This Week in Golf -- Jan. 24 through Jan. 27

PGA TOUR - FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN, Torrey Pines (South & North Courses), La Jolla, California - The PGA Tour will play its second straight event in California this week with the Farmers Insurance Open.

Last year, Kyle Stanley seemed to be in control down the stretch. That was until his third shot at the par-5 18th spun off the green and into the pond fronting the green. That led to a closing triple-bogey, which dropped him into a playoff.

Brandt Snedeker benefited from that tough break. He closed with a 67 to get in at 16-under, and that is where Stanley fell to. The duo headed back out for a playoff.

Both players birdied the par-5 18th from a similar spot, then shifted to the 16th. Stanley found the green before Snedeker's tee ball went sailing over the putting surface, and was saved from going into the water by a TV tower.

After a drop, Snedeker chipped to four feet. Stanley's first putt stopped a similar distance from the cup as Snedeker was. Snedeker putted first after a measurement to determine who was away.

Snedeker's putt fell, but Stanley's stayed above ground. Snedeker, who was eight back early in the round, collected his third PGA Tour title. He would grab win No. 4 and the FedExCup title with a victory at the Tour Championship last September.

Tiger Woods, who has won this title six times, skipped the event last year as he played overseas. However, he'll be back at Torrey Pines this week. Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in their epic 2008 U.S. Open battle at Torrey Pines. That was his last major title.

The first two rounds will be spread over the South and North Courses, with the South Course hosting the final two rounds.

Golf Channel will have coverage all four days. Their coverage on Saturday and Sunday will be early, before they hand off to CBS for the first time this year.

The PGA Tour heads to Arizona next week for the Phoenix Open, which annually is played opposite the Super Bowl and is one of the biggest parties of the year. Last year, a week after blowing the Farmers Insurance Open, Stanley bounced back with a final-round 65 to earn his first tour title, a 1-shot win over Ben Crane.


COMMERICIAL BANK QATAR MASTERS, Doha Golf Club, Doha, Qatar - The European Tour continues its desert swing this week with the Qatar Masters.

Paul Lawrie improved his score each round last year en route to a 4-stroke win, in a tournament which was shortened to 54 holes by wind. Lawrie went 69-67-65 to beat Jason Day and Peter Hanson by four.

Of the 10 players that finished behind Lawrie last year, just six have returned to play this event this week. Day, John Daly and Nicolas Colsaerts are all playing on the PGA Tour this week, while Soren Hansen is off.

The field will have plenty of star power though. Last week's runner-up Justin Rose enters the week ranked fourth in the world and will be joined at Doha Golf Club by world No. 5 Louis Oosthuizen and No. 11 Jason Dufner as well as Sergio Garcia, Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer and Ernie Els.

Lawrie has played the last two weeks. He shared seventh at the Volvo Golf Champions, but failed to get anything going in Abu Dhabi, where he shared 52nd place.

Golf Channel has early morning coverage of all four rounds this week.

The European Tour returns to the United Arab Emirates next week for the Dubai Desert Classic, where Rafael Cabrera-Bello rallied for a 1-stroke win over Stephen Gallacher and third-round leader Lee Westwood last year.