Transitions Championship 2012: Preview, Tee Times and TV Schedule

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Transitions Championship 2012: Preview, Tee Times and TV Schedule
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Gary Woodland is back to defend his title.

The Florida swing of the PGA Tour continues this weekend with the 12th edition of the Transitions Championship.

The tournament starts on Thursday from the Par-71, 7,340 yards Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Florida.

While all the buzz surrounding Tiger Woods Achilles injury crowds the Internet, here we have a tournament that can give us an exciting final hole finish, just like it happened last year.

Last year's winner, Gary Woodland, entered the final round two shots behind Justin Rose and one behind Webb Simpson and Brendon de Jonge.

On the 18th hole, Woodland sank a clutch par-saving 10-foot putt to remain tied at 15-under(-par) with Simpson—who was playing a group behind. Then Simpson missed his par-putt on the 18th hole, handing Woodland the championship.

Last year, both Woodland and Simpson were winless on the PGA Tour when they entered this tournament. This year, Woodland is the defending champion and Simpson has two wins, almost won the FedEx Cup and is ranked No. 8 in the world.

Luke Donald (No. 2), Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (No. 6), Justin Rose (No. 7) and Jason Day (No. 9) and are the other three players ranked in the Top 10 in the world present this weekend.

Donald started the year slowly with a T48, T56 and a T33 finishes, before his T6 this past weekend at the WGC Cadillac. He seems to be finally back on track and should be contending this year.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is my favorite to win this weekend.

Schwartzel is my pick to win the tournament. This past two weeks he has finished T5 and T4, and the way he has been putting, he just needs to hit a few more GIRs and will get his first win since the Masters.

Rose comes from the biggest win of his career this past weekend at the WGC Cadillac. He enters the Top 10 in the world rankings at the seventh position and in the past two weeks, he has been the best player—not named Rory McIlroy—in golf.

He carries a lot of momentum to this tournament and will certainly be one to watch this weekend.

Australian Jason Day peaked as high as seventh ranked in the world just five weeks ago after his T2 at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters. But since then his game has been making his best David Copperfield impression since it has disappeared.

Day will be looking to rebound from his past three performances and look to jump start his 2012 season.

Mark Wilson (No. 4) is the highest FedEx Cup ranked player present this weekend. And along with Rose, Brandt Snedeker, John Huh and last weekend's Puerto Rico Open champ George McNeill will be looking to become the first two-time winner of the year.

Besides Woodland, past champions of the tournament playing this weekend include two-time champions of this tournament, K.J. Choi (2002, 2006) and Retief Goosen (2003, 2009), and past winners Vijay Singh (2004), Carl Pettersson (2005), Sean O' Hair (2007) and Jim Furyk (2010).

 

Pick to Win: Charl Schwartzel.

As I explained before, he is just peaking at the right time, and nobody is putting better right now than him. That is a key stat for this tournament, and the Masters champ is due for his second PGA Tour win.

Michael Cohen/Getty Images
Ryo Ishikawa can earn his first PGA Tour win this weekend.

 

Possible Suprise Winner: Ryo Ishikawa.

He shot a 68 final round at the Puerto Rico Open, was the clubhouse leader by one shot and it took a birdie-birdie-birdie finish by George McNeill to deny the 20-year-old Japanese star of his first PGA Tour win.

 

NOTABLES TEE TIMES (all times ET)

Innisbrook Resort-Copperhead Tee No. 1

8:27 am - Zach Johnson, Geoff Ogilvy and Padraig Harrington
8:37 am - John Huh, David Toms and Johnathan Byrd
1:22 pm - Webb Simpson, Scott Stallings and Gary Woodland
1:33 pm - Justin Rose, Luke Donald and K.J. Choi

Innisbrook Resort-Copperhead Tee No. 10

8:37 am - Matt Kuchar, Jason Day and Ernie Els
8:48 am - Brandt Snedeker, Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia
8:58 am - Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh
1:22 pm - Mark Wilson, Sean O'Hair and Nick Watney

For a complete listing of the tee times from the PGA Tour web page click here.

 

COVERAGE SCHEDULE (all times ET)

DAY

TV TIMES

SIRIUS XM

Thursday March 15th

Golf Channel 3:00-6:00 p.m.

12:00-6:00 p.m.

Friday March 16th

Golf Channel 3:00-6:00 p.m.

12:00-6:00 p.m.

Saturday March 17th

NBC 3:00-6:00 p.m.

12:00-6:00 p.m.

Sunday March 18th

NBC 3:00-6:00 p.m.

12:00-6:00 p.m.

 

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