A strong field has assembled at La Quinta as the PGA Tour hits mainland USA. Bill Haas defends the CareerBuilder Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
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 rekindle his form and win again for the first time since 2013.
Last year, Bill Haas came out on top after a congested final day. He broke free from the pack with a birdie at his 16th hole and held on to win by a single stroke from a group of five players: Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, Sung Joon Park, Brendan Steele and Steve Wheatcroft. Bill Haas defends the CareerBuilder Challenge but he’ll face stiff competition from a field that includes 2015 Open champion Zach Johnson and an on-form Patrick Reed.
The Pete Dye designed Stadium Course at PGA West will be used this week for the first time on the PGA Tour since 1991. 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.
Brett Rumford bunker lesson:
Although PGA West will be the host course, the Jack Nicklaus Tournament course and the layout at La Quinta Country Club will also feature. All three layouts are par 72s.
There’s a new sponsor for this year’s event, and right through to 2021, in the shape of recruitment firm CareerBuilder.
The weather forecast for the week is excellent so it’s unlikely that there will be any disruptions to play.
Venue: PGA West TPC Stadium Course, La Quinta, California
Date: Jan 21-24
Purse: $5,800,000 Winner: $1,044,000
Defending Champion: Bill Haas (-22)
Thursday 21– Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Friday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Saturday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Sunday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 8pm
Matt Kuchar – He’s often a factor in desert tournaments and is one of the most consistent performers on the PGA Tour. Kuch has twice finished second in this event and he led after 36-holes last year.
Patrick Reed – He comes into this event on the back of a great run of form. He has recorded six straight top-10 finishes coming into this week and he was the champion back in 2014.
David Lingmerth – The Swede has been on decent form and he has a good record in this event – he lost in a playoff for the tournament in 2013.
Key hole: 17th on TPC Stadium Course – “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!