Twice inside the top five in three previous cracks at this event, Clark deserves to be vying for favouritism. Last week’s seasonal debut was encouraging, with three strong rounds to close after a poor start left him struggling to make the cut.
Leonard won this in 2005, was runner-up in 2008 and has four top tens in total here. If the putter gets going, Leonard would be the man to beat, but last week’s missed cut is a negative.
Another former champion who must make any shortlist. Weir has one title and three top fives since 2003, and will go close if in good nick on his seasonal debut.
Champion in 2006 and ninth last year, Campbell has already shown he has the game to thrive here. He also started the season well with eighth place at Waialae, which included one bad round.
A class act, but equally a player who has never produced his best in this event, only once making the top ten. Toms was also very disappointing last week on one of his favourite tracks.
OTHERS TO CONSIDER
The defending champion has been in decent form with top tens at Kapalua and in the WGC event in Shanghai. However, last year’s breakthrough remains his sole tournament victory and the suspicion remains that he is a weak finisher.
Fowler made an outstanding impression on his first few PGA Tour starts during the Fall Series, very nearly winning before earning his card at Qualifying School. He looks a big prospect, and well capable of the low scores required to contend here.
Verplank has eight top 25s here since 1997, including three top tens. Accurate, and a good putter, he has the perfect profile to win this. Hasn’t played on the PGA Tour since September, though.
Having dominated the Nationwide Tour, Sim is another name on every ‘Players to Follow in 2010‘ list. He won his last event in California, and played well in his native Australia over the winter.
Runner-up in the Australian PGA last time out, Senden has made the top ten in three of the last five Bob Hope Classics.
Still without a win this side of the Atlantic, the former Order of Merit champion looks close to his best once again. Two of Justin’s three previous attempts here produced top tens, including third in 2007.
The leading Scot in world golf is clearly a man on the up, so previous failures here can be overlooked. Seems to thrive when low scoring is the order of the day.
As a hot putter who showed some good form during the Fall Series, Taylor could rate a decent outside bet. He’s already shown a liking for this event when finishing eighth two years ago.