This Week in Golf -- May 17 through May 20

PGA TOUR - HP BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP, TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas - The PGA Tour returns to Texas this week for the Byron Nelson Championship.

Last year, Keegan Bradley earned his first tour victory with a par on the first playoff hole. Bradley and Ryan Palmer finished at minus-three, before Bradley won in the extra session.

Bradley later went on to win the PGA Championship, also in a playoff. His winning score of three-under par at the TPC Four Seasons was the highest in relation to par since 1981 when Bruce Lietzke finished at one-over par. Only five players finished in red figures last year.

Phil Mickelson, who won this title in 1996, is returning to this event for the first time since 2007.

Mickelson and Bradley are two of the seven players ranked in the top 25 in the world playing this week. Also in that group are Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Jason Day, Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner.

Kuchar and Dufner are among seven winners from this season in the field.

Golf Channel has the broadcast Thursday and Friday before handing off to NBC for the weekend.

Next week is the final stop in Texas for the 2012 season. David Toms is expected to defend his title at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Toms closed with a 67 last year to end one stroke clear of Charlie Wi.


VOLVO WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP, Finca Cortesin Golf Club, Andalucia, Spain - Twenty-four players head to Finca Cortesin this week for the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

The 24 players are broken down into eight groups of three. Two players from each group will advance to the knockout round.

Just 16 players will compete on Thursday and there will be 16 matches on Friday. There are also two rounds of matches set for both Saturday and Sunday.

Despite halves in his first two matches last year, Ian Poulter advanced to play Lee Westwood in the third round. Poulter bested Westwood, 1-up, then took down Francesco Molinari, 2-up, after they halved their first meeting on Thursday.

Poulter downed Nicolas Colsaerts and Luke Donald in his final two matches to win the title. Poulter's 2 & 1 win over Donald in the final denied the Englishman the top spot in the world rankings, for a week.

Donald beat Westwood in a playoff a the next tournament to finally grab the top spot in the world rankings.

Golf Channel has lengthy coverage all week.

The European Tour makes its first stop of the year in England next week as Donald is expected to defend his title at the BMW PGA Championship.


SYBASE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP, Hamilton Farm Golf Club, Gladstone, New Jersey - The LPGA Tour makes its first stop in New Jersey this week for the Sybase Match Play Championship.

Suzann Pettersen won four of her six matches by a 1-up margin last year, including her final victory over Cristie Kerr for the title.

The victory was Pettersen's seventh on the LPGA Tour, but first since late in the 2009 season. Kerr had a tough day putting in the final match and it cost her the title.

Kerr had several chances to square the match on the back nine, but the flat blade let her down. Pettersen pushed her lead to 2-up with a par on the 15th.

Down two with two holes to go, Kerr birdied the 17th from 10 feet out to push the match to the 18th hole but Pettersen closed with a birdie to seal the victory.

This is just the third year of the event. Sun Young Yoo, who won the first title, is in the field.

This year, the top-ranked player will face the lowest ranked player. Last year, the top-32 players were slotted, then their opponents were randomly chosen.

Golf Channel will have extensive coverage of the tournament.

After a week off, the tour returns to New Jersey for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where Brittany Lincicome will defend her title.


BMW CHARITY PRO-AM, Thornblade Club, Greenville Country Club & The Carolina Country Club, Greer, South Carolina - The top three players from last year's final leaderboard have all moved on to the PGA Tour.

Garth Mulroy and Sunghoon Kang ended at 18-under to finish one ahead of Danny Lee, who closed with a six-under 65 on the host course the Thornblade Club.

Mulroy parred the first extra hole last year to beat Kang.

Along with the Thornblade Club, The Carolina Country Club and Greenville Country Club will be used for the first three rounds.

Seven of the top 10 players on the money list are in the field this week.

Among the celebrities playing are actors Richard Schiff, Anthony Anderson and Terry O'Quinn, and comedian Cheech Marin. The top 14 amateur teams will play in the final round at the Thornblade Club.

Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds.

The tour is in North Carolina next week for the Rex Hospital Open, where Kyle Thompson won by a single stroke over three players in 2011.