Lowdown:
The 2013-14 PGA Tour season gets underway this week with the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. Sweden’s Jonas Blixt is the defending champion.

This tournament marks the start of the PGA Tour’s new autumn to late-summer season. The event provides a chance for the new Web.com tour final graduates to test themselves on the main circuit. In fact, 39 of the 50 who earned their playing rights for the 2013-14 PGA Tour through that route will tee it up this week.

This event was first contested back in 2007 when Canada’s Mike Weir took the title. Since then Cameron Beckman, Troy Matteson, Rocco Mediate, Bryce Molder and Jonas Blixt have been champions.

Last year, Sweden’s Jonas Blixt took his first PGA Tour title in this competition. He came from two behind with a final round of 68 to finish one clear of Tim Petrovic and Jason Kokrak.

The CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California is a Robert Trent Jones Jnr layout and the designer feels it to be one of his best creations. It’s a pleasantly undulating track set through an attractive valley. There’s an elevation change of some 150 feet out on the course so club selection is often challenging.

The winner of this competition will gain an invitation to the 2014 Masters and, with FedEx Cup points available, it’s a great chance for those taking part to get a head start in the race to next summer’s playoffs.

Venue:
CordeValle GC, San Martin, California
Date: Oct 10-13
Course stats: par 71, 7,368 yards
Purse: $5,000,000 Winner: $900,000
Defending Champion: Jonas Blixt (-16)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 10 – Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Friday 11 – Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Saturday 12 – Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Sunday 13 – Sky Sports 1 from 10pm

Player Watch:
Jason Kokrak – He was tied for second in this event last year and he played solidly towards the end of the 2013 season. He was tied ninth in The Barclays and made it to the penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event.

Marc Leishman – The Australian comes into the event having played in The Presidents Cup, where he won his singles match against Matt Kuchar. He’ll be looking to get his 2013-14 season off to a flying start.

Chesson Hadley – The 26-year-old will come into this event full of confidence after his Web.com Tour Championship victory. He’ll aim to make a strong transition onto the PGA Tour proper.

Key hole:
17th. A short par 4 with teeing options from 295 to 350 yards. Depending on wind and tee, the green may be driveable, but the ball must be carried all the way to the putting surface over water. There’s a chance of some aggressive play here coming down the stretch.

Skills required:
Greens in regulation. The putting surfaces are large and receptive so the GIR stats should be pretty high. That also means putting will be important, particularly from distance.