The PGA Tour hits mainland USA this week after a fortnight in Hawaii. Hudson Swafford is defending champion in the CareerBuilder Challenge at La Quinta, California.
A strong field has assembled to contest the 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge over the Stadium Course at La Quinta. Defending champion Hudson Swafford will start, together with Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson.
From 1965 until 2010 this tournament carried the name of Bob Hope as the “Bob Hope Classic.” The event has been won by some notable players, including: Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, Tom Kite, Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples. Mickelson is in the field again this week looking to win again for the first time since The Open Championship of 2013.
Last year Hudson Swafford fired a closing round of 67 to emerge from the pack and claim his first PGA Tour title. He finished one clear of Canadian Adam Hadwin who had posted a 59 in round three.
Swafford returns to defend his title but will face strong competition from a field including World Number 3 Jon Rahm. The Spaniard was second in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and will start this event as favourite.
Guide to perfect posture:
The Pete Dye designed Stadium Course at PGA West is now established as host course for this event. It’s an extremely testing layout that was once dubbed as “too difficult for the PGA Tour.” There’s plenty of water to contend with together with some punishing bunkers and rolling terrain.
The weather looks favourable, if a little cool. Wind could play a part on the Friday.
Venue: Stadium Course, La Quinta, California
Date: Jan 18-21
Course stats: par 72, 7,113 yards
Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20)
Thursday 18 – Sky Sports Golf from 8pm
Friday 19 – Sky Sports Golf from 8pm
Saturday 20 – Sky Sports Golf from 8pm
Sunday 21 – Sky Sports Golf from 8pm
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Brian Harman – He’s been one of the most consistent players so far this PGA Tour season. In five starts he has four top-five finishes plus an eighth. He was tied third in this event last year.
James Hahn – He’ll be looking to bounce back from the disappointment of a playoff loss in the Sony Open. He closed with a 62 at Waialae so is clearly on his game.
Phil Mickelson – “Lefty” is seeking his first PGA Tour win since the 2013 Open and this could be the perfect place to secure it – he’s won the event twice before. He’s been off since October and will be looking to return with a bang.
Key hole: 17th – “Alcatraz.” A par-3 with an island green, yardage can vary up to 168 yards but there’s one key to success and that is: Find the green!