Golf, times and tournaments for the week

The PGA Tour remains in Florida for The Players, the most important tournament after the Majors

by Andrea Gussoni
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Golf, times and tournaments for the week
© Getty Images Sport - Eakin Howard / Stringer

The PGA Tour remains in Florida for The Players, the most important tournament after the Majors. The DP World Tour, LIV, LPGA, and LET have a rest week, while the Challenge Tour moves to India for two weeks. The National Women's Match Play Championships have begun at the National Golf Club.

Golf, events

PGA Tour – The Players Championship The stars of the PGA Tour head to TPC Sawgrass for The Players this week, the premier event in the PGA Tour calendar, traditionally featuring one of the most competitive fields in golf.

Thanks to the level of players involved and the generated interest, it has been dubbed the "fifth major" in men's golf and has been part of the PGA Tour calendar since its launch in 1974 when Jack Nicklaus became the first winner.

The tournament has been held at the current venue – The Players Stadium at TPC Sawgrass – since 1982. But what is a Stadium Course? Let's delve into Sawgrass and Pete Dye's genius in Vittorio Addabbo's narrative.

The total purse of $25 million exceeds that of the four Majors, with the winner taking home a first prize of $4.5 million and 750 FedExCup points. Who is eligible for the tournament? The top 50 players in the world have the right to play, provided they are eligible to play on the PGA Tour, with Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and FedExCup champion Viktor Hovland among the most significant names involved.

In addition to them, the top 125 in the FedExCup standings at the end of the fall period, along with major champions from the last five years, winners of the last three Arnold Palmer Invitationals, Genesis Invitationals, The Memorial, and World Golf Championship events are eligible to participate.

Winners of PGA Tour events in the past year and the top 10 in the FedExCup standings at the end of the Cognizant Classic also have the opportunity to compete, as well as the winner of last year's Kaulig Companies Championship and the player topping the Korn Ferry Tour standings.

This year's Players Championship features a long list of 23 players making their debut at TPC Sawgrass: among them, Ludvig Aberg, Nick Dunlap, Nicolai Hojgaard, Jake Knapp, Matthieu Pavon, and Sami Valimaki stand out. Number one Scottie Scheffler returns as the defending champion after last year's five-stroke victory over Tyrrell Hatton, with Hovland in third place and Hideki Matsuyama, winner of the 2024 Genesis Invitational, in fifth place.

This year's event marks the fifth anniversary of McIlroy's Players Championship victory, and Justin Thomas is among the recent winners, while Woods, absent this year, is the last Players winner to have won twice. There has never been an English winner of The Players, and Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, and Justin Rose will look to change that this week.

Francesco Molinari returns to action with his thirteenth appearance at the tournament, where he has collected four top ten finishes. All players who would be eligible but have moved to Liv Golf, including Jon Rahm, who would likely have been among the tournament favorites, will be absent.

Other notable names who have migrated to Liv include Cameron Smith, 2022 winner, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau, and last year's runner-up, Tyrrell Hatton.

The tournament can be followed from March 14th to 17th on DISCOVERY+ and EUROSPORT, with commentary by Alessandro Bellicini, Nicola Pomponi, Federico Colombo, and Maurizio Trezzi at the following schedule: Challenge After successfully concluding the first four stages in South Africa, the Challenge Tour players now head to India to participate in two consecutive tournaments followed by two events in the United Arab Emirates in April before arriving in Europe in early May.

The Road to Mallorca stops in Delhi for the Delhi Challenge, the first of two consecutive events, both in collaboration with the PGTI (Professional Golf Tour of India). The tournament will take place from March 14th to 17th at the renowned Classic Golf & Country Club, one of the best resorts near Delhi, designed by the legendary "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus and recognized as India's premier international golf destination.

Within the resort, there are 27 holes, including the championship course where players will compete this week. The first nine holes, called "RIDGE," reward precision off the tee, with water hazards and short and tricky par threes as key elements, while the second nine, "VALLEY," favor longer shots, but narrow fairways will condition the players' strategic choices.

The Challenge Tour returns to India for the second consecutive time, with memories of last year's victory by Om Prakash Chouhan in the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge, followed the following week by Ugo Coussaud's victory, now on the DP World Tour, at The Challenge presented by KGA in Bangalore.

After a short two-week break, a field of 156 players gathers in India to compete for a prize fund of $300,000. Among the participants, Swedish players Mikael Lindberg, currently topping the ranking, and Björn Åkesson, fourth, both winners this season and engaged in the promotion battle to the main Tour, stand out.

Om Prakash Chouhan, eager to defend the title, will be joined by numerous local talents. Attention will also be on Sam Hutsby, second at Fancourt and fifth in the Race to Mallorca, and Frenchman Martin Couvra, currently tenth and fourth at the end of February's NMB Championship.

Defending Italian colors will be Pietro Bovari, Luca Cianchetti, Gregorio De Leo, and Aron Zemmer. National Women's Match Play Championship – Giuseppe Silva Trophy The National Golf Club hosts the first National Championship

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