The PGA Tour’s “Fall Series” continues this week with the Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. Bryce Molder is the defending champion.

In last year’s Frys.com Open, Bryce Molder came through a six-hole playoff against Briny Baird to take the title. It was the 17th playoff of the 2011 PGA Tour season.

This event began life in 2007 when Canada’s Mike Weir finished a shot clear of Mark Hensby. Cameron Beckman, Troy Matteson, Rocco Mediate and Bryce Molder have been champions since then.

There’s a good field in this tournament with strong international representation. Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts will tee it up as he bids to secure his PGA Tour card for 2013.

The CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California is a Robert Trent Jones Jnr layout and the designer feels it to be one of his best creations. It’s a pleasantly undulating track set through an attractive valley. There’s an elevation change of some 150 feet out on the course so club selection is often challenging. It’s the third year the layout has been used to host this event.

Venue: CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, California
Date: October 11-14
Course stats: par 72, 7,368 yards
Purse: $5,000,000 Winner: $900,000
Defending Champion: Bryce Molder (-17)

TV Coverage:
Thursday 11 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm
Friday 12 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10pm
Saturday 13 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm
Sunday 14 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9pm

Player Watch:

Jonas Blixt – The Swede contended last week in the JT Shriners and finished the week in third. He’s an excellent putter and that should serve him well on CordeValle’s large and fast putting surfaces.

Vijay Singh – The veteran Fijian may never have played before at CordeValle, but he’s been one of the PGA Tour’s most consistent performers in recent months. He’s made 10 straight cuts and has three top-10 finishes in that time.

Ernie Els – The Open champion is the only player in the field who made it to the Tour Championship. He was tied fourth in this event last season.

Key hole: 17th. A driveable par 4 with teeing options from 295 to 325 yards, the green will be receptive to a good drive but it must carry all the way to the surface over the water. There’s a chance of an eagle here if a player is chasing coming down the stretch.

Skills required: Greens in regulation. The putting surfaces are large and receptive so the GIR stats should be pretty high. That also means putting will be important, particularly from distance.

Where next?
European Tour
Portugal Masters preview