PGA Tour Brunch - Opening Rounds
@PGATourBrunch Preview World Golf Championship & Puerto Rico Open
Tiger Woods Update:
The Los Angeles authorities are calling Tiger Woods’ horrendous driving accident just that - an accident. No charges, nor any indication of impairment were noted by police reports and in a press conference addressing the situation.
Video of LA Country Sheriff media conference and story (ESPN)
Tiger Woods didn’t know how badly he was injured (LA Times)
This Week: The World Golf Championship and Puerto Rico Open
First, the World Golf Championship at the Concession:
The World Golf Championship is the 20th event of the 2020-21 PGA Tour Season. The tournament is named for the iconic putt Jack Nicklaus conceded to Tony Jacklin that led to a tie in the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale. The Concession Golf Club was born in honor of that historic act of sportsmanship in the sport of golf.
This week, 47 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranked players are in the field. That high turnout is tied for the most on Tour this season and most in any non-major since the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Breaking News on Patrick Cantlay:
There are currently 72 players in the field which includes four past champions of the WGC-Workday Championship with Justin Rose (2012), Adam Scott (2016), Dustin Johnson (2015, 2017, 2019), Patrick Reed (2014, 2020).
There are also five FedExCup champions in the field with Billy Horschel (2014), Justin Thomas (2017), Justin Rose (2018), Rory McIlroy (2016, 2019), Dustin Johnson (2020).
Seven players making their first start in a World Golf Championships event: Laurie Canter, Thomas Detry, Rasmus Hojgaard, Min Woo Lee, Trevor Simsby, Sami Valimaki, and Will Zalatoris).
Weather at The Concession: Sunny skies and winds 5-16 mph throughout the day.
THIS WEEK on the PGA TOUR: World Golf Championship
COURSE: The Concession, Bradenton, Florida
ARCHITECTS: Jack Nicklaus in Association with Tony Jacklin
YARDS/PAR: 7,474 yards/Par 72
PRIZE Money/First Place Winnings: $10,500,000/$1,820,000
DEFENDING Champion: Patrick Reed (2020 Leaderboard link from Mexico City)
PAST RESULTS: (link)
PAST CHAMPIONS of Event: link)
FEDEx CUP Winner Share for points: 550
SOCIAL MEDIA: #PGATour #FedEXCup @WGCWorkday
TV COVERAGE: Thursday, February 25th: 1:00pm to 6:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel. Friday, February 26th: 1:00pm to 6:00pm ET on Golf Channel. Saturday, February 27th: 2:30pm to 3:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel and then 2:30pm to 6:00pm (ET) on NBC. Sunday, February 28th: 12:00 Noon to 2:30pm (ET) on Golf Channel and then 2:30pm to 6:00pm (ET) on NBC.
STREAMING: PGA Tour Live will offer streaming coverage of Featured Groups on Thursday and Friday from 11:00am to 6:00pm (ET); On Saturday (8:00am-2:30pm ET) and Sunday (8:00am-2:30pm ET) PGA Tour Live will stream Featured Groups. Featured Holes will be streamed only on Saturday (2:30pm to 6:00pm ET) and Sunday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm (ET).
PGA TOUR RADIO COVERAGE: Thursday, February 25 - Friday, February 26 - 12:00 noon to 6:00pm (ET); Saturday, February 27 (1:00pm to 6:00pm (ET)) and Sunday, February 28: (1:00pm to 6:00pm (ET)) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. PGA Tour Radio is available on Sirius 208/XM 92) or online on PGATour.com.
TOURNAMENT SITE (link)
TL’s Wedge/Edge: On the World Golf Championship at the Concession, there’s not much history to review as last year’s tournament was in Mexico City. The world’s top golfers will all be in the field so World No. 1s and 2s are always tough to disregard. Digging in, we’ll be fading DJ and last week’s playoff loser, Tony Finau, and going with a fearsome foursome of Patrick Reed, Tyrrell Hatton, Sungjae Im and firing off one of the big boys with Bryson DeChambeau. If you need two alternates, be ready to insert - if needed - but the WGC is limited field with no cutline. We’ll back-up with a power duo of Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka.
If you’d like a long shot, go with Louis Oosthuizen at 60-1.
Expert Picks: (link)
Patrick Cantlay is (WD) (Upset Stomach)
Quick Look/Key Information:
Last Week’s Final Leaderboard from The Genesis Invitational (link)
Tee Times - (link)
With the first tee time at 10:58am, we’ll target 10am for posting of PGA Tour Brunch on Friday. Note: The Puerto Rico Open tees-it-up earlier.
What They’re Saying:
Bryson DeChambeau has slimmed down for WGC (USA Today/Golf Week).
Will the wind blow in a Monster at The Concession? (USA Today/Golf Week)
CBS Sports’ Picks and Predictions (CBS Sports Golf HQ)
Puerto Rico: Monday Qualifiers (PGATourCom)
Tournament Notes on the 2021 Puerto Rico Open:
On the strength of an 8-under (64) in round three, 2019-20 PGA Tour rookie Viktor Hovland earned his first PGA Tour victory in his 17th career start at age 22 years, 5 months, 5 days. Hovland became the first rookie to win on TOUR in 2019-20, snapping a streak of 18 events to start the season without a win by a rookie (longest since 2009).
Hovland’s success has him competing in the World Golf Championship at The Concession this week, not defending his title in Puerto Rico.
Ten of the 12 winners of the Puerto Rico Open in past have advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs the year of their win, including: Greg Kraft (2008), Derek Lamely (2010), Michel Bradley (2011), George McNeill (2012), Scott Brown (2013), Chesson Hadley (2014), Alex Cejka (2015), Tony Finau (2016), D.A. Points (2017) and Hovland (2020).
Five former Puerto Rico Open champions are in the field this week, including: Martin Trainer (2019), D.A. Points (2017), Chesson Hadley (2014), Scott Brown (2013), and George McNeill (2012).
THIS WEEK on the PGA TOUR: The Puerto Rico Open
COURSE: Grand Reserve Country Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
ARCHITECT: Tom Kite
YARDS/PAR: 7,506 yards/Par 72
PRIZE Money/First Place Winnings: $3,000,000/$540,000
DEFENDING Champion: Viktor Hovland (2020 Leaderboard link)
PAST RESULTS: (link)
PAST CHAMPIONS of Event: (link)
FEDEx CUP Points Awarded/Winners Share: 1,756/300
SOCIAL MEDIA: #PGATour #FedEXCup @PuertoRicoOpen
TV COVERAGE: Thursday, February 25: 10:00am to 1:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel. Friday, February 26: 10:00am to 1:00pm ET on Golf Channel. Saturday, February 27: 2:30pm to 5:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel. Sunday, February 28: 2:30pm to 5:30pm (ET) on Golf Channel.
STREAMING: Will be covering WGC.
PGA TOUR RADIO COVERAGE: Will be covering WGC
TOURNAMENT SITE (link)
TEE TIMES (link)
Field Update from Puerto Rico:
Luke List OUT / Charlie Beljan IN
Scott Harrington OUT / John Rollins IN
Chris Stroud OUT / Smylie Kaufman IN
Hank Lebioda OUT / Robert Allenby IN
Charlie Wi OUT / Will Mackenzie IN
Kevin Tway OUT / Jason Bohn IN
K.H. Lee OUT / Heath Slocum IN
Alex Cejka OUT / Jonathan Kaye IN
David Duval OUT / Frank Lickliter IN
TL’s Wedge Edge: Chalk! You gotta like Thomas Pieters coming off the impressive play on the European Tour, a T-10 at Saudi while Emiliano Grillois getting lots of love because of his third place finish a year ago. I like 2013 PR champion Scott Brown and will also toss Ian Poulter into the mix.
Mike Wallace (55th) is the highest ranked golfer at Rio Grande and Greyson Sigg has been hot on the Korn Ferry Tour, and is possible Top 10 finisher.
Experts Picks: (link)
On This Day in Golf History:
February 25, 1957 - Arnold Palmer won his fifth career PGA Tour title, defeating Doug Ford by one stroke at the Houston Open at Memorial Park golf course. Six weeks later, Ford would come back to defeat Palmer by 10 strokes in the final round of The Masters. (Courtesy of Randy Walker), Author of On This Day in Golf History, available via Amazon.com and by clicking HERE
Get Well Soon, Tiger!