Bubba Watson will play at the PGA Tour’s Sea Island Club stop for the first time.
Watson committed to the RSM Classic this week, to be played Nov. 16-19 at the Seaside and Plantation Courses in St. Simons Island, Ga. Watson is a two-time Masters champion and one of nine major champions in the field for the tournament hosted by Davis Love III.
In addition to Watson and Love, the other major winners in the field are Vijay Singh of Ponte Vedra Beach, Zach Johnson of St. Simons Island, Stewart Cink, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Webb Simpson.
Also in the field is defending Players champion Si Woo Kim. Area players committed include Web.com Tour Championship winner Jonathan Byrd, Sam Saunders, Blayne Barber, Bud Cauley, Roberto Diaz, Matt Every, Brian Harman and Harris English.
Players have until Friday at 5 p.m. to officially enter the tournament. Tickets are available by visiting rsmclassic.com.
The tournament is the last fall event on the PGA Tour’s 2017-2018 schedule.
PGA Champions schedule set
The PGA Tour Champions schedule will include four new title sponsors, events in three countries and 20 states, and two new tournaments, one of which will mark a return to a past PGA Tour venue.
The schedule announced on Wednesday will have 27 official-money tournaments worth $56.6 million in prize money. There are 24 regular-season events, followed by the three Charles Schwab Cup playoffs at the Country Club of Virginia, the Sherwood Country Club in Los Angeles and the Schwab Cup at the Phoenix Country Club.
One of the new tournaments is the Ally Challenge in September, at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich. That course was the site of the Tour’s old Buick Open.
The other new event is also in the Midwest and marks the first tournament in South Dakota, the Sanford International at the Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls. Exact Sciences and Rapiscan Systems are the other two title sponsors.
Among the PGA Tour winners who have either turned 50 years old or will during the season to be eligible for competition are 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke, two-time winner Len Mattiace of Jacksonville, former University of Florida players Chris DiMarco and Dudley Hart, Robert Gamez and Brent Geiberger.
Three of the five PGA Tour Champions majors will come in a flurry in May and June, beginning with the Regions Tradition at the Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Ala., May 17-20. The Senior PGA will be the following week at the Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich., and the U.S. Senior Open June 28-July 1 at the Broadmoore in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Constellation Senior Players is July 12-15 at the Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill., and the Senior Open July 26-29 at St. Andrews.
When Stacy Lewis tied for 15th last week in the LPGA’s Toto Japan Classic, she became the 15th player to reach $1 million in earnings this season, matching last year’s total.
But with two events left, there will be more. Danielle Kang is $647 away and since she’s in the no-cut CME Group Tour Championship next week in Naples, she’s assured of cracking the $1 million barrier. Minjee Lee of China is playing this week and next, and is only $3,268 from $1 million.
Four other players, Amy Yang, Mirim Lee, Michelle Wie and Lizette Salas, also could make it with high-enough finishes this week and next.
The PGA Tour’s Las Vegas stop is usually a birdie-fest. That took a one-year hiatus last week when Patrick Cantlay won his first Tour title at 9-under 275.
That was the highest winning score in the tournament since it went to one course and 72 holes in 2008 — by seven shots. It was only the third time that the winning score was less than 20-under.
THIS WEEK ON TOUR
Event: OHL Classic, Thursday-Sunday, El Camaleon Golf Club, Mayakoba, Mexico
At stake: $7.1 million purse ($1,260,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to winner)
Defending champ: Pat Perez
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m.)
Area players entered: Blayne Barber, Jonathan Byrd, Roberto Diaz, Harris English, Matt Every, Zach Johnson, Patton Kizzire, Russell Knox, David Lingmerth, Saun Saunders, Steve Wheatcroft, Tim Wilkinson
Notable: Perez won in his third start after shoulder surgery. He was No. 271 in the world at the time and has since risen to No 18. … After leading the Web.com Tour in combined regular-season and Finals earnings, Chesson Hadley has finished among the top-four three times and has already made $1.1 million this fall. … Patrick Reed and Players champion Si Woo Kim lead the field. … The RSM Classic at Sea Island, Ga., is next week.
PGA Tour Champions
Event: Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Friday-Sunday, Phoenix Country Club
At stake: $2.5 million purse ($375,000 to winner)
Defending champ: Paul Goydos
TV: Golf Channel (Friday-Saturday, 4-7 p.m.)
Area players entered: Fred Funk, Vijay Singh
Notable: Bernard Langer is going for his fourth Schwab Cup in a row and has won seven times this year. … The Phoenix Country Club was the site of the Phoenix Open 41 times and the Western Open twice. Hal Sutton was the last Phoenix Open champion at the course on 1986.
Event: Blue Bay LPGA, Thursday-Sunday, Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club, Hainan Island, China
At stake: $2.1 million purse ($315,000 to winner)
Defending champ: Minjee Lee
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 11 p.m.-3 a.m.)
Area players entered: Katie Burnett, Chella Choi
Notable: Michelle Wie, Shanshan Feng and Yani Tseng lead the field. … Lee defeated Jessica Korda by one shot.