Pga Tour Heads To Mexico. Lpga Begins Asia Swing In Thailand

Tony Finau hits from the fourth tee during the third round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Tony Finau hits from the fourth tee during the third round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)



Site: Vallarta, Mexico.

Course: Vidanta Vallarta, Mexico. Yardage: 7,456. Par: 71.

Prize money: $8.1 million. Winner's share: $1.458 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).

Defending champion: Tony Finau.

FedEx Cup leader: Matthieu Pavon.

Last week: Hideki Matsuyama won the Genesis Invitational.

Notes: The tournament moved up two months to create some space between the West Coast swing and the start of the Florida swing. ... The Mexico Open started out as a World Golf Championships event in Mexico City before the COVID-19 pandemic. ... Tony Finau has not won since he captured the title last April. ... Every player who earned a PGA Tour card from the Korn Ferry Tour is in the field. ... Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington is competing on a sponsor exemption. ... The field has four players from the top 50 in the world ranking with Finau, Nicolai Hojgaard, Ryan Fox and Emiliano Grillo. ... The winner receives an invitation to the Masters and qualifies for the PGA Championship. ... Russell Knox, who has conditional status (Nos. 126 to 150 in the FedEx Cup), is making his first PGA Tour start of the year. He has played in three Korn Ferry Tour events this year.

Next week: Cognizant Classic.





Site: Chonburi, Thailand.

Course: Siam CC. Yardage: 6,576. Par: 72.

Prize money: $1.7 million. Winner's share: $255,000.

Television: Wednesday-Thursday, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Golf Channel); Friday-Saturday, 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Lilia Vu.

Race to CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko.

Last tournament: Nelly Korda won the Drive On Championship.

Notes: This tournament begins the three-event Asia swing. The LPGA Tour has a four-event Asia swing later in the year. ... Lilia Vu picked up her first LPGA title in Thailand a year ago. She went on to win majors at the Chevron Championship and the Women's British Open. ... Nanna Koerstz Madsen set the tournament record two years ago at 26-under 262. ... Amy Yang is the only three-time winner of the Honda LPGA Thailand. She is in the field. ... Vu leads six of the top 10 from the women's world ranking in the field. Missing are Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee and Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand. ... Several players began this swing by playing in the Aramco Series in Saudi Arabia as part of the Ladies European Tour. Patty Tavatanakit won in Saudi Arabia for her first title since she won the ANA Inspiration for her first major. ... The field features all the major champions from last year — Vu, Ruoning Yin (Women's PGA), Celine Boutier (Evian) and Allisen Corpuz (U.S. Women's Open).

Next week: HSBC Women's World Championship.





Site: Nairobi, Kenya.

Course: Muthaiga GC. Yardage: 7,228. Par: 71.

Prize money: $2.5 million. Winner's share: $416,667.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 5-8 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday, 4:30-8 a.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 4-8 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Jorge Campillo.

Race to Dubai leader: Rory McIlroy.

Last tournament: Rikuya Hoshino won the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

Notes: Jorge Campillo was among the 10 European tour players who earned PGA Tour cards last year. He has yet to play on the PGA Tour and is in Kenya this week to defend his title. ... Rikuya Hoshino of Japan leads the field and is the highest-ranked player at No. 77 in the world. He is hopeful of either cracking the top 50 by the end of March or perhaps getting a special invitation from the Masters. ... Dylan Frittelli began the year as exempt from being between No. 126 and 200 in the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour. He won the Bahrain Championship and now has full European tour status. ... John Gough of England received a sponsor exemption. He beat Nick Dunlap, 6 and 5, in Sunday singles at the Walker Cup last year at St. Andrews. ... Only two players are using the five spots available from the PGA Tour — Jonas Blixt and Matthias Schwab of Austria. ... This is the first of three straight European tour events on the African continent. The next two are co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour in South Africa.

Next week: SDC Championship.





Site: Rabat, Morocco.

Course: Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.

Prize money: $2 million. Winner's share: $360,000.

Television: Thursday-Saturday, 8-11 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Stephen Ames.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker.

Last week: Stephen Ames won the Chubb Classic.

Notes: Angel Cabrera is listed as being in the field, his first PGA Tour Champions event since he was released from prison for gender violence last summer. Cabrera is still trying to sort out a visa to get into the United States and play in the Masters. ... The PGA Tour Champions goes back to Morocco for a lone international stop before returning in two weeks for three tournaments out West — one in Arizona and two in California. ... Ames won the first of four PGA Tour Champions titles last year in Morocco by beating Mark Hensby by five shots. ... The Trophy Hassan II was a European tour event from 2010 through 2021. It previously was an unofficial event won by the likes of Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington. ... Ames won the Chubb Classic over 36 holes when the final round was washed out. It was the first 36-hole event on the PGA Tour Champions since the Insperity Invitational in Houston in 2021. ... Former Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn of Denmark received one of the two sponsor exemptions.

Next tournament: Cologuard Classic on March 8-10.




Last tournament: Dustin Johnson won LIV Golf Las Vegas.

Next week: LIV Golf Jeddah.

Points leader: Dustin Johnson.




Last tournament: Tony Velo won the Astra Golf Championship.

Next week: Argentina Open.

Points leader: Aldrich Potgieter.




Asian Tour: International Series Oman, Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman. Defending champion: Takumi Kanaya. Online:

Ladies European Tour: Lalla Meryem Cup, Royal Dar Es Salam (Blue), Muscat, Morocco. Previous winner: Maja Stark. Online:

Sunshine Tour: Nelson Mandela Bay Championship, Humewood GC, Gqeberha, South Africa. Defending champion: Dylan Mostert.

Royal & Ancient: Africa Amateur Championship and Africa Amateur Women's Invitational, Leopard Creek CC, Malelane, South Africa. Previous winners: Inaugural event. Online:


AP golf: