Philadelphia, PA – PGA TOUR - TAMPA BAY CHAMPIONSHIP, Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course), Palm Harbor, Florida - Luke Donald returns to Innisbrook this week to defend his title at the Tampa Bay Championship.
Donald came out on top after a crazy final round last year. He closed with a 5-under 66 to join Sang-Moon Bae (68), Robert Garrigus (64) and third-round co-leader Jim Furyk (69) at 13-under 271.
The foursome returned to the 18th tee for the playoff. They all hit the green with their approach shots, but Donald was closest. After the other three all missed, including Garrigus from seven feet out, Donald converted his 6-foot birdie effort for the win.
Donald returned to the top spot in the world rankings with the victory.
Ernie Els, who also returns to Innisbrook this week, had the title in hand before the playoff last year. He led by one at the 16th, but missed a short birdie try there. He went on to bogey the final two holes to miss the playoff and miss a chance at gaining a spot in the field at The Masters.
Donald is one of seven players ranked in the top 20 in the world in the field this week. He is also one of eight former champions in the field. Included in that group are two-time winners K.J. Choi (2002, 2006) and Retief Goosen (2003, 2009).
Two weeks ago at The Honda Classic, there was the Bear Trap. This week at Innisbrook, it's the Snake Pit. Those final three holes ranked fourth on tour last year among hardest closing stretches on the PGA Tour.
Golf Channel will have coverage all four days. Their coverage on Saturday and Sunday will be early, before they hand off to NBC for the rest of the round.
The PGA Tour shifts to Orlando next week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where Tiger Woods cruised to a 5-shot win last year.
AVANTHA MASTERS, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, Delhi, India - The European Tour returns to action this week in India with the fifth playing of the Avantha Masters.
Jbe Kruger closed with a 3-under 69 last year to pick up a 2-stroke win over Marcel Siem and Jorge Campillo. The win was the first on the European Tour for Kruger.
He held a 1-shot lead entering the final round. Peter Whiteford was one of those that was a shot back, but he was disqualified on Sunday. It was determined that his ball moved as he played his approach to the 18th green on Saturday, and he did not take a penalty for his ball moving.
By not taking the penalty, Whiteford therefore signed an incorrect scorecard and was disqualified.
Many of the top players are taking the week off, but European Tour stalwarts like Colin Montgomerie, David Howell, Edoardo Molinari and Thomas Levet are in the field this week.
They will be joined at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort by Asian Tour stars Thongchai Jaidee, Jyoti Randhawa, Jeev Milkha Singh and Wen-chong Liang.
Golf Channel will have coverage all four days.
The European Tour heads to Kuala Lumpur next week for the Maybank Malaysian Open, where Louis Oosthuizen won by three last year, when the event was played the week after The Masters.
RR DONNELLEY LPGA FOUNDERS CUP, Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona - The LPGA Tour is in Arizona this week for the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, which is the tour's first event in the U.S. this season.
World No. 1 Yani Tseng closed with a 4-under 68 last year to beat Ai Miyazato and Na Yeon Choi by a single stroke.
Those three were among the top-10 players in the world at the time last year, and they not only battled each other, but also Mother Nature. There were three weather delays in the final round alone.
The stoppages combined to last over three hours. Through two of those weather delays, Tseng posted five birdies in a 6-hole span from the 10th to grab a 2- shot lead. Choi and Miyazato both birdied the 16th to get within one, but Tseng held on for her second win of 2012.
Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds.
The LPGA Tour heads to California next week for the Kia Classic, where Tseng is again the defending champion.
TOSHIBA CLASSIC, NEWPORT BEACH COUNTRY CLUB, Newport Beach, California - After a 2-week break, the Champions Tour returns to action this week with the Toshiba Classic.
Last year, Loren Roberts closed with 2-under 69 to hang on for a 2-stroke win over Mark Calcavecchia, 2008 champ Bernhard Langer and Tom Kite.
Roberts earned his 13th Champions Tour title despite three late bogeys.
This is just the fourth event all season for the senior circuit. The first three winners -- John Cook, Rocco Mediate and Bernhard Langer -- are all in the field.
Golf Channel will broadcast action of all three rounds.
The Champions Tour heads to Mississippi next week for the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, where Fred Couples fended off Michael Allen last year.