PGA

PGA: Sony Open in Hawaii - First Round
News

Harris English withdraws from PGA Championship

May 13, 2022, 9:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Harris English, a U.S. Ryder Cup team member and the 25th-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, withdrew from next week's PGA Championship on Friday.

English underwent surgery in February to repair the labrum in his right hip and has not fully recovered. He last played on the PGA Tour in mid-January.

English, 32, won two tournaments last season -- the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Travelers Championship, the latter in an eight-hole playoff against Kramer Hickok.

In an ironic twist, Hickok was the first alternate for the PGA Championship and now replaces English in the field.

South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion who tied for 10th at last month's Masters, moved up to first alternate status. He would be chosen for the field if another golfer drops out before the first round.

The PGA Championship will be played May 19-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: USA TODAY
News

Tiger Woods: ‘I’ve gotten a lot stronger’ ahead of PGA Championship

May 16, 2022, 1:43 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods played a nine-hole practice round Sunday afternoon at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., ahead of this week's PGA Championship.

The 15-time major winner told reporters on site that he felt his surgically repaired leg and foot were feeling stronger than when he played the Masters a month ago.

"I've gotten a lot stronger since the Masters," Woods told reporters. "We went back to work on Tuesday (after the Masters). Monday was awful. I did nothing and Tuesday was leg day. So, we went right back after it.

"We started ramping up a week or so ago, played a little bit more golf, and it was good. Everything is better."

After a gruesome one-car accident in February 2021 left him unable to walk for three months, Woods made his return to golf at the Masters and made the cut. It ended up being his worst career Masters finish -- he finished in 47th place at 13 over par -- and it was clear that walking the course was the bigger challenge for Woods than hitting shots.

Woods has made clear that he will pick and choose which tournaments he will play going forward rather than return to playing the PGA Tour full-time. He is three major titles shy of tying Jack Nicklaus' career record of 18.

Woods won the PGA Championship the last time it was held at Southern Hills, in 2007.

His caddie, Joe LaCava, also told reporters that he sees Woods' strength returning.

"Hundred percent I see him stronger," LaCava said. "I just think the endurance is there now. I don't think he's getting quite as tired as quickly. I see more endurance more than anything."

"Other than the fact that he won here 15 years ago, I think it's the stamina and endurance thing that excites him the most."

--Field Level Media

PGA: World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play - First Round
News

Paul Casey, Sungjae Im out of PGA Championship

May 16, 2022, 12:58 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Two more top-25 players in the Official World Golf Ranking withdrew Sunday from this week's PGA Championship.

Paul Casey of England and Sungjae Im of South Korea backed out of the field of the year's second major, with Casey still battling a back injury and Im testing positive for COVID-19.

Russell Knox of Scotland and Scott Stallings entered the field as replacements for Casey and Im, respectively. Joel Dahmen is now the first alternate should any other player withdraw before Thursday's first round at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

Casey has not been able to compete since placing third at The Players Championship in March. He showed up to the WGC-Match Play fighting back spasms and forfeited all of his scheduled matches in the initial group stage of the event. He was a late withdrawal from the Masters the next month.

Im reportedly tested positive for COVID Thursday before he was set to play in a tournament on the Korean Tour. His withdrawal indicates that he would not be able to travel back to the U.S. in time for the tournament due to South Korea's COVID protocol.

Im is ranked No. 20 in the world. Casey is No. 24.

World No. 25 Harris English withdrew from the field last Friday. English has not played on the PGA Tour since mid-January and is still recovering from a hip surgery he underwent in February.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson also dropped out of the field last week. Mickelson, who would have been the defending champion, has not returned to the public eye since receiving backlash for comments made about a nascent rival golf league backed by Saudi financiers.

--Field Level Media

PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson - Final Round
Recap

K.H. Lee storms back to win second straight Byron Nelson title

May 15, 2022, 11:08 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

K.H. Lee of South Korea shot a final-round, 9-under 63 to successfully defend his title at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday in McKinney, Texas.

After earning his maiden PGA Tour title at the Dallas-area event last year, Lee picked up his second career win at TPC Craig Ranch with a 26-under 262, one stroke better than hometown favorite Jordan Spieth.

Lee began the day four shots off the lead, but he made five birdies on the front nine and jumped into the lead at 24 under with an eagle 3 at the par-5 12th. His second shot nestled up inside 5 feet of the cup.

He stayed ahead the rest of the way, adding birdies at Nos. 13 and 18.

Lee's wife was pregnant when he won the 2021 Byron Nelson. This time, his baby daughter could be part of the celebration.

"It's like a dream again, like last year," Lee said. "And then with my family and my wife, and also my daughter, it's an amazing feeling."

Spieth, playing in the final group after starting the day one shot off the pace, needed to eagle the par-5 18th to force a playoff. His chip from between a bunker and the fringe missed by just 2 feet.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan fired a 62 to move into a tie for third at 24 under with Sebastian Munoz of Colombia. Munoz, who opened the tournament with a 60, shot 69 Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Xander Schauffele also took a run at 59 and settled for an 11-under 61 for the low round of the day. After opening with four pars, Schauffele had an eagle and three birdies between holes 5 and 9 and rang up six more birdies on the back nine.

That set the early clubhouse lead at 23 under. At the end of the day, it was good for a tie for fifth with Ryan Palmer (66) and Justin Thomas (67).

"I finally putted better, made some putts," Schauffele said. "Through the first two, three rounds, I was a negative there. ... It took a few days to acclimate to the surfaces, and finally saw some putts go in, which was nice."

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa shot a 67 to take sole possession of eighth place at 22 under.

Marc Leishman of Australia aced the par-3 15th as part of a 5-under stretch over four holes. He shot a 67 but was not in contention -- tying for 51st at 13 under.

The Byron Nelson was the final tune-up available for PGA Tour players ahead of next week's PGA Championship, the second major on the calendar, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

--Field Level Media

PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson - Third Round
Recap

Sebastian Munoz (-21) owns 1-shot lead at Byron Nelson

May 14, 2022, 11:53 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colombian Sebastian Munoz fired a 6-under-par 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead at the AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas.

Munoz, a co-leader after 36 holes, sits at 21-under 195 for the tournament.

Jordan Spieth carded a 64 at TPC Craig Ranch to move into sole possession of second place at 20 under while Joaquin Niemann of Chile (65) is by himself in third at 19 under, two shots back. Niemann looks to become the sixth multiple winner this season.

James Hahn, who shot a Saturday-best 61, vaulted 34 places up the leaderboard to sit tied for fourth with Justin Thomas (64) three shots back at 18 under. Hahn finished one shot shy of his career low round.

Munoz wasted little time scoring, carding a birdie on the second hole en route to a five-birdie day. He also logged an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole. His clean card was ruined with a bogey on the 16th.

"Overall my mental game was really good. I got off to a good start and kind of kept pushing," Munoz said. "I didn't let, even though the playing partners weren't playing as good in the beginning, I kind of kept up the pace and put up the good numbers."

Spieth continued his trend of shooting a lower score in each round. Spieth (67-65-64) recorded nine birdies against just one bogey in pursuit of his second win in as many starts.

"This will be kind of the best chance I've maybe ever had going into Sunday," said Spieth, a Texas native. "So, it's really exciting, a lot of friends and family out, done a good job not putting too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to get into contention."

Hahn posted a clean round of nine birdies to go with an eagle on the par-5 12th hole.

"Everything went right," Hahn said. "I feel like it just played easy out there for me, but everyone's shooting, 9-, 10-under, someone is every day, so I just felt like why not me."

Second-round co-leaders Ryan Palmer and England's David Skinns both faltered in the third round. Palmer followed up Friday's electric 62 with a 70 to fall into a T6 at 17 under. Skinns shot 2-over 74 to fall 20 spots in T21 at 13 under.

Defending champion K.H. Lee of South Korea shot 67 and is in the threesome tied for sixth.

--Field Level Media

PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson - Second Round
Recap

Ryan Palmer's scorching 62 sets up 3-way tie at Byron Nelson

May 14, 2022, 1:42 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Palmer shot the low score of the second round, firing a 62 on Friday to join a three-way tie atop the 36-hole leaderboard at the player-friendly AT&T Byron Nelson in McKinney, Texas.

The 45-year-old Palmer, who last won an individual PGA event in 2010 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, was flawless in his 10-birdie, bogey-free performance that shot him up to a 15-under 129 at the midway point at TPC Craig Ranch -- where scores have dipped considerably ahead of the weekend.

In a field where 19 players are at 10 under of better through two rounds, Palmer is knotted with England's David Skinns -- who carded a career-low 63 on Friday -- and first-round leader Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, who scored a 69 one day after a blistering 60 in his opening round.

A staggering total of 15 golfers shot 65 or better Friday, leaving a tight pack of competitors in contention. Tour rookie Justin Lower sits in fourth, his best position after any career round, one stroke back after a second-round 66. He is followed by South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (65) at 13 under.

Three players are tied for sixth, a mere three strokes off the lead -- Justin Spieth (65), Chile's Joaquin Niemann (65) and the defending champion K.H. Lee (68) of South Korea.

Palmer, a native of Amarillo, Texas, began play on the back nine and ignited with a six-birdie stretch over seven holes -- starting on the par-5 12th hole. He finished with a flourish with another four birdies on the front -- on Nos. 3, 5, 6 and his final hole of the day at No. 9.

The round was one off his career best (61 in second round of the 2015 Humana Challenge).

"Today was a matter of knowing you had to shoot low, put up a good number just to stay within striking distance," Palmer said. "You never know when you're going to catch lightning like that, and to make 10 birdies today is (an) awesome feeling, especially in front of some fans and some friends and family.

"So I love where we're at, love what (caddie) Randy Smith and I are doing and some of the best putting I've been doing as well."

Tour rookie Skinns, 40, also tallied 10 birdies and his only blemish -- a bogey on the par-4 6th hole -- kept him from holding the outright tournament lead.

"I drove it well yesterday and I felt like I could do the same again today and I did and I got in a nice run there in the middle where I believe I made five in a row, which it's one of them where you just -- you're feeling it," Skinns said, crediting a driver change on Wednesday for his scorching play thus far.

Despite falling back to the top of the pack Friday, Munoz -- a Dallas resident -- rescued his round with four birdies on the front after a 1-over back nine to begin his round. The 29-year-old is searching for his second career PGA win.

Spieth, another Dallas native, looks to win his second straight tournament in as many starts after taking April's RBC Heritage in a playoff. The 13-time PGA winner delivered eight birdies and one bogey Friday.

Scottie Scheffler, first in the latest world rankings, is among an eight-pack of players at 9 under after a 68. He was hurt by a triple-bogey 7 on No. 13.

The 5-under cut line equals the PGA's lowest of the season, with 13 players going home Friday despite 4-under scores.

--Field Level Media

PGA: Farmers Insurance Open - First Round
News

Phil Mickelson WDs, won’t defend PGA Championship title

May 13, 2022, 10:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from next week's PGA Championship, passing up the opportunity to defend his title.

The embattled 51-year-old registered to enter the field, and his name was on the list when the PGA of America announced the field Monday. But Mickelson's representatives said last month that he was not sure when he would return to golf.

"We have just been informed that Phil Mickelson has withdrawn from the PGA Championship," the PGA of America said in a statement Friday. "Phil is the defending champion and currently eligible to be a PGA Life Member and we would have welcomed him to participate. We wish Phil and Amy the very best and look forward to his return to golf."

Mickelson came under fire in February for remarks he made about a Saudi-financed upstart golf league, now known as the LIV Golf Invitational Series. The six-time major champion told author Alan Shipnuck that the Saudis were "scary (expletives) to get involved with" with a "horrible record on human rights," but he intended to work with them anyway in an attempt to gain leverage with the PGA Tour on financial matters.

After issuing a mea culpa in February, losing multiple sponsors and saying he needed "time away" from the sport, Mickelson went silent and did not play in the Masters. He last played at the Saudi International in February and hasn't played on the PGA Tour since the Farmers Insurance Open in January, where he missed the cut.

Mickelson also registered for the U.S. Open and the first LIV Golf event, both in June. The PGA Tour rejected its members' waiver requests to play in the LIV Golf debut in London earlier this week.

Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, said on the "5 Clubs Conversations" podcast this week that he had talked to Mickelson about when he might want to return to the course.

"I think he's trying to figure out when the right time is for him," Waugh said. "I think the game is trying to figure out the right time for him, too. How long is enough? And is he ready mentally and physically to do it?"

Mickelson became the oldest major winner in the history of the sport last year when he improbably won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina at 50 years, 11 months and three days old.

Mickelson's withdrawal would mean that South African Charl Schwartzel, the first alternate, would replace him in the field. Earlier Friday, Harris English withdrew from the event as he continues to recover from hip surgery. He was replaced by Kramer Hickok.

The PGA Championship will be played May 19-22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

--Field Level Media

PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson - First Round
Recap

Sebastian Munoz's 60 is good for 4-shot lead at Byron Nelson

May 13, 2022, 1:41 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Colombia's Sebastian Munoz fired a 12-under-par 60 in the first round of the AT&T Byron Nelson on Thursday in McKinney, Texas, opening a four-shot lead and making PGA Tour history along the way.

The 29-year-old Munoz, whose only previous PGA Tour win came in 2019, finished with two eagles, nine birdies and one bogey. On a four-hole span straddling the turn, he went eagle-birdie-birdie-eagle to leave him at 8 under after 12 holes. He then birdied four of the final five holes as well.

"It's a great feeling when everything is clicking," Munoz said. "When everything is going, it's just stay out of the way and just kind of let it happen."

Munoz also entered the record book for his second round of 60 or under in the same season, after he shot a 60 in the first round of the RSM Classic in November on a par-70 course. He acknowledged that going even lower crossed his mind when he was on the fairway of the par-5 18th hole.

"Fifty-nine. Yeah. I mean, I wanted to give me a chance," Munoz said. "I think it was 250 to the pin into the wind. I kind of wanted to hit like a bullet, like a little draw. I knew if I want to hit it close had to be a fady, soft-landed shot; I tried to do that. Overdid it and ended up with a (birdie for a) 60, which is really good around here."

Four golfers are tied for second, four shots back at 64: Mito Pereira of Chile, defending champion K.H. Lee of South Korea and Americans Peter Malnati and Justin Lower.

Pereira, who started on the back nine and had an early eagle, sat at 3 under after a bogey on No. 1, but he bounced back to birdie five of his final seven holes.

Lee played a bogey-free round, opening with a birdie and then going on an impressive run of his own straddling the front and back nine, going 7 under from the fifth hole to the 12th, which he eagled.

Lee said he "feels very comfortable here" and that the course rewards his irons play. "I think here (a strong) irons game ... and also putting, because a lot of guys a lot birdies and eagles, so (you) need to low under par."

Malnati, who also went bogey-free, gained his ground on just six holes, with two eagles and four birdies within a 10-hole span. Lower went 4 under with no bogeys on the front nine, and then offset a bogey with an eagle and three birdies to wind up 4 under on the back.

Kyle Wilshire is alone in sixth place after a 7-under 65. FedExCup leader and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth, a native of nearby Dallas, are among a large group who are tied for 12th at 5 under.

--Field Level Media

PGA: THE PLAYERS Championship - delayed Final Round
News

Sebastian Munoz fires 60 to open Byron Nelson

May 12, 2022, 7:27 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Munoz did that 60 thing again.

Munoz topped the leaderboard at the Byron Nelson Classic with an opening-round 60 on Thursday, becoming the first player in PGA Tour history with multiple rounds of 60 or lower in the same season.

"It's a great feeling when everything is clicking," Munoz said after draining his ninth birdie of the first round in McKinney, Texas.

The University of North Texas product made few mistakes with a 12-under round at TPC Craig Ranch, opening a four-shot lead over Mito Pereira of Chile and American Peter Malnati through the morning wave.

Needing his third eagle of the day on No. 18 for a 59, Munoz went wide of the green on his approach but was able to get an up-and-down birdie to seal the 60.

Munoz bogeyed the par-4 eighth but sandwiched two birdies between eagles on No. 9 -- with a 15 1/2-foot putt -- and No. 12 and recorded a 28 on the back nine. Munoz eagled 9 and 12 in the first round of the event in 2021.

The 29-year-old Colombian also scored a 60 in the first round of the RSM Classic in November on a par-70 course.

--Field Level Media

PGA: RBC Heritage - Third Round
News

Justin Thomas on players interested in LIV Golf: 'just go'

May 11, 2022, 10:39 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

One day after the PGA Tour denied its members permission to participate in the competing LIV Golf Invitational Series, multiple players who had no intention of leaving said Wednesday that the decision should not be surprising.

Justin Thomas was asked about the decision by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan one day before the start of the AT&T Byron Nelson at McKinney, Texas.

"You know, it's like, look, if you want to go, go," Thomas said. "I mean there's been plenty of guys that have been advocates of it and have just talked it up all the time and they have been guys behind the scenes that are saying, ‘I'm going, I'm doing this.' And like my whole thing is, like just go then.

"... Everybody's entitled to do what they want, you know what I mean? Like if I wanted to go play that tour I could go play that tour. But I'm loyal to the PGA Tour."

It remains unknown what punishment would be handed out to players who compete in the Saudi-backed events anyway. The first LIV Golf event is set for June 9-11 at London. That would be in direct conflict with the PGA Tour's RBC Canadian Open.

"Look, if you want to (play in an LIV Golf event), no one's stopping you, but what we have here is pretty good too, considering every week we're playing for a pretty great purse on pretty great golf courses and the benefits that we have off the golf course on top of that it's pretty tough to beat," said player Will Zalatoris, who also is a member of the player advisory council.

"Purses are only going up here, but on top of that, like I said, no one's stopping anyone from doing it. But I think everyone agrees that the decision that came out yesterday is the best for the (PGA) Tour."

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked player in the world who won the Masters Tournament last month, said he wasn't aware of the PGA Tour's decision until late Tuesday. Less than 24 hours later, his thoughts were on the same page as Thomas and Zalatoris.

"If you're playing here on the PGA Tour, playing in something that could be a rival series to the PGA Tour, being a member of our tour, it's definitely not something where we want our membership to do because it's going to harm the tournament that we have opposite that," Scheffler said.

"... I'm sure that's why they did not release the players. Because if we have 15 guys go over there and play, that hurts the RBC and the Canadian Open."

--Field Level Media

PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Second Round
Betting

2022 AT&T Byron Nelson: Preview, Odds & Best Bets

May 11, 2022, 9:49 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The final tune-up before next week's PGA Championship takes place at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, which begins Thursday at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

Nine of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and 16 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings are in the field. Field Level Media's golf experts provide key tournament notes, odds & best bets.

AT&T BYRON NELSON

McKinney, Texas, May 12-15

Course: TPC Craig Ranch (Par 72, 7,468 yards)

Purse: $9.1M (Winner: $1.638M)

Defending Champions: K.H. Lee

FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW

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

PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+

Social Media: @ATTByronNelson (Twitter)

NOTES

--The field includes nine of the top 20 players in the world rankings and 16 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings.

--The tournament will be played for the second time at TPC Craig Ranch, which will play host to the event for the next four years. The course led the PGA Tour with the most birdies made last season with 2,007.

--Seung-Yul Noh is making his final start on his Major Medical Extension. He needs to finish in a two-way tie for second or better to remain in the category for the remainder of the season or solo-fifth or better to move into the 126-150 category.

--Dallas native and 12-time PGA Tour winning Justin Leonard will make his first start on tour since the 2017 Valero Texas Open. He will be able to compete on the Champions Tour when he turns 50 on June 15.

--Adam Scott is the only player to have completed the "Texas Slam" with wins at the Byron Nelson, Houston Open, Valero Texas Open and the Charles Schwab Cup Challenge.

BEST BETS

--Texas native and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+1000 at BetMGM) has won four of his past seven starts. He is second at the sportsbook in total bets (8.2 percent) and money wagered (11.1 percent). Scheffler is being offered at +700 at DraftKings, where he leads with 9 percent of both the total bets and handle.

--Justin Thomas (+1200) will make just his second start in the event (T55 in 2015). He holds the longest active streak on tour with 19 consecutive cuts made and has six top-10s in 11 starts this season. Thomas opened at +1400 at BetMGM but his odds shortened as he is third with 7.3 percent of the handle.

--Sam Burns (+2000) finished runner-up last year and is one of five players with multiple victories this season. His lowest round on tour last year was a 62 in the second round at TPC Craig Ranch. Burns is also +2000 at DraftKings, where he is tied with Scheffler with 9 percent of the handle backing him.

--Jordan Spieth (+2200) tees it up for the first time since winning the RBC Heritage last month. He leads the tour with 15 top-10 finishes in Texas since 2013 and is BetMGM's second-biggest liability with 7.1 percent of the total bets and 7.2 percent of the handle supporting him.

--Xander Schauffele (+2200) is making his debut at TPC Craig Ranch while coming off a victory with teammate Patrick Cantlay at the Zurich Classic.

--Will Zalatoris (+2200) finished T17 last year and has five top-10s in 13 starts this season. He is BetMGM's biggest liability this week. Zalatoris opened at +2500 but his odds shortened by leading the sportsbook with 10.3 percent of the winning bets and 14.6 percent of the handle.

--Hideki Matsuyama (+2500) has seen his odds shift after opening at +2800. He was still at +2800 on Wednesday at DraftKings, where he had drawn 5 percent of the handle.

--Mexico's Carlos Ortiz (+15000) has missed four of his past five cuts but calls Dallas home and has lived in Texas for the past 13 years.

--Field Level Media

PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Second Round
Preview

Golf Glance: No. 1 Scottie Scheffler highlights Byron Nelson field

May 11, 2022, 7:21 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media's Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

PGA Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Wells Fargo Championship (Max Homa)

THIS WEEK: AT&T Byron Nelson, McKinney, Texas, May 12-15

Course: TPC Craig Ranch (Par 72, 7,468 yards)

Purse: $9.1M (Winner: $1.638M)

Defending Champions: K.H. Lee

FedExCup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW

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

PGA Tour Live: Daily feeds on ESPN+

Social Media: @ATTByronNelson (Twitter)

NOTES: The field includes nine of the top 20 players in the world rankings and 16 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings. ... The tournament will be played for the second time at TPC Craig Ranch, which will play host to the event for the next four years. The course led the PGA Tour with the most birdies made last season with 2,007. ... Seung-Yul Noh is making his final start on his Major Medical Extension. He needs to finish in a two-way tie for second or better to remain in the category for the remainder of the season or solo-fifth or better to move into the 126-150 category. ... Dallas native and 12-time PGA Tour winning Justin Leonard will make his first start on tour since the 2017 Valero Texas Open. He will be able to compete on the Champions Tour when he turns 50 on June 15. ... Adam Scott is the only player to have completed the "Texas Slam" with wins at the Byron Nelson, Houston Open, Valero Texas Open and the Charles Schwab Cup Challenge.

BEST BETS: Texas native and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+1000 at BetMGM) has won four of his past seven starts. ... Justin Thomas (+1200) will make just his second start in the event (T55 in 2015). He holds the longest active streak on tour with 19 consecutive cuts made and has six top-10s in 11 starts this season. ... Sam Burns (+2000) finished runner-up last year and is one of five players with multiple victories this season. His lowest round on tour last year was a 62 in the second round at TPC Craig Ranch. ... Jordan Spieth (+2200) tees it up for the first time since winning the RBC Heritage last month. He leads the tour with 15 top-10 finishes in Texas since 2013. ... Xander Schauffele (+2200) is making his debut at TPC Craig Ranch while coming off a victory with teammate Patrick Cantlay at the Zurich Classic. ... Will Zalatoris (+2200) finished T17 last year and has five top-10s in 13 starts this season. ... Mexico's Carlos Ortiz (+15000) has missed four of his past five cuts but calls Dallas home and has lived in Texas for the past 13 years.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: PGA Championship, Tulsa, Okla., May 19-22

LPGA Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Palos Verdes Championship (Marina Alex)

THIS WEEK: Founders Cup, Clifton, N.J., May 12-15

Course: Upper Montclair Country Club (Par 72, 6,413 yards)

Purse: $3M

Defending Champion: Jin Young Ko

Race to the CME Globe leader: Danielle Kang

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 5-7 p.m. (Golf Channel); Sunday, 12-1 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1-3 p.m. (CBS)

Streaming: Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (NBC Sports App); Saturday, 4-7 p.m. (NBC Sports App); Sunday, 12-1 p.m. (NBC Sports App), 1-3 p.m. (Paramount+)

Social: @LPGAfounders (Twitter, Instagram)

NOTES: This is the first playing of a multi-year agreement for the Upper Montclair Country club to host the event. ... The 144-player field is competing for the largest purse on tour outside of the majors and the CME Group Tour Championship. ... Top-ranked Jin Young Ko leads a list of seven of the top-10 players in the field. The defending champion also won in 2019 and the event was not played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last player to win an event three consecutive times was Inbee Park at the KPMG Women's PGA from 2013-15. ... No. 2 Nelly Korda continues to recover from surgery for a blood clot in her arm. ... Alex, who is from Wayne, N.J., won the most recent event at the Palos Verdes Championship. ... There are 27 rookies in the field, led by first-time winner Atthaya Thitikul. ... Sei Young Kim holds the tournament scoring record of 27-under 261 set in 2016. ... Sponsors invites are 2022 ANWA champion Anna Davis and Lakareber Abe, the winner of The John Shippen Women's Shootout presented by Cognizant. ... Sarah Jane Smith and Mariah Stackhouse were the two Monday qualifiers. ... Ayaka Furue leads the tour with 44 putts made of longer than 15 feet this season.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: LPGA Match-Play, Las Vegas, May 25-29

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Mitsubishi Electric Classic (Steve Flesch)

THIS WEEK: Regions Tradition, Birmingham, Ala., May 12-15

Course: Greystone Golf and Country Club (Par 72, 7,249 yards)

Purse: $2.5M (Winner: $375,000)

Defending Champion: Alex Cejka

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker

HOW TO FOLLOW

TV: Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4 p.m. ET; Saturday, 3-5 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

Social: @RegionsTrad

NOTES: This is the first of five majors this season and the final of four consecutive weeks of events on tour. ... Fred Funk and Tom Lehman have each won the event twice. ... Steve Stricker, the 2019 champion, returns after finishing runner-up to Cejka last year. ... Padraig Harrington is competing in his first Champions major. He has two runner-ups in his past three starts. ... Two-time event champion Bernhard Langer is not in the field. ... Doug Tewell holds the 72-hole tournament scoring record of 265 set in 2001.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Senior PGA Championship, Benton Harbor, Mich., May 26-29

--Field Level Media

Golf: Masters Tournament - First Round
News

Brooks Koepka pulls out of AT&T Byron Nelson

May 11, 2022, 6:08 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Former World No. 1 Brooks Koepka withdrew from the AT&T Byron Nelson for undisclosed reasons on Wednesday.

Satoshi Kodaira replaced him in the field for the tournament, which is the final tune-up before next week's PGA Championship.

Koepka, 32, has faced wrist, knee and hip injuries over the past three years and has struggled in 2022. He missed the cut at both the Masters and The Players.

He hasn't played in a tournament since the Masters in early April.

It wasn't clear Wednesday whether Koepka would play next week at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

Koepka won the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in 2018 and at Bethpage Black in 2019 -- two of his four titles in majors.

He has fallen to No. 16 in the world golf rankings.

The AT&T Byron Nelson begins Thursday at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Florida Times-Union
News

PGA Tour denies players’ waiver requests for first LIV Golf event

May 11, 2022, 12:18 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour did not approve its members to play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series next month in London, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

Because the debut tournament is scheduled for June 9-11, in conflict with the tour's RBC Canadian Open, PGA Tour players by rule had to be granted a release to play the opposing event. The tour has granted releases in the past for events such as the Saudi International, but it has now denied all requests related to LIV.

"We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour Tournament Regulations," a memo to PGA Tour players reportedly said. "As such, Tour members are not authorized to participate in the Saudi Golf League's London event under our regulations. As a membership organization, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA Tour and its players."

Now PGA Tour players officially must choose whether to play in the lucrative LIV series anyway and risk punishment from the tour, which may include a ban. PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told players in February that those interested in LIV should "walk out that door now," according to a Golf Channel report.

The Saudi-financed golf league headed by LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has attracted controversy over the past several months. Norman at one point issued a public letter to the PGA Tour saying it could not deny its golfers, whom he described as "independent contractors," from playing where they wanted.

Sports Illustrated reported that 170 players applied to enter the 48-player field for London, including 19 of the top 100 and 36 of the top 150 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood of England, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Martin Kaymer of Germany are the most notable names to publicly disclose that they applied for a release.

Mickelson's representatives said that while he applied for the release, he had not yet made up his mind about whether to play. Garcia, meanwhile, appeared to have one foot out the door when he grew frustrated with a rules official at last week's Wells Fargo Championship, saying, "I can't wait to leave this tour. Can't wait to get outta here. Just a couple more weeks and I won't have to deal with you anymore."

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Naples Daily News
News

LIV Golf to expand to 14-event schedule for 2024-25

May 10, 2022, 9:43 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The LIV Golf Invitational Series will expand to 10 tournaments in 2023 and 14 events for 2024 and 2025 as part of a $2 billion investment announced Tuesday.

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will provide the additional $2 billion in 2024 to bring the league up to full speed.

Norman said in a press release Tuesday that the Saudi-backed series, seen as a rival to the PGA Tour, is "here to stay."

"We're going to grow the game, give more opportunities to players, and create a more entertaining product for fans," Norman said. "We believe in adding new experiences and energy to golf, and that includes building out our future schedule in more global markets.

"We're creating an entertaining product that will increase golf participation and attract new fans across a broader global footprint. We realize it won't happen overnight, and we're excited for the opportunities LIV Golf will add to the game as we continue to grow."

The series will debut next month with a $25 million tournament at Centurion Golf Club outside London, the first of an eight-event pilot run. Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood of England, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Martin Kaymer of Germany are the most notable names who have publicly disclosed they applied for a release to play in London.

Sports Illustrated reported that 170 players applied to enter the 48-player field for London, including 19 of the top 100 and 36 of the top 150 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Future LIV tournaments will be held in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and North America, with specific sites not yet announced. The eight-event schedule for 2022 is as follows:

June 9-11: Centurion Golf Club, London

July 1-3: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland, Ore.

July 29-31: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Bedminster, N.J.

Sept. 2-4: The International, Boston

Sept. 16-18: Rich Harvest Farms, Chicago

Oct. 7-9: Stonehill Golf Club, Bangkok, Thailand

Oct. 14-16: Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Oct. 28-30: Team Championship at Trump National Doral, Miami

--Field Level Media