CareerBuilder Challenge in partnership with CI (Bob Hope Classic)
When: January 21st - 24th
Where: La Quinta Country Club; PGA West TPC Stadium Course, La Quinta, CA
2015 Winner: Bill Haas (-22)
The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.
TPC Stadium Course. The 7,060 yard par 72 was designed by Pete Dye in 1986. It is difficult because of the number of water hazards and deep bunkers. The Greens can be pushed up a bit and complex and the Bermuda grass can make lie's difficult. Pete prides himself on stressing the mind game of golf. The 17th has a similar island to Sawgrass. The fun quote from sports columnist Jim Murray "You need a camel, a canoe, a priest and a tourniquet to get through it."
Jason Bohn - WHO? Exactly! This Penn native falls amongst the A group for his 560 points putting him at 9th last year. His 4 tournaments played so far this year: 3rd (Frys.com Open), 2nd (Shriners Hospital), 39th (Sanderson Farms) and 2nd (OHL Classic). He's on a hot start and here are the important stats for a course with water traps littered throughout, Driving Accuracy - 29th, Strokes Gained Tee to Green - 12th, Putting Average - 20th, and most importantly: Round 1 Average - 125th, Round 2 - 7th. The narrative this tells is that he is mentally strong and rallies well. A virtue that is much needed on a course where the architect is actively working to frustrate the golfers.
Ryan Palmer - 2015: 10th (-19); 2014: 2nd (-26); 2013: 6th (-23). Enough said.
Patrick Reed - Not only did he win here two years ago, he has a tendency of starting off strong in the season and is off to a strong start this year. In case you need more, six straight top ten finishes. This is beginning as the year of Reed and until he falters, I am backing him.
Matt Kuchar. Runner up in last year's tournament, Matt Kuchar continues to be a great value pick in the C category. He finished 13th at the Sony Open last week and should have continued success with his consistent play.
Dark Horse Bonus Pick:
Jamie Lovemark - He finished in the top 10 at Sony Open and RSM Classic with a combined -24. He has a poor track record here which provides no enthusiasm from that front but his recent strong play could help him finish in the top 20. He hits the ball fast and hard but not accurate, this could catch him or maybe help jump him past the mini hills throughout if he can keep it fairly on the fairways. If he can avoid the waters with his big shots (or maybe jump one on a tough shot) he could jump a stroke.
Last tournament results - Sony Open Hawaii Open (144 total people in the tournament)
A: 88th place
B: 13th place; 13th place
C: 13th place
Dark Horse: 9th place
A: 49th place
B: 12th place (across the two selections)
C: 15th place
Dark Horse: 9th place