PGA Tour returns to Japan, LIV Golf heads to Saudi Arabia

PGA TOUR

ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Chiba, Japan.

Course: Accordia Golf Narashino CC. Yardage: 7,041. Par: 70.

Prize money: $11 million. Winner’s share: $1,980,000.

Television: Wednesday-Thursday, 11 pm to 3 am (Golf Channel); Friday, 10:30 pm to 2:30 am (Golf Channel); Saturday, 11 pm to 3 am (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Hideki Matsuyama.

FedEx Cup leader: Max Homa.

Last week: Tom Kim won the Shriners Children’s Open.

Notes: The Zozo Championship is back home in Japan for the second straight year after the COVID-19 pandemic. For the second straight year, it’s the only PGA Tour event held in Asia. … The field includes seven of the top 20 in the world, led by former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele, at No. 6 the highest-ranked player. Schauffele’s mother was raised in Japan. … The lone Japanese player in the LIV Golf event this week, Hideto Tanihara, was not eligible for the Zozo. … The Japan Golf Tour co-sanctions the event. Two of the sponsor exemptions went to Takumi Kanaya and Keita Nakajima, both former No. 1 in the amateur world ranking. … Rickie Fowler received a sponsor exemption. He tied for sixth in the season opener, but then missed the cut in Las Vegas. … Cameron Young, who reached No. 17 in the world as a rookie without winning a tournament, makes his first start of the new season.

Next week: CJ Cup in South Carolina.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/

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LIV GOLF

LIV GOLF INVITATIONAL-JEDDAH

Site: King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.

Course: Royal Greens Golf & CC. Yardage: 7,010. Par: 72.

Prize money: $25 million ($20 million individually. Winner’s share: $4 million).

Television: LivGolf.com

Money leader: Dustin Johnson.

Last week: Eugenio Chacarra won the LIV Golf Invitational-Bangkok.

Notes: This is the seventh and final LIV Golf Invitational event for individual and team play. The final event is strictly about teams. … Six players have won the six LIV Golf Invitational series — Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith and Eugenio Chacarra. … Johnson leads the money list with just over $12.7 million and has clinched the points title for the $18 million bonus. … LIV Golf is funded by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, but this is the first tournament held in Saudi Arabia. … The field includes 27 players who were at the Saudi International in February, including winner Harold Varner III. … Hudson Swafford has made $860,000, the least of players who have competed in all six of the LIV Golf Invitational series. … Johnson’s streak of being in the top 10 at every LIV Golf event ended in Bangkok when he tied for 15th.

Next tournament: LIV Golf Invitational-Miami Team Championship on Oct. 27-30.

Online: https://www.livgolf.com/

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EUROPEAN TOUR

ESTRELLA DAMN ANDALUCIA MASTERS

Site: Sotogrande, Spain.

Course: Real Club Valderrama. Yardage: 7,028. Par: 71.

Prize money: 3 million euros. Winner’s share: 500,000 euros.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 8 am to 1 pm (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 am to noon (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Matt Fitzpatrick.

DP World Tour points leader: Rory McIlroy.

Last week: Jon Rahm won the Spanish Open.

Notes: US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, the defending champion, leads the field and at No. 10 is the highest-ranked player. … Ryan Fox of New Zealand is coming off a win two weeks ago in the Aflred Dunhill Links Championship that moved him into the top 25 in the world. … While the tournament only dates to 2010, there is a long European tour history at Valderrama. It’s where the season-ending Volvo Masters used to be held, along with the Ryder Cup in 1997 with Seve Ballesteros as the captain. The club also hosted a World Golf Championship twice. … Sergio Garcia won the Andalucia Masters three straight times. He is playing the LIV Golf Invitational in Saudi Arabia this week. … The tournament was not played from 2012 through 2016. … Along with cork trees in some fairways, there are a few vistas of the Rock of Gibraltar from the course. … Two Europeans with PGA Tour cards, Thomas Detry and Matti Schmid, are playing in Spain. They are not eligible for the Zozo Championship.

Next week: Mallorca Open.

Online: https://www.europeantour.com/dpworld-tour/

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PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

SAS CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Cary, North Carolina.

Course: Prestonwood CC. Yardage: 7,237. Par: 72.

Prize money: $2.1 million. Winner’s share: $315,000.

Television: Friday-Sunday, 2-5 pm (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: Lee Janzen.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker.

Last week: Steve Stricker won the Constellation Furyk & Friends.

Notes: This is the final tournament before the PGA Tour Champions postseason begins. Steven Alker has a $178,712 lead over Padraig Harrington. Both are playing. … Steve Stricker leads the tour with four victories after his win in the Constellation Furyk & Friends. Stricker plans to take off the next month so he had a bow hunt for deer at home in Wisconsin. He said he might consider playing the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix. … Ten players have already crossed the $1 million mark in earnings this season. … Sponsor exemptions were awarded to Paul Stankowski and John Huston. … Notah Begay III made his PGA Tour Champions debut last week in Florida. He is in the field for the SAS Championship. … Scott Parel, Ken Tanigawa and Shane Bertsch have played 23 out of the 25 tournaments on the PGA Tour Champions schedule.

Next week: Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/champions.html

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LPGA TOUR

Last week: Jodi Ewart Shadoff won the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

Next week: BMW Ladies Championship.

Race to CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko.

Online: https://www.lpga.com/

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OTHER TOURS

Ladies European Tour: Aramco Team Series-New York, Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, New York, New York. Defending champion: Charley Hull. Online: https://ladieseuropeantour.com/tournaments/

Challenge Tour: English Trophy, Frilford Heath, Abingdon, England. Defending champion: New tournament. Online: https://www.europeantour.com/challenge-tour/

Sunshine Tour: Blue Label Challenge, Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa. Defending champion: Lyle Rowe. Online: https://sunshinetour.com/

Legends Tour: Farmfoods European Senior Masters, La Manga Club, Murcia, Spain. Defending champion: Markus Brier. Online: https://www.legendstour.com/

Japan LPGA: Fujitsu Ladies, Tokyu Seven Hundred, Chiba, Japan. Defending champion: Ayaka Furue. Online: https://www.lpga.or.jp/en/

Korea LPGA: Dongbu Construction Championship, Iksan CC, Iksan, South Korea. Defending champion: Jung Min Lee. Online: https://klpga.co.kr/

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