February 9, 2009

This Week On The Pro Tours

PGA TOUR

AT&T National Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Site: Pebble Beach, Calif.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links (6,874 yards, par 72), Spyglass Hill Golf Course (6,953 yards, par 72) and Poppy Hills Golf Club (6,944 yards, par 72).

Purse: $6.1 million. Winner's share: $1,098,000.

Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.) and CBS (Saturday, 3-6 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6:30 p.m.).

Last year: Steve Lowery won his third PGA Tour title and first in more than seven years, beating Vijay Singh with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff. At 47, Lowery became the oldest winner in tournament history.

Last week: Nick Watney won the Buick Invitational for his second tour victory, birdieing two of the final three holes for a one-stroke victory over John Rollins.

Notes: Phil Mickelson won by five strokes in 2007, closing with a 6-under 66 to match the tournament record of 20-under 268 set by Mark O'Meara in 1997. Mickelson also won in 1998 and 2005. He tied for 42nd last week in San Diego (70-72-73-75) after missing the cut in Scottsdale (76-73) in his season debut. ... Singh, the 2004 winner, is returning to play following arthroscopic surgery last month on his right knee. ... Jim Furyk is making his season debut. The 13-time PGA Tour winner had a tour-best nine top-10 finishes last year in his first winless season since 2004. ... Kenny Perry is coming a playoff victory two weeks ago in the FBR Open. ... Tommy Armour III won the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational for second straight year in November, beating Scott Simpson and Brock MacKenzie in a playoff. ... PGA Tour commissioner is teaming with Davis Love III in the pro-am competition. ... The final round will be played at Pebble Beach. ... The Northern Trust Open is next week at Riviera, followed by the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play in Marana, Ariz. -- opposite the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.

LPGA TOUR

SBS__ Open at Turtle Bay__

Site: Kahuku, Hawaii.

Schedule: Thursday-Saturday.

Course: Turtle Bay Resort, Arnold Palmer Course (6,560 yards, par 72).

Purse: $1.2 million. Winner's share: $180,000.

Television: Golf Channel (Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Friday, 12:30-2:30 a.m., 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, midnight-2 a.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Sunday, midnight-3 a.m.).

Last year: Annika Sorenstam won the season-opening event for her first victory since September 2006. She birdied two of the last three holes for a two-stroke victory, the 70th of the retired star's 72 LPGA Tour titles.

Last event: Catriona Matthew, the 39-year-old Scot expecting her second child in May, won the 15-player, 36-hole LPGA Brazil Cup exhibition event Jan. 25. Matthew had two 3-under 69s for a five-stroke victory over Kristy McPherson.

Notes: Michelle Wie is making her first start as an LPGA Tour member. The 19-year-old Stanford student earned her tour card in December with a seventh-place tie at Q-school. In 2005 as a 15-year-old amateur, she tied for second in her home-state event-- two strokes behind Jennifer Rosales. Ranked 236th, she has 13 top-10 finishes in 48 winless LPGA Tour starts. ... Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa is skipping the tournament. No. 2 Yani Tseng is in the field along with No. 3 Paula Creamer, No. 4 Suzann Pettersen, No. 5 Jiyai Shin, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis. ... Tseng, the LPGA Championship winner and tour rookie of the year, has jumped from 133rd to second in the world since the start of last season. ... Creamer won the 2007 event. ... Shin won the Women's British Open and two other LPGA Tour events last year as a non-member. She has 26 worldwide wins in three years, 20 on the Korea LPGA. ... The tour is off the next two weeks. Play will resume Feb. 26-March 1 with the Honda LPGA Thailand, Ochoa's first event. The HSBC Women's Champions is the following week in Singapore.

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Allianz Championship

Site: Boca Raton, Fla.

Schedule: Friday-Sunday.

Course: The Old Course at Broken Sound Club (6,807 yards, par 72).

Purse: $1.7 million. Winner's share: $255,500.

Television: Golf Channel (Friday, 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Saturday, 2-4 a.m., 1-4 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m., 9:30-11:30 p.m.).

Last year: Scott Hoch won the first of two straight victories, birdieing five of the final eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Brad Bryant and Bruce Lietzke. Hoch won The ACE Group Classic the following week.

Last event: Bernhard Langer won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii on Jan. 25, beating Andy Bean by a stroke. The German star has five victories in 26 starts on the 50-and-over tour.

Notes: The tournament is the second of 25 official events in the tour's 30th season. ... Hoch missed the opener in Hawaii because of a left wrist injury. ... England's Mark James won the inaugural event in 2007. ... Jeff Sluman has a streak of 28 rounds of par or better. The tour record is 37, set by Loren Roberts in 2006-07... The ACE Group Classic is next week at Quail West in Naples.

PGA EUROPEAN TOUR/ASIAN TOUR

Malaysian Open

Site: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Saujana Golf and Country Club (6,947 yards, par 72).

Purse: $2 million. Winner's share: $333,320.

Television: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.).

Last year: India's Arjun Atwal won his third European tour title, beating 2007 winner Peter Hedblom with a par on the second hole of a playoff at Kota Permai. Atwal also won the 2003 event at The Mines.

Last event: Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Classic on Feb. 1 for his first European tour victory. The 19-year-old McIlroy is the seventh youngest winner in European tour history.

Notes: Atwal is skipping the tournament to play in the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach event. ... Young American star Anthony Kim, and England's David Howell are in the field. ... The Johnnie Walker Classic is next week at The Vines in Perth, Australia.

AUSTRALIAN LADIES PROFESSIONAL GOLF/LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR

Women's Australian Open

Site: Melbourne, Australia.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Metropolitan Golf Club (6,560 yards, par 73).

Purse: $325,000. Winner's share: $49,000.

Television: None.

Last year: Australian star Karrie Webb won the national open for the fourth time, beating South Korea's Jiyai Shin with a 10-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff at Kingston Heath. Webb also won in 2000, '02 and '07.

Last week: Australia's Katherine Hull won the Australian Ladies Masters, closing with a 4-under 68 at Royal Pines for a five-stroke victory.

Notes: Webb tied for 30th at Royal Pines. ... Hull, up six spots to No. 20 in the world, is playing for the fourth straight week. The Canadian Women's Open champion finished second in New South Wales and New Zealand before winning at Royal Pines.

NATIONWIDE TOUR

Next event: Moonah Classic, Feb. 26-March 1, Moonah Links, Fingal, Australia.

Last week: Vance Veazey won the season-opening Panama Championship for his fourth career Nationwide Tour victory, beating Garrett Willis with a two-putt par on the second hole of a playoff.