THE AMERICAN EXPRESS
Site: La Quinta, California.
Courses: PGA West-Pete Dye Stadium (Yardage: 7,187. Par: 72); PGA West-Nicklaus Tournament (Yardage: 7,147. Par: 72); La Quinta CC (Yardage: 7,060. Par: 72).
Prize money: $8 million. Winner’s share: $1.44 million.
Television: Thursday-Sunday, 3-7 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Previous winner: Hudson Swafford.
FedEx Cup leader: Seamus Power.
Last week: Si Woo Kim won the Sony Open.
Notes: For a nonelevated event, the field is extremely strong, with five of the top seven players in the world and 10 of the top 20. Among those playing are Kapalua winner Jon Rahm, Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay. … Xander Schauffele is in the field after having tests on muscle spasms in his back. Schauffele has made slight changes to his training. … Rickie Fowler is playing his first tournament of 2023 after having two top 10s in the fall, including a runner-up finish in the Zozo Championship in Japan. … Taiga Semikawa of Japan is making his second straight PGA Tour start on a sponsor exemption. He won twice on the Japan Golf Tour while still in college. … The tournament previously was hosted by Phil Mickelson until The American Express dropped him after his involvement with Saudi-funded LIV Golf. … This will be the second time in three PGA Tour events this year that the previous winner (Hudson Swafford) has been suspended for signing with LIV Golf.
Next week: Farmers Insurance Open.
HILTON GRAND VACATIONS TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Site: Orlando, Florida.
Course: Lake Nona Golf & CC. Yardage: 6,617. Par: 72.
Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner’s share: $225,000.
Television: Thursday-Friday, noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 2-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-5 p.m. (NBC).
Defending champion: Danielle Kang.
Race to CME Globe champion: Lydia Ko.
Last tournament: Lydia Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship.
Notes: The LPGA’s opening event is noticeable for who is not playing, with only three players from the top 10 in the women’s world ranking. … Lydia Ko, who won the CME Group Tour Championship to return to No. 1 in the world, got married last month and is not expected to play until the Saudi Ladies International next month. Ko has a home at Lake Nona, where the tournament is being played. … U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee and Women’s PGA champion In Gee Chun are not playing. … The Tournament of Champions is the first event, but then it’s a month until the LPGA season resumes in Thailand to start its Asia swing. … Nelly Korda recently signed a deal with Nike and tries to maintain momentum from late last year. Her 2022 season was disrupted by surgery because of a blood clot in her arm.
Next tournament: Honda LPGA Thailand on Feb. 23-26.
ABU DHABI HSBC CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Course: Yas Links Abu Dhabi GC. Yardage: 7,425. Par: 72.
Prize money: $9 million. Winner’s share: $1.5 million.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-8:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 2-8 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Thomas Pieters.
Race to Dubai winner: Rory McIlroy.
Last week: Continental Europe won the Hero Cup.
Notes: The official European tour season begins with its first Rolex Series event … While it typically has one of the strongest fields of the early part of the season, Abu Dhabi will not have anyone from among the top 10 in the world. … Sepp Straka of Austria, a PGA Tour member his entire career, is among those playing with hopes of picking up big Ryder Cup points. … The field includes 10 players who competed in at least four events last year with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, including Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Patrick Reed. … Reed, who has fallen out of the top 80, will be competing for world ranking points for the first time in some four months. … Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer, who has won three times at Abu Dhabi, is not playing. … Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald is in the field. Also playing is past European captain Padraig Harrington, who is in Abu Dhabi after his break in Ireland instead of the PGA Tour Champions opener in Hawaii.
Next week: Hero Dubai Desert Classic.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CHAMPIONSHIP AT HUALALAI
Site: KA’UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii.
Course: Hualalai GC. Yardage: 7,107. Par: 72.
Prize money: $2 million. Winner’s share: $340,000.
Television: Thursday-Saturday, 7-10 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Charles Schwab Cup winner: Steven Alker.
Last tournament: Padraig Harrington won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Notes: This is the first tournament of the PGA Tour Champions season and features a Saturday finishing in prime time. … Padraig Harrington takes a long break in Ireland and is not playing the opener. He is playing the European tour this week in Abu Dhabi. … Sponsor exemptions include David Duval, Justin Leonard, Tom Lehman and Jeff Sluman, who is set to join the USGA executive committee. … K.J. Choi and Jerry Kelly played the Sony Open last week and missed the cut. They are in the Hualalai field. … Steve Stricker is in the field. He has not played since winning the Constellation Furyk & Friends in Jacksonville, Florida, in October for his fourth win of the year. He did not play in the PGA Tour Champions postseason. … Bernhard Langer has 44 career victories and needs one more to tie the record held by Hale Irwin. Langer won twice last year and has won every year since turning 50 in 2007. The tour takes two weeks off before resuming in Morocco.
Next tournament: Trophy Hassan II on Feb. 9-11.
Korn Ferry Tour: The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic (Sunday-Wednesday), The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, Great Abaco, Bahamas. Defending champion: Brandon Harkins. Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour.html
AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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