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CareerBuilder Challenge: Expert Picks

Phil Starts the year with a win?

PGA: The Presidents Cup-Day Three Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tournament Information:

CareerBuilder Challenge

Date: January 18th -21st

Course: PGA West Stadium Course

Purse - $5.9MM

FedEx points – 500 to winner

2017 Winner: Adam Hadwin (-20)

Course: PGA West Stadium Course. This 7,300 yard course has was created by Pete Dye. It is largely baren outside of the fairways which I find helpful at keeping a bifurcation of greens vs. rough but the golfers might think otherwise when they land in both the rough and the very deep bunkers. It’s largely built for a long straight hitter and rewards the solid putters in the process. Hole 4 has a bunker that competes with the best of them. It’s well known for the 17th “island” hole which is equal parts lethal for golfers and breathtaking to look at.

6 Golfers who I think would do well at the CareerBuilder Challenge

My Starting 4:

Phil Mickelson – Given the importance on the par 5’s and Phil’s ‘breakthrough’ with his driver, I’m willing to take the gamble on his success here for his first 2018 start. Two time winner here too (2002 and 2004)

Brendan Steele – 8th in FedEx Cup points, 6th in strokes gained off the tee, and 27th in strokes gained tee to green Brendan can’t putt well but his driver will take him places on this course. He’s been a top 30 finish in each even so far this season and he finished 6th here last year.

Austin Cook – The potential rookie of the year has not had any hiccups thus far in his inaugural year. 4th in fedex cup ranking, he already has a win (RSM Classic) and 3 top 20 finishes in 6 tournaments including a very formidable Sony Open in Hawaii

Brian Harman – He is playing the best golf on tour right now. Recapping his 2018 season – 5th place, 8th place, 4th place, 3rd place, 3rd place 4th place. This pace is unsustainable but ride it while you can.

My Bench 2:

Patton Kizzire – Logistically, I’m not sure if I’m sold on him being successful here as much as he’s had a really strong run between wins at Sony Open and OHL Classic at Mayoakoba (he’s 100th in strokes gained off the tee which should NOT help him here) but he’s #1 in FedEx ranking and I’m willing to put him on my bench and see what happens here.

Zach Johnson. I’m 50/50 on how I think he will do here. His season has been amazing, all starts have been top 25 finishes but he missed the cut here the last 2 years, hence – he is on the bench on the off chance he has a breakthrough.


who will do the best at the CareerBuilder Challenge?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Phil Mickelson
    (0 votes)
  • 50%
    Brian Harmon
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Kisner
    (0 votes)
  • 50%
    Webb Simpson
    (2 votes)
4 votes total Vote Now

2018 Stats

Starting 4: Avg 20th place (22%)

Bench 2: Avg 19th place (20%)

Fun fact: Arnold Palmer won here 5 times during his career. The wins were spread across 13 years.