This Week in Golf -- March 21 through March 24

5:45 PM, Mar 18, 2013   |    comments
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Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - PGA TOUR - ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL, Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida - Tiger Woods won his seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational last year as he cruised to a 5-stroke win.

Last year's win for Woods was his first since his 2009 Thanksgiving car accident. This time around, Woods will go for his eighth title at this event.

If he is successful, Woods would tie Sam Snead's record for most wins at a single event. And if that weren't enough, Woods would re-gain the top spot in the world rankings for the first time since October 2010.

Woods has since won four more titles on the PGA to raise his total to 76, moving him within six of Snead's tour record.

While Woods is chasing history, reigning FedExCup champ Brandt Snedeker is returning to action after a 5-week layoff with a rib injury. Ernie Els, who took last week off to rest an ailing hip, is also in the field this week.

With change in the schedule later in the year, the field was increased from 120 to 132 players. Included in that expanded field will be seven of the top 10 and 24 of the top 30 from the current FedExCup rankings and nine of the top 15 in the world golf rankings.

Along with Woods, former winners of the event like Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Chad Campbell and Phil Mickelson will tee it up at Bay Hill this week.

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 Texas next week for the Houston Open, where Hunter Mahan beat Carl Pettersson by a single stroke last year.


MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - The Maybank Malaysian Open shifts from the week after The Masters to this week.

Last year's champion Louis Oosthuizen is taking the week off. Oosthuizen cruised to a 3-stroke win over Stephen Gallacher in 2012.

That victory came one week after Oosthuizen lost to Bubba Watson in a playoff at The Masters. The win was the South African's fifth on the European Tour.

With Oosthuizen not in action this week, the field will be headlined by world No. 3 Luke Donald along with former major champions Charl Schwartzel and Padraig Harrington.

Thomas Aiken, who picked up his second European Tour win last week, will also be in Kuala Lumpur this week.

Golf Channel will have tape-delayed coverage all four days.

The European Tour travels to Morocco next week for the Trophee Hassan II, where Michael Hoey won by three strokes last year.


KIA CLASSIC, Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, California - Yani Tseng returns to the Kia Classic to defend her title, minus another title.

Tseng shared 59th place last week, and with Stacy Lewis winning the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, Lewis took over the top spot in the world rankings.

Tseng won this title by six strokes last year at the LaCosta Resort. The event has shifted to Aviara Golf Club this year.

Lewis heads to this tournament coming off back-to-back wins. She has three straight top-3 finishes after a tie for 15th in the first event of the year.

Golf Channel has coverage of all four rounds.

After a week off, the LPGA Tour shifts to Rancho Mirage for the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Sun Young Yoo won that title with a birdie on the first playoff hole after I.K. Kim missed a 1-foot par putt on the final hole of regulation.


MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC, Fallen Oak Golf Club, Biloxi, Mississippi - Fred Couples held off Michael Allen last year to win for the seventh time on the Champions Tour.

Couples fired a 9-under 63 in the opening round, then went 5-under over the final two rounds to beat Allen by one. Allen closed with a 6-under 66 in the final round to put the pressure on Couples.

This will mark Couples' third start of the year on the Champions Tour. He finished fourth and second in his previous two starts.

All four winners from this season -- John Cook, Rocco Mediate, Bernhard Langer and David Frost -- are in the field this week.

Golf Channel will broadcast action of all three rounds.

The Champions Tour will take a three-week break after this event, then return to action in Georgia with the Greater Gwinnett Championship, a new event on the Champions Tour.


CHITIMACHA LOUISIANA OPEN, Le Triomphe Country Club, Broussard, Louisiana - Casey Wittenberg rolled to an 8-stroke win last year after posting four rounds of 66 or better.

Wittenberg opened 66-66, yet still wasn't atop the leaderboard. He followed that with an 8-under 63 to grab the lead before closing with a 65 to cruise to his first tour title.

His total of 260 smashed the tournament's scoring record by four shots. Wittenberg is not in the field to defend his title.

Eighteen of the top 25 players on the money list are in the field this week, including the season's first three winners - Kevin Foley, Patrick Cantlay and Kevin Kisner.

After a week off, the travels to Sao Paulo for a new event, the Brasil Classic.

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