This Week in Golf -- March 20-23

Philadelphia, PA ( - PGA TOUR - ARNOLD PALMER CHAMPIONSHIP, Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida - Golf Legend Arnold Palmer welcomes the PGA Tour to his Bay Hill Club & Lodge this week, but Palmer may have to soon cede naming rights to Tiger Woods.

Woods owns this property nearly as much as Palmer. With four under par rounds last year, Woods collected his eighth win at this event. Woods joined Sam Snead as the only two players in PGA Tour history to win the same event eight times.

Woods beat Justin Rose by two strokes, and moved back to No. 1 in the world as the event ended on Monday due to a violent thunderstorm that halted play on Sunday.

Snead won eight Greater Greensboro Open titles, and was just five wins ahead of Woods on the all-time wins list. Woods, who added two more wins since, has inched within three heading into this year's tournament.

Woods has been battling a sore back in his last few starts, but is expected to tee it up on Thursday. Joining him at Bay Hill this week will be Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson, the second and third ranked players in the world, as well as nine of the top 20 players overall.

Among that group is No. 20 Patrick Reed, who won for the second time this year two weeks ago at Doral.

Martin Laird, the 2011 champion, is the only European to win this title, and one of just four international players to win at Bay Hill.

Golf Channel will have television coverage of the first two days and early on the weekend before handing off to NBC for the evening.

The PGA Tour heads to Texas for two events before the season's first major. First up in the Lone Star state is the Texas Open, where Laird fired a 63 in the final round last year to beat Rory McIlroy by two strokes.


JTBC FOUNDERS CUP - Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona - The LPGA returns to the United States for the first time this year after four overseas events.

The first four events have given us four different winners, the last of which was Paula Creamer, who poured in a 75-foot eagle putt for the win in Singapore.

The Founders Cup is the first state-side event for the fourth straight year.

Last year, Stacy Lewis overcame a 4-stroke deficit at the start of the final round as she fired an 8-under 64 to beat Ai Miyazato by three. Miyazato led entering the final round, but closed with a 71 to take second place.

With the win, Lewis took over the top spot in the women's world rankings.

Lewis needed the big final round after her caddie was penalized after the third round. Lewis' caddie went into a bunker in the third round to see what club Lewis could hit, and was slapped with a 2-stroke penalty for testing the sand as he spun his foot in the sand.

Five birdies in the first 11 holes helped Lewis trim the deficit, then Miyazato double-bogeyed the 16th as Lewis made birdie there. The three-shot swing moved Lewis into the lead, and she would not give it up.

Golf Channel will have television coverage of all four rounds.

The LPGA Tour heads to California next week for the Kia Classic, where Beatriz Recari struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round, but birdied the second playoff hole to beat I.K. Kim and win for the second time on tour.


MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC, Fallen Oak, Biloxi, Mississippi - Michael Allen overcame a 2-stroke deficit in the final round last year as he topped Bernhard Langer to the title.

Langer, who was one of four second-round leaders, fired a 65 in the second round to take a share of the lead into the final round. Allen shot 67 on the final day to move past Langer, who closed with a 70, and earn his fourth Champions Tour title.

The result was a reversal from a year earlier, when Allen was on the range hoping to get into a playoff, but Fred Couples birdied the last to win by one.

Those three are all in the field this week as is Kenny Perry, who is coming off his first top-10 finish of the season.

Golf Channel will have television coverage of all three rounds.

The Champions Tour is off for a month and will return to action April 18th with the Greater Gwinnett Championship, where Langer won by three last year.


PANAMA CLARO CHAMPIONSHIP, Panama Golf Club, Panama City, Panama - The Tour ends a four-event swing outside the United States this week with the Panama Claro Championship.

This was the season-opening event last season, and Kevin Foley rallied to beat Mathew Goggin by one stroke. Foley closed with a 3-under 67, while Goggin managed an even-par 70 in the final round.

The win was Foley's first on the Tour. He returns this year trying to become the first player in tour history to successfully defend a title.

Among those he'll have to beat this week is Alex Cejka, who in two tour starts, has nearly earned enough to get his PGA Tour card back for the 2014-15 season. Cejka has a win and a second-place finish in those two starts.

There will be no television coverage.

The Tour finally hits the states next week with the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, where Edward Loar won by a pair last year.