top of page

Golf Glance: Bay Hill’s $20M draws elite field; LPGA, LIV in Asia

The PGA Tour tees up its fourth signature event of 2024 this week, while tournaments will also be played in Puerto Rico, China and Hong Kong.


LAST TOURNAMENT: Cognizant Classic (Austin Eckroat)

THIS WEEK: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Orlando, Fla., March 7-10

Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge (Par 72, 7,466 yards)

Purse: $20M (Winner: $4M)

Defending Champion: Kurt Kitayama

FedEx Cup Leader: Matthieu Pavon


TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC)

Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

X: @APInv

NOTES: This is the second of three player-hosted invitationals along with Tiger Woods’ at the Genesis and Jack Nicklaus’ at the Memorial. It’s also the fourth of eight signature events, featuring a $20 million purse and 700 FedEx Cup points. Player-hosted signature events are the only ones to feature a 36-hole cut, with the low 50 and ties advancing to the weekend. … Tony Finau is the only eligible player among 70 who is not competing this week. … Kitayama seeks to become the first player to successfully defend at Bay Hill since Matt Every in 2015. … The API has three qualifying spots available for The Open Championship to those not already qualified. … European Ryder Cup players Nicolai Hojgaard and Shane Lowry are in the field on sponsors exemptions, and will be joined by 2018 Players champion Webb Simpson. … North Carolina junior David Ford will make his first start on tour after winning a vote of his peers at the 2023 Palmer Cup. … Payne Stewart holds the tournament scoring record of 264 set in 1987.

BEST BETS: Scottie Scheffler (+650 at BetMGM) has gone T4-1-T15 in his past three starts at Bay Hill. He hasn’t finished worse than T17 in his past five starts on tour, but Scheffler is seeking his first official tour win since The Players last March. … Rory McIlroy (+900) won the API in 2018 and was the runner-up last year. He has six top-10s at Bay Hill since 2015. … Viktor Hovland (+1400) makes his first start since a T19 at the Genesis. … Min Woo Lee’s (+4500) late charge for a T2 at PGA National helped earn a spot in the field. He enters the week a career-best 31st in the world rankings.

THIS WEEK: Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, March 7-10

Course: Grand Reserve Golf Club (Par 72, 7,506 Yards)

Purse: $4M (Winner: $720,000)

Defending Champion: Nico Echavarria


TV: Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 2:30-5 p.m. (All times Golf Channel)

X: @PGATour

NOTES: This is the 16th playing of the event, and the winner will earn a spot in next week’s Players Championship if not already qualified. … Echavarria is seeking to become the first player to successfully defend in Puerto Rico. He tied the tournament scoring record of 267 first set by Chesson Hadley in 2014. … Aaron Wise, who withdrew from the Masters last year to focus on his mental health, is making his first start since last year’s U.S. Open. … Daniel Berger has made three of four cuts since returning from an 18-month absence due to a back injury. … Puerto Rican Rafa Campos is making his 15th event start, with his best previous finish a third place in 2020.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., March 14-17


LAST TOURNAMENT: HSBC Women’s World Championship (Hannah Green)

THIS WEEK: Blue Bay LPGA, China, March 7-10

Course: Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course (Par 72, 6,675 yards)

Purse: $2.2M (Winner: $330,000)

Defending Champion: Gaby Lopez (2018)

Race to the CME Globe leader: Lydia Ko


TV: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-4 a.m. ET (All times Golf Channel)

Streaming: Wednesday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-4 a.m. ET (Peacock

)X: @LPGA, #BlueBayLPGA

NOTES: The tournament returns after a five-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. … This is the final of three events on the LPGA Tour’s “Asia Swing.” After two no-cut events, this week’s 108-player field will be cut to the top 65 and ties following 36 holes. … Minjee Lee holds the tournament scoring record of 275 set in 2016. … Lopez is in the field to defend her title from five years ago, and is joined by fellow former champions Lee and Sei Young Kim (2015). … Ko needs one more career point to reach the minimum threshold of 27 for LPGA Hall of Fame induction. She would earn that point with a victory this week.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., March 21-24

PGA Tour Champions

LAST TOURNAMENT: Trophy Hassan II (Ricardo Gonzalez)

THIS WEEK: Cologuard Classic, Tucson, Ariz., March 8-10

Course: La Paloma Country Club (Par 71, 6,856 Yards)

Purse: $2.2M (Winner: $330,000)

Defending Champion: David Toms

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Steven Alker


TV: Friday, 7-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel — Tape Delay); Saturday, 5-7 p.m. (GC), Sunday, 5-8 p.m. (GC)

X: @CologuardGolf

NOTES: La Paloma plays host to the event after the first nine editions were held at Omni Tucson National. … The 78-player field includes seven members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, including 2024 inductee Padraig Harrington. … Bernhard Langer is the only previous champion not in the field as he recovers from a torn Achilles.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Hoag Classic, Newport Beach, Calif., March 22-24

LIV Golf League

LAST TOURNAMENT: Saudi Arabia (Individual: Joaquin Niemann; Team: Crushers GC)

THIS WEEK: Hong Kong, March 8-10

Course: Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling Course (Par 70, 6,710 Yards)

Purse: Individual: $20M (Winner: $4M); Team: $5M (Winner: $3M)

Defending Champion: Individual, Brooks Koepka; Team, Fireballs

GC2024 Leaders: Players, Niemann; Team, Legion XIII


TV/Streaming: Friday-Saturday, 12:15 p.m. local time (The CW app, Caffeine, LIVGolf+, YouTube); Saturday-Sunday, 12:05 p.m. local time (The CW, LIVGolf+, YouTube)

X: @LIVGolf_League

NOTES: Niemann, who opened the season with a win at Mayakoba, has won three of his past four worldwide starts as he also won the Australian Open in December. He also notched a third-place finish in the Asian Tour event last month. … Anthony Kim, making his returns after a 12-year absence from professional golf, finished 33 shots off Niemann’s lead last week. … The 54-player shotgun start features 13 teams of four players along with two wild cards.

NEXT TOURNAMENT: Miami, April 5-7

–Field Level Media


draft kings.jpg
bottom of page