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Golf's Florida Swing

The PGA Tour camps in Florida for the next month, beginning today with the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens. Tiger Woods will make his first appearance at the Honda Classic since he turned pro in 1996. In fact, it's a good possibility Woods will appear at every Florida tournament except the one in the Tampa Bay area.

Don't expect to see Woods in the Transitions Championship field on March 15-18 at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. He is playing the WGC event at Doral next week, then he could play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando on March 22-25. He played the tournament last year as a tuneup for the Masters. If Woods played in Palm Harbor, that could mean five straight tournaments, and he doesn't do that.

Here's a look at the Florida events, and extended information on the Transitions Championship:

The Honda Classic

When/where: Today-Sunday; PGA National Championship Course, Palm Beach Gardens

Purse: $5.7 million

Winner's share: $1,026,000

Defending champ: Rory Sabbatini

TV: Today-Friday, 3 on Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 3 on Ch. 8.

WGC Cadillac Championship

When/where: March 8-11, TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Miami

Purse: $8.5 million

Winner's share: $1.4 million

Defending champ: Nick Watney

TV: Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m., Golf Channel; Saturday, 2 p.m. and Sunday, 3 p.m. on Ch. 8

Transitions Championship

When/where: March 15-18, Innisbrook Copperhead Course, Palm Harbor

Purse: $5.5 million

Winner's share: $990,000

Defending champ: Gary Woodland

TV: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m., Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m., Golf Channel, 3 p.m., Ch. 8

Schedule: Monday — Shelton Quarles Celebrity Pro-Am. Tuesday — pro practice rounds. Wednesday — Transitions Championship Pro-Am. Thursday — first round (morning and afternoon tee times). Friday — second round (morning and afternoon tee times). Saturday — third round. Sunday — final round.

Tickets: Daily pass is $30 when purchased before tournament week. Weekly passes are $79 before tournament week. Add $10 during tournament week. Kids 15 and under are free with a paying adult. All active, reserve, National Guard and retired military veterans are admitted free. Go to transitionschampionship.com or area Publix supermarkets. Admission on Monday and Tuesday is free. There is a $10 charge for the pro-am on Wednesday.

Contact: (727) 942-5566; transitionschampionship.com.

Notes: This is the fourth and final year of Transitions Optical as the title sponsor. … The No. 1-ranked player in the world, Luke Donald, is in. Other notables so far include Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney, Camilo Villegas, Justin Leonard and Retief Goosen. … John Daly has an elbow injury but is expected to play. … The only defending champions not in the field are John Huston (Champions), Mark Calcavecchia (Champions) and Vijay Singh (not yet committed).

Arnold Palmer Invitational

When/where: March 22-25, Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando

Purse: $6 million

Winner's share: $1.08 million

Defending champ: Martin Laird

TV: Thursday-Friday, 3, Golf Channel; Saturday-Sunday, 2:30, Ch. 8

Champions Tour

The senior circuit will be in Lutz on April 13-15 for the Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay (formerly the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am).

Encompass Insurance Pro-Am of Tampa Bay

When/where: April 13-15, TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz

Purse: $1.6 million

Winner's share: $255,000

Defending champ: John Cook

Contact: tampabayproam.com; (813) 265-4653.

Golf's Florida Swing 02/29/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:05am]
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