This Week in Golf -- May 10 through May 13

PGA TOUR - THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida - Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and more of golf's best players will convene in Florida this weekend for The Players Championship.

Among those teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass will be K.J. Choi, who won The Players last year. He parred the first playoff hole to beat David Toms and earn the title, his eighth and most notable PGA Tour victory. With the victory, Choi became the first Korean and first Asian-born winner in the 38-year history of the event.

The field also includes Toms and Rickie Fowler, who is fresh off his first PGA Tour win. Fowler defeated world No. 1 McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff Sunday to earn the Wells Fargo Championship title.

A total of 52 players from 19 countries outside of the United States are in the field. Seven of the last 10 winners of The Players are International competitors. Australia leads the way with 10 players, while England boasts seven.

However, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson are not competing this week. Watson announced earlier this month that he was withdrawing to spend more time with his family, while Johnson pulled out due to a lingering back injury. In addition, Fred Couples, a two-time winner of The Players Championship, has also withdrawn because of an illness.

Twenty-one major champions and nine former winners of the event -- including Mickelson (2007) and Woods (2001) -- are in the field.

The winner will pocket a whopping $1,710,000 of the total purse of $9.5 million.

Golf Channel has the broadcast Thursday and Friday, with spot coverage on Saturday and Sunday. NBC picks up primary coverage on the weekend.

Following The Players Championship, the PGA Tour heads west to Texas for the Byron Nelson Championship. Last year, Keegan Bradley triumphed in a playoff to earn his first title on tour.


MADEIRA ISLANDS OPEN, Santo da Serra, Madeira, Portugal - The European Tour takes a short trip to Portugal this week for the Madeira Islands Open.

Last year, Michael Hoey shot a one-under 71 during the final round to earn the victory, his second on the European Tour. Hoey, however, is not returning to defend his title.

The field does include six former champions -- Alastair Forsyth (2008), Daniel Vancsik (2007), Bradley Dredge (2003), Niclas Fasth (2000), Jarmo Sandelin (1996) and Santiago Luna (1995).

The tournament will be held at Santo da Serra for the first time since 2008 and the 13th time overall. When Dredge won here in 2003, he carded a third-round 60 en route to an eight-shot win.

There is no television coverage this week.

Following the Madeira Islands Open, the European Tour returns to Spain for the Volvo World Match Play Championship. Last year, Ian Poulter defeated Luke Donald, 2 & 1, for the title.