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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 4:19 a.m., Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Golf: This week's top tournaments

Associated Press

All Times EDT

PGA TOUR

Transitions Championship

Site: Palm Harbor, Fla.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Copperhead Course (7,340 yards, par 71).

Purse: $5.4 million. Winner's share: $972,000.

Television: Golf Channel (Thursday, 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Friday, 12:30-3:30 a.m., 3-6 p.m., 8:30-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, midnight-3 a.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).

Last year: Sean O'Hair took advantage of Stewart Cink's collapse to win his second PGA Tour title. O'Hair closed with a 2-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Cink and five other players. Cink finished with a 74.

Last week: Phil Mickelson won the World Golf Championships-CA Championship at Doral to move to No. 2 in the world, as close to Tiger Woods as he has ever been. Taken to a hospital on the eve of the final round because of heat exhaustion and dehydration, Mickelson beat Nick Watney by a stroke for his second victory in three starts. Woods tied for ninth in his first stroke-play event since returning from a knee injury. ... Michael Bradley won the Puerto Rico Open for his first PGA Tour title in 11 years, holing an 11-foot birdie putt for a one-stroke victory over Jason Day and Brett Quigley. The 42-year-old has three career victories.

Notes: Woods is expected to return to the tour next week for his title defense in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. ... Past champions K.J. Choi (2002 and 2006), Retief Goosen (2003), and Mark Calcavecchia (2007) top the field along with Watney, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Masters champion Trevor Immelman, Kenny Perry, Steve Stricker, Boo Weekley, Zach Johnson and Honda Classic winner Y.E. Yang. ... Japanese teen star Ryo Ishikawa received a sponsor exemption. The 17-year-old Ishikawa missed the cut at Riviera last month in his PGA Tour debut. He has two Japanese tour wins, the first in 2007 at 15. ... The Houston Open is April 2-5, followed by the Masters.

On the Net: http://www.pgatour.com

LPGA TOUR

MasterCard Classic

Site: Huixquilucan, Mexico.

Schedule: Friday-Sunday.

Course: BosqueReal Country Club (6,892 yards, par 72).

Purse: $1.3 million. Winner's share: $195,000.

Television: None.

Last year: Sweden's Louise Friberg overcame a 10-stroke deficit for her first LPGA Tour title, closing with a 7-under 65 to beat Taiwan's Yani Tseng by a stroke. Friberg was making her third start as a tour member and fourth overall.

Last event: South Korean star Jiyai Shin won the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore on March 8 for her fourth LPGA Tour title in eight months, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Australia's Katherine Hull. The 20-year-old Shin, five strokes behind Hull at the start of the round and four back with nine holes to play, won for the first time as a member of the LPGA Tour.

Notes: Top-ranked Mexican star Lorena Ochoa is making her third start of the season. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand on March 1 for her 25th LPGA Tour title, then tied for sixth in Singapore. ... The second-ranked Tseng also is in the field along with No. 3 Paula Creamer, No. 4 Shin, No. 5 Suzann Pettersen, No. 7 Helen Alfredsson, No. 8 Cristie Kerr and No. 10 Seon Hwa Lee. ... The fifth-year tournament is the first of three in Mexico. The Corona Championship is next month in Morelia and the Lorena Ochoa Invitational is in November in Guadalajara. ... Meaghan Francella won in 2007, beating Annika Sorenstam on the fourth hole of a playoff. ... The J Golf Phoenix LPGA International is next week, followed by the Kraft Nabisco the first major of the season in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

On the Net: http://www.lpga.com

PGA EUROPEAN TOUR

Madeira Islands Open

Site: Porto Santo, Portugal.

Schedule: Thursday-Sunday.

Course: Porto Santo Golfe (7,036 yards, par 72).

Purse: $909,100. Winner's share: $151,500.

Television: None.

Last year: Scotland's Alastair Forsyth overcame a five-stroke deficit to force a playoff at Santo da Serra, then beat South Africa's Hennie Otto with birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

Last week: Phil Mickelson won the World Golf Championships-CA Championship at Doral to move to No. 2 in the world, as close to Tiger Woods as he has ever been. Taken to a hospital on the eve of the final round because of heat exhaustion and dehydration, Mickelson beat Nick Watney by a stroke for his second victory in three starts. Woods tied for ninth in his first stroke-play event since returning from a knee injury.

Notes: The Seve Ballesteros-designed course is on a small island off Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles west of Morocco. The 13th and 14th holes feature 500-foot seaside cliffs. ... South Africa's Thomas Aiken is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 31. He tied for seventh at Doral. ... Ireland's Des Smyth won in 2001 at 48 years, 34 days to become the oldest winner in European tour history. ... France's Jean Van de Velde won in 2006. ... The Andalucia Open is next week in Spain, followed by the Estoril Open in Portugal.

On the Net: http://www.europeantour.com

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Next event: Cap Cana Championship, March 27-29, Punta Espada Golf Club, Nicklaus Course, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic.

Last week: Dan Forsman won the AT&T Champions Classic in Santa Clarita, Calif., for his first victory in 12 career Champions Tour starts. The five-time PGA Tour winner overcame a five-stroke deficit and beat Don Pooley on the first extra hole.

On the Net: http://www.pgatour.com

NATIONWIDE TOUR

Next event: Louisiana Open, March 26-29, Le Triomphe Country Club, Broussard, La.

Last week: Alex Prugh won the New Zealand Open for his first Nationwide Tour title, pulling away with his second eagle of the final round and finishing three strokes ahead of countryman Martin Piller. Prugh, a 24-year-old former Washington player, closed with an 8-under 64. The event also was sanctioned by the Australasian tour.

On the Net: http://www.pgatour.com

OTHER TOURNAMENTS

Men

ASIAN TOUR: SAIL Open, Wednesday-Saturday, Classic Golf Resort, New Delhi, India. On the Net: http://www.asiantour.com

PGA EUROPEAN SENIORS TOUR: Barbados Open, Wednesday-Friday, Royal Westmoreland Golf Club, St. James, Barbados. On the Net: http://www.europeantour.com

TOUR OF THE AMERICAS/PGA EUROPEAN CHALLENGE TOUR: Club Colombia Masters, Thursday-Sunday, Bogota Country Club, Bogota, Colombia. On the Net: http://www.tourdelasamericas.com and http://www.europeantour.com

Women

DURAMED FUTURES TOUR: Florida's Natural Growers Charity Classic, Friday-Sunday, Lake Region Yacht and Country Club, Winter Haven, Fla. On the Net: http://www.duramedfuturestour.com

JAPAN LPGA TOUR: Yokohama PRGR Ladies Open, Friday-Sunday, Tosa Country Club, Kochi, Japan. On the Net: http://www.lpga.or.jp