AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta National Golf Club opened its competitive doors to women on Wednesday, announcing it would host an amateur championship in another sign attitudes are changing at one of the world's most exclusive clubs. Making his first State of the Masters address, Augusta chairman Fred Ridley said the club, that had barred women from membership until six years ago, would welcome the world's top female amateurs to compete. The Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship will take place the week before next year's U.S. Masters.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — The ANA Inspiration will be decided in a Monday finish after South Korean Park In-bee and Swede Pernilla Lindberg remained deadlocked through four extra holes in California on Sunday. With the first major of the season on the line, Park and Lindberg matched each other stroke-for-stroke after four attempts to find a winner on the par-five 18th before darkness descended on Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.
AUSTIN, Texas — Bubba Watson beat Kevin Kisner 7 and 6 in Sunday's final to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event at the Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. The battle of fellow Americans and former Georgia Bulldogs was never a contest, with Watson winning the first five holes and going 6-up through seven. Kisner, who needed 19 holes to beat Alex Noren during the semifinals in the morning, appeared drained as he topped the 100-hole mark for the week, while Watson put it on cruise control early after dispatching of Justin Thomas 3 and 2 in the morning. It is the second victory of the year for Watson, the 39th-ranked player in the world who also won the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club last month. He tied for ninth in the previous WGC event this year in Mexico, and now has 11 career PGA Tour titles.
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — American Brice Garnett overcame challenging conditions to clinch a four-stroke victory at the Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, March 25. Garnett teed off with a two-shot lead and never gave his rivals a chance by picking up three early birdies. He carded an assured 70 to finish at 18-under-par 270 in strong, gusty winds and rain squalls at the Corales Golf Club.
BAY HILL, Fla.—Rory McIlroy staged a spectacular back nine charge to claim a three shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, March 18, collecting his first PGA Tour win since 2016 and putting himself among the red-hot favorites for the U.S. Masters. Two back of overnight leader Henrik Stenson when the day began, McIlroy overhauled the Swede with a brilliant error-free final round eight-under 64.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Paul Casey was always going to savor his second win on the PGA Tour, but beating Tiger Woods made his victory at the Valspar Championship even more special. Casey charged from five strokes behind in the final round on Sunday, March 11, to overhaul Woods and Patrick Reed by one shot in a compelling finale at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. "It's been too long," the 40-year-old Englishman said after ending a nine-year PGA Tour victory drought following his maiden success at the 2009 Houston Open.
LAS VEGAS — If it seemed like Kevin Harvick was dominant last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway on his way to Victory Lane, Sunday, March 4, at Las Vegas was even more impressive. He won the race, leading 214 of the 267 laps in the Pennzoil 400, the 39th win of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup career. He won the first two stages and he already has mopped up 14 playoff points three races into the season.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Justin Thomas improved to third in the world rankings and enhanced his reputation as clutch performer when he won the Honda Classic in a playoff against Luke List in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25. Thomas birdied the first extra hole, sinking a 3-foot putt at the par-5 18th at PGA National to edge Thomas as darkness descended rapidly over Palm Beach Gardens. Earlier, Thomas (68) and fellow American List (69) finished regulation at 8-under 272, one stroke ahead of Swede Alex Noren (67).
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Rappers, Spiderman and a sultry tiger took to the ice on Sunday, Feb. 25, as the world's top skaters let their creativity take over in a gala exhibition, the final figure skating event at the Pyeongchang Games. Galas are a traditional part of any major figure skating competition, allowing fans to glimpse a different side of the skaters, who do moves and routines not usually permitted under competition rules. Each skater works up a separate routine that they use all year. Props and original costumes are also permitted.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea—Kirill Kaprizov scored in overtime to lead the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) past a feisty Germany 4-3 on Sunday, Feb. 25, to win the men's ice hockey gold before joining his teammates to defy a ban by singing the Russian national anthem during the medal ceremony.