This Week in Golf -- November 14th through November 20th

PGA TOUR - PRESIDENTS CUP - Royal The biennial contest between the United States and the International team takes center stage Down Under this week.

Fred Couples and Greg Norman are back to guide their respective teams. Couples will try to retain the Cup his American side won at Harding Park two years prior.

The venue is one of the most spectacular in Australia and might help the International team. Five Aussies make up Norman's squad, including captain's picks Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley.

Couples' picks brought some much-needed energy to the Presidents Cup, and not the Bill Haas selection.

Couples selected Tiger Woods to the team and made it public almost a month before the required date. Woods' inclusion might be somewhat suspect since he hasn't won in two years and is down to 50th in the world rankings.

Adding fuel to the controversial fire, Norman questioned Couples picking Woods. Geoff Ogilvy on the International side wondered why the choice had to be made so early.

That's a legitimate question to be asked. Keegan Bradley won twice this year on tour, including the PGA Championship, but Couples made his pick and there's nothing more that can be done.

Just to make this Presidents Cup a little more interesting, Steve Williams, the former caddie for Woods and current looper for Adam Scott, made racially insensitive comments about Woods. There is certainly a chance the two could meet this week.

The U.S. team is made up of Woods, Haas, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, David Toms, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney and Hunter Mahan and Steve Stricker. The last two gentlemen come in a little dinged up, but both are ready to go.

Norman's side consists of Ogilvy, Allenby, Baddeley, Scott, Jason Day, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, Ryo Ishikawa, Kyung-tae Kim and Master champion Charl Schwartzel.

The U.S. won pretty comfortably two years ago and has only lost once in the history of the competition. That International victory came 13 years ago and it was at this very course - Royal Melbourne.

The format varies from the Ryder Cup in a few important ways. First, the competition is four days with six foursomes matches on Thursday, six four-ball matches on Friday, five of each on Saturday and the 12 singles tilts on Sunday.

Also, there's no blind draw for the matches. One captain announces his team or player first, then the opposing captain names that team or player's challenger and so forth until the draw is set.

Golf Channel will have live coverage all four days from Australia. NBC will show some tape-delayed action during the week.

Next week is the Mission Hills World Cup. The Molinari brothers won the title for Italy last year.


CME GROUP TITLEHOLDERS - Grand Cypress Resort, Orlando, Florida - The 2011 LPGA Tour season ends this week with a new type of tournament to conclude the year.

The top-three finishers in each event throughout the year earned a berth in this week's field. If a non-member won an LPGA Tour event, that gained them entry as well.

In fact, the top-three finishers not otherwise qualified gained admission, so last week's Lorena Ochoa Invitational netted three new players. Beatriz Recari is one of them and she came in fourth from last in Mexico.

There's no doubt Yani Tseng will be the LPGA Tour Player of the Year and she'll win the money title. She has seven wins in a dominant 2011 season.

Grand Cypress Resort has hosted the LPGA Tour Championship in years past. Maria Hjorth captured that title last year, but is not considered a defending champion since this is the inaugural tournament.

Golf Channel has all of the action all week.

LPGA Tour Q School begins Nov. 30.


ALFRED DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP - Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa - If this event looks familiar on the 2011 European Tour schedule, you're right.

This is the second staging of the tournament on the 2011 docket. The first came in December of 2010, but it counted toward the 2011 European Tour schedule.

Got it?

Pablo Martin is looking to win this championship for a third straight time. He won by two over Anthony Micheel, Thorbjorn Olesen and eventual Masters winner Charl Schwartzel in December.

If Martin can make it three in a row, he would join Ian Woosnam, Sir Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els as players to win a European Tour event three consecutive times.

With another European Tour event on the schedule this week, the field isn't extraordinary, but with the Dubai World Championship on the horizon, all earnings help.

There is no television coverage for this event.

JOHOR OPEN - Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club, Johor, Malaysia - This is the first year this tournament is a part of the European Tour schedule, but it boasts an impressive defending champion.

Padraig Harrington captured the title last year when the event was an Asian Tour championship. It was his first win anywhere since the 2008 PGA Championship.

Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Henrik Stenson and Colin Montgomerie join Harrington in the field this week. The field consists of 67 players each from the European and Asian Tours, eight invites, eight national qualifiers and six international qualifiers.

Golf Channel will carry the action.

Next week is both the South African Open Championship and the World Cup of Golf on the European Tour schedule.


CHAMPIONS TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT - TPC Scottsdale, Champions Course Scottsdale, Arizona - It's time for Champions Tour Q School in the dry heat of Scottsdale.

Seventy-eight players will be on hand trying to earn status next year on the Champions Tour. The top five this week get full status, but players who finish in the top 30 get some type of status.

The event had been staged in Florida in recent years, but heads to the TPC Scottsdale, home of the Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour.

Keith Clearwater, last year's winner, is back in the field. Other notable names include Phil Blackmar, Bobby Clampett, former PGA Tour winner Joel Edwards, Peter Fowler, putting guru Stan Utley, Zach Johnson's caddie Damon Green and Lonnie Nielsen.

There is no television coverage.