After two tournaments in Hawaii, the PGA Tour makes its first stop of 2015 on mainland USA. A strong field, including defending champion Patrick Reed, has assembled at La Quinta to contest the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.

Lowdown:
After two tournaments in Hawaii, the PGA Tour makes its first stop of 2015 on mainland USA. A strong field, including defending champion Patrick Reed, has assembled at La Quinta to contest the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.

In last season’s Humana Challenge, 23-year-old Patrick Reed fired three straight 63’s to take a seven-shot lead into the final round at La Quinta. Despite pressure from Ryan Palmer, Reed was able to hold on and win by two. He posted a superb four-round total of 28-under-par.

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.

This is an event that tends to witness extremely low scoring – David Duval shot a 59 around the PGA West Palmer Course back in 1999 and winning totals have been close to 30-under-par in years gone by (see Reed last season for evidence of that.)

The Palmer Course at PGA West is the host venue, but the players will also tackle La Quinta Country Club and the Nicklaus course at PGA West.

All three are par 72s, but none are particularly long and, in fact, they ranked as the three easiest courses on the PGA Tour in 2014. With fabulous weather forecast through the week, expect to see some super-low numbers in this event.

Venue: PGA West (Palmer,) La Quinta, California
Date: Jan 22-25
Course stats: PGA West – par 72, 6,950 yards; La Quinta Country Club – par 72, 7,060 yards; Nicklaus at PGA West – par 72, 6,924 yards
Purse: $5,700,000 Winner: $1,026,000
Defending Champion: Patrick Reed (-28)

TV Coverage:
Friday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Monday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm

Player Watch:
Matt Kuchar – Mr consistent, Kuchar has finished in the top-25 in his last five appearances at La Quinta and he’s coming into the event on the back of five straight top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour. He was second in this event back in 2010.

Ryan Palmer – Great record in this event, he was second last season and has finished in the top-six three times since 2011. He’s on good form and has made 12 straight cuts on the PGA Tour.

Charley Hoffman – He won this event back in 2007 and has finished in the top-10 in both of the last two Humana Challenges.

Key hole: 18th – Palmer West: This will be the final hole of the week. A 543 yard par 5 where there is the option of biting off part of the hole to try and reach the green in two. Whether you gamble or play safe there is sand and water in play.

Skills required: Making birdies. This tournament tends to be a shootout with the winner going well under par.