Return of world No. 1 headlines week of global golf
Professional golf is inching closer toward a fully-fledged return, and this week the on-course options range from a ladies’ event in Korea to the world No. 1 teeing it up in Florida. Here’s a look at what’s happening this week in global tournament competition:
TaylorMade Driving Relief
Four of the biggest names in the game will tee it up at famed Seminole Golf Club in a team skins match Sunday on Golf Channel and NBC that will generate $4 million in charitable donations toward coronavirus causes. Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson seem like the favorites on paper as they take on the duo of Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff. It will be the first televised event at Seminole, long a top-ranked course in South Florida and one that is slated to host the Walker Cup in 2021. But plenty of the attention will go to the quartet of stars, with world No. 1 McIlroy headlining the effort to get back to some semblance of competition.
While the four stars at Seminole can ease back into things with the skins format, players will be counting every shot this week at the Desert Financial Credit Union Scottsdale AZ Open. Arizona has been a bastion for mini-tour competition throughout the pandemic, and that will continue this week at Talking Stick Resort, about a 20-minute drive from TPC Scottsdale which annually hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The 54-hole event begins Tuesday and will include a 162-player field with plenty of Tour name recognition. Among those teeing it up are veterans Kevin Streelman and Alex Cejka, as well as recently-retired Colt Knost and Joel Dahmen, who just shot a 58 that included a back-nine 26 last week to set a course record.
While the men return to competition in the U.S., the women are back in action in South Korea. Three of the top 10 players in the Rolex Rankings are expected to compete in the KLPGA Championship at Lakewood Country Club, a major on the Korean LPGA circuit: world No. 3 Sung Hyung Park, No. 6 Sei Young Kim and No. 10 Jeongun Lee6. The 72-hole, 150-player tournament will begin Thursday and features a $2.45 million purse. Like the other two events highlighted, it will be contested without fans present.