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San Diego Union-Tribune

Spieth, Thomas lead Valspar field as LIV resumes in Arizona

By The Associated Press,

2023-03-14

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PGA TOUR

VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Palm Harbor, Florida.

Course: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead). Yardage: 7,340. Par: 71.

Prize money: $8.1 million. Winner's share: $1.458 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC).

Defending champion: Sam Burns.

FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm.

Last week: Scottie Scheffler won The Players Championship.

Notes: In another PGA Tour event caught between elevated events, the Valspar Championship has attracted five of top 25 from the world ranking. Leading the way are Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. ... Victor Perez of France, who leads the European tour's Race to Dubai, is playing on a sponsor exemption. ... Spieth won at Innisbrook in a playoff in 2015, the year he won the Masters. ... Wesley Bryan and Akshay Bhatia are in the field through their top 10s in the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago. Bhatia now has special temporary membership from his runner-up finish. He played his first PGA Tour event at Innisbrook four years ago. ... Ludvig Aberg, the No. 1 amateur in the world, is playing on an exemption. He was on the front page of the leaderboard up until the back nine at Bay Hill. ... Next week is the cutoff for top 50 in the world getting into the Masters. This week would be good for some players, like Taylor Montgomery, to strengthen their position.

Next week: WGC-Dell Match Play and Corales Puntacana Championship.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/

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LIV GOLF

LIV GOLF TUCSON

Site: Marana, Arizona.

Course: The Gallery GC (South). Yardage: 7,469. Par: 71.

Prize money: $25 million. Winner’s share: $4 million. Winning team share: $3 million.

Television: Friday, 1-6 p.m. (The CW App); Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (CW Network).

Defending champion: New tournament.

Points leader: Charles Howell III.

Notes: This is the second LIV Golf event of the season. Martin Kaymer is listed in the field as captain of his “Cleeks” team. He did not play the last one and was replaced by a reserve, Laurie Canter of England. ... Henrik Stenson won the Match Play at The Gallery in 2007. Tiger Woods won the next year, and then the tournament moved up the mountain to another course for the next six years. ... Phil Mickelson won the Tucson Open in 1991 as an amateur when he was still at Arizona State. ... Stenson was among seven players who competed in the Match Play in 2007. Lee Westwood was the only one to lose in the first round. ... Charles Howell III won the first LIV event in Mayakoba, his fourth professional victory. ... Mickelson, Pat Perez and David Puig are among LIV players who went to Arizona State. ... Peter Uihlein was runner-up in Mayakoba. He has three second-place finishes in his last four LIV Golf events dating to last season.

Next tournament: LIV Golf Orlando on March 31-April 2.

Online: https://www.livgolf.com/

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EUROPEAN TOUR AND SUNSHINE TOUR

SDC CLASSIC

Site: Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Course: St. Francis Links. Yardage: 7,192. Par: 72.

Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner's share: $250,000.

Television: None.

Defending champion: New tournament.

Race to Dubai leader: Victor Perez.

Last week: Jorge Campillo won the Magical Kenya Open.

Notes: This is a new tournament on the European tour schedule and co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour of South Africa. ... The tournament is one of six in South Africa as part of the European tour schedule. ... The field features only four players from the top 100 in the world ranking. ... Jorge Campillo won last week in Kenya. His other two European tour victories were in Morocco and Qatar. ... Adrian Otaegui is No. 83 and the highest-ranked player in the field. ... Shaun Norris of South Africa is in the field. He played a full LIV Golf schedule last year and was relegated with arrival of new players, such as Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz. ... The course is a Jack Nicklaus design that is on a hill overlooking the seaside village of St. Francis Bay. It previously hosted the South African PGA Championship. ... The European tour will have two official events next week, the Match Play and another one in South Africa.

Next week: WGC-Dell Match Play.

Online: https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/ and https://sunshinetour.com/

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

HOAG CLASSIC

Site: Newport Beach, California.

Course: Newport Beach CC. Yardage: 6,821. Par: 71.

Prize money: $2 million. Winner's share: $300,000.

Television: Friday, 6-8 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Retief Goosen.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steve Stricker.

Last tournament: David Toms won the Chubb Classic.

Notes: Bernhard Langer is in the field, another chance to try to win and break the PGA Tour Champions record for career victories. He is tied with Hale Irwin at 45. ... This is part of a West Coast swing on the PGA Tour Champions. The circuit was in Tucson, Arizona, two weeks ago and next week moves to the Palm Springs area in the California desert. ... Billy Andrade and Mario Tiziani received sponsor exemptions. ... Padraig Harrington makes his first start on the PGA Tour Champions. He has been playing (and making the cut) on the European tour and PGA Tour. This will be his first tournament since being elected to the 2024 class of the World Golf Hall of Fame. ... The tournament has been part of the PGA Tour Champions schedule since 1995. Mark Johnson is the only player to win the Hoag Classic in consecutive years. ... The last two winners have been South African, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.

Next week: The Galleri Classic.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/pgatour-champions

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LPGA TOUR

Last week: Jin Young Ko won the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Next week: LPGA Drive On Championship on March 23-26.

Race to CME Globe leader: Nelly Korda.

Online: https://www.lpga.com/

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KORN FERRY TOUR

Last tournament: Rhein Gibson won the Astara Golf Championship.

Next tournament: Club Car Championship on March 23-26.

Points leader: Chandler Phillips.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour/

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OTHER TOURS

Epson Tour: Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic, Longbow GC, Mesa, Arizona. Defending champion: Fatima Fernandez Cano. Online: https://www.epsontour.com/

Ladies European Tour: Aramco Team Series-Singapore, Laguna National GC, Singapore. Defending champion: Manon De Roey. Television: Wednesday-Friday, 1-5 a.m. (Golf Channel). Online: https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

Asian Tour: The DGC Open, Delhi GC, New Delhi. Defending champion: Nitithorn Thippong. Television: Sunday, 2:30-6:30 a.m. (Golf Channel). Online: https://asiantour.com/

PGA Tour Latinoamerica: Termas de Rio Hondo Invitational, Rio Hondo GC, Rio Hondo, Argentina. Defending champion: Kevin Velo. Online: https://www.pgatour.com/latinoamerica

PGA Tour of Australasia: Play Today NSW Open, Rich River GC (East), Moama, Australia. Defending champion: Harrison Crowe. Online: https://pga.org.au/

Japan LPGA: T-Point Eneos Golf Tournament, Kagoshima Takamaki CC, Kagoshima, Japan. Defending champion: Kotone Hori. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en/

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .

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