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Strong field assembled for Tampa as Masters gets closer

PGA TOUR

VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Palm Harbor, Florida.

Course: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead). Yardage: 7,340. Par: 71.

Prize money: $7.8 million. Winner's share: $1.404 million.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (NBC).

Xander Schauffele hits from the 18th fairway during the first round of play in The Players Championship golf tournament Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP PhotoLynne Sladky)

Defending champion: Sam Burns.

FedEx Cup leader: Scottie Scheffler.

Last week: Cameron Smith won The Players Championship.

Notes: Innisbrook is one of the most highly regarded tournament courses in Florida and has a strong field while situated between The Players Championship and the WGC-Match Play. It features five of the top 10 players in the world ranking. ... Viktor Hovland will have another chance to reach No. 1 in the world. ... Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele are playing the tournament for the first time. Both missed the cut last week in The Players Championship. ... Dustin Johnson had the 54-hole lead at Innisbrook three years ago until closing with a 74. ... Seamus Power is hovering around the No. 50 mark in the world ranking. The top 50 after the Match Play next week get into the Masters. ... The Valspar Championship was held toward the end of April last year when there were two World Golf Championships before the Masters. ... Wake Forest senior Alex Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of Matt Fitzpatrick, is in the field. He was given an exemption by winning the Valspar Intercollegiate. ... This will be the final PGA Tour event of the year in Florida.

Dustin Johnson hits from the tee on the seventh hole during the third round of play in The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)

Next week: WGC-Dell Match Play and Corales Puntacana Championship.

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

EUROPEAN TOUR AND SUNSHINE TOUR

STEYN CITY CHAMPIONSHIP

Site: Johannesburg, South Africa.

Course: The Club at Steyn City. Yardage: 7,716. Par: 72.

Justin Thomas hits from. the sixth fairway the during the third round of play in The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)

Prize money: $1.5 million. Winner's share: $250,000.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 6:30-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 6:30-11 a.m. (Golf Channel).

Defending champion: New event.

DP World Tour points leader: Viktor Hovland.

Last week: Pablo Larrazabal won the MyGolfLife Open.

Notes: This is the third straight week the European tour is in Africa, and its fourth time on the continent this season. ... Thriston Lawrence is the only first-time winner on the European tour this season. He won the Joburg Open in November and is in the field for the Steyn City Championship. ... The tournament is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour. ... The Qatar Masters has moved out of the Middle East swing because of previous travel restrictions. It now will be next week, opposite the WGC-Dell Match Play. ... This will be the last European tour event outside Europe and the United States until the fall. ... Bernd Ritthammer of Germany is leading the European tour in driving distance at 390.5 yards. He ranks 156th in driving accuracy, hitting the fairway 38.5% of the time.

Next week: WGC-Dell Match Play and Commercial Qatar Masters.

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

KORN FERRY TOUR

CHITIMACHA LOUISIANA OPEN

Site: Broussard, Louisiana.

Course: Le Triomphe Golf & CC. Yardage: 6,691. Par: 71.

Prize money: $750,000. Winner's share: $135,000.

Television: None.

Defending champion: Roberto Diaz.

Points leader: Brandon Matthews.

Last tournament: Byeong Hun An won the Lecom Suncoast Classic.

Next week: Lake Charles Championship.

Online: https://www.pgatour.com/korn-ferry-tour/

LPGA TOUR

Last week: Nanna Koerstz Madsen won the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Next week: JTBC Classic.

Race to CME Globe leader: Danielle Kang.

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

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

Last tournament: Retief Goosen won the Hoag Classic.

Next tournament: Rapiscan Systems Classic on April 1-3.

Charles Schwab Cup leader: Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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

OTHER TOURS

Epson Tour: Carlisle Arizona Women's Golf Classic, Longbow GC, Mesa, Arizona. Previous winner: Ruixin Liu. Online: https://www.epsontour.com/

Ladies European Tour: Aramco Saudi Ladies International, Royal Greens Golf & CC, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. Defending champion: Lydia Ko. Online: https://ladieseuropeantour.com/

PGA Tour of Australasia: New South Wales Open, Concord GC, Concord, Australia. Defending champion: Bryden Macpherson. Online: https://pga.org.au/

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports