The PGA Tour heads to California this week for the Humana Challenge at the PGA West, La Quinta Country Club.

American Matt Kuchar is the favourite at 14/1 with Ladbrokes to defeat a strong field that contains Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who are at 16/1.

Kuchar was one of three runners-up in 2010 when Bill Haas took the title, and followed that up with a seventh place finish in 2011. With a lot of birdies expected this week he looks a solid pick due to his remarkable consistency but I’m not sure he would be my favourite.

I really fancy Dustin Johnson for this one, despite coming back from injury he has all the credentials to win around this track and was ranked fourth in the birdie averages for 2011.

There is sure to be money for Bill Haas at 16/1. He was the winner here in 2010 and lost in a play-off last year. He has obvious claims but I’m more tempted by Johnson at the same price.

Another player due a win is Martin Laird at 25/1. He finished the season opener in Hawaii in second place. He can certainly make the birdies necessary to win this round and averaged seven per round at Kapalua. That is the kind of form needed to win around PGA West.

There is a cluster of players at 33/1 with good claims including Brian Gay and Ben Crane. Gay finished tied fifth here last year and started 2012 in good form with a sixth place finish in the Sony Open in Hawaii last week. He represents a solid each-way pick if he can continue that form.

My final pick for this week is Kyle Stanley. He is now priced at 50/1 having been as long as 80/1 at the start of the week. He was 11th in the birdie averages and ninth in driving distance for 2011. He had an impressive breakthrough year with four top ten finishes at the age of 23 and I fancy him to win his first event in 2012.

A mention should also go to David Duval who is in the field this week at 250/1. Duval shot a remarkable 59 in the final round here to win back in 1999. If he is to reignite his career, having lost his tour card, this could be the course he does it.

Humana Challenge betting guide and tips:

1pt win Dustin Johnson @ 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way Martin Laird @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way Kyle Stanley @ 50/1 with Ladbrokes