weeks with elite status that offers a three-year exemption to the winner. The other was the Genesis Invitational at Riviera. Still to come is the Memorial in June. … Bay Hill was supposed to start the Florida swing until the World Golf Championship last week was moved from Mexico City to Bradenton. … None of the top 5 in the world is playing, coming off back-to-back premier events and The Players Championship to follow. … The field features only three of the top 10 in the world, led by defending champion Tyrrell Hatton, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed. … Jordan Spieth is playing for the first time because he was not eligible for the World Golf Championship last week. He typically hasn’t played Bay Hill because of Texas events leading to the Masters. … Kamaiu Johnson from the Advocates Pro Golf Association received a sponsor exemption. This is his second PGA Tour start after missing the cut at Pebble Beach.
Next week: The Players Championship.
DRIVE ON CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Ocala, Florida.
Course: Golden Ocala GC. Yardage: 6,852. Par: 72.
Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $225,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-5:30 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: New event.
Race to CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda.
Last week: Nelly Korda won the Gainbridge LPGA.
Notes: This is a new tournament for the LPGA, which ordinarily would be in the midst of it first overseas swing through Australia and Asia. That will come later in the year. … Jessica and Nelly Korda are the first sisters to win consecutive LPGA events since Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam in 2000. … The LPGA Tour begins the year with three consecutive tournaments in Florida. The last time that happened was in 2001, when the tournaments were held in consecutive weeks in Naples, Orlando and West Palm Beach. … Americans have won the first two events on the LPGA Tour, the first time for that since 2007 when Paula Creamer, Stacy Prammanasudh and Meaghan Francella won the first three. … The field features seven of the top 10 in the women’s world ranking, led by Jin Young Ko and Sei Young Kim. … Laura Davies is playing on a World Golf Hall of Fame exemption. Davies played last week and missed the cut at Lake Nona. … Lydia Ko now has three runner-up finishes since her last LPGA victory in 2018.
Next tournament: Kia Classic on March 25-28.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
Last week: Kevin Sutherland won the Cologuard Classic.
Next tournament: Chubb Classic on April 16-18.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Kevin Sutherland.
Last week: Collin Morikawa won the WGC-Workday Championship.
Next week: Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
Race to Dubai leader: Tyrrell Hatton.
PGA Tour of Australasia: TPS Sydney, Bonnie Doon GC, Pagewood, Australia. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://pga.org.au/
Sunshine Tour: Kit Kat Group Pro-Am, Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC, Johannesburg. Defending champion: New event. Online: https://sunshinetour.com/