Announced: By the European Tour, that Saudi Arabia will host a tournament for the first time next year. The tournament will be played Jan. 31-Feb. 3 as part of the early-season Desert Swing that includes Abu Dhabi and Dubai. As part of a three-year deal, the tournament will be staged at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City along the Red Sea. The tournament name and prize money are expected to be disclosed in May.
Declined: To participate in the WGC Match Play later this month, Henrik Stenson, a past champion. Stenson, 41, of Sweden, the 2007 Match Play champion, will not compete in the PGA Tour’s only match-play event for a third consecutive year because he objects to the revised format, which since 2015 uses pool play instead of a win-or-go-home format.
Withdrew: From the Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic before today’s first round, Fred Couples, who cited back pain (tee times). Couples, 58, won the tournament in 2010 and 2014 and lives near the Newport Beach, Calif., tournament site. Couples has struggled with back problems for years. He hasn’t competed since Jan. 20 in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship, in which he tied for sixth. Couples, a World Golf Hall of Fame member, won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the 50-and-older circuit. His status for the Masters, which he won in 1992, was undetermined.