La Quinta Country Club – Par 72, 7060 yards and has four par fives in total. It also has tree lined fairways which are not particularly narrow, with some water features that come into play. The greens are Bermuda grass and this course tends to be quite tricky and can play quite fast depending on the weather conditions.
PGA West Stadium Course – Par 72, 7,300 yards and has four par fives and four par 3’s. This course is played twice including the final round and has a lot of trees, streams and lakes that come into play. The fairways are quite forgiving and shouldn’t be too difficult to hit. There are several bunkers that come into play, some are very deep and will be very challenging. The greens are also Bermuda grass and are also quite large but can also play very fast depending on weather conditions.
PGA West Tournament Course – Par 72, 7,204 yards. This course is being used for the first time this year and has four par 5’s and four par 3’s.The fairways are also very forgiving with large greens with water featuring on around seven holes.
The average score of the winner of this tournament has been around the 25 under mark. Also keep in mind that this is a Pro-Am for the first three rounds so pin positions will be in favourable locations to cater for the amateurs. With this, the pro’s will be taking full advantage so be on the lookout for good birdie average stats and good putters.
With the pro’s playing about 18 par 5’s this week, players with good par 5 scoring stats tend to go well here. Players that have had a good week at The Sony usually bring that momentum into this week as most of the cobwebs are dusted off. Any players that finished in the top 20 last week and have played well here in the past should be worth considering. It’s a tough one to call so approach with caution.
Patrick Reed 10/1
The American comes here in fine form after another top five finish at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions finishing solo second. He also played great golf in Asia before Christmas with four top 10’s in five starts. He had a great week at The Hong Kong Open finishing T3 on 11 under for the tournament. He followed that with a T10 at The CIMB in Malaysia which included another four rounds in the 60’s to finish -17 for the tournament and a solo second finish at The BMW Masters where he lost a playoff to Kristoffer Broberg on the first playoff hole.
Reed had a great week at The Hero World Challenge at the start of December finishing solo second and was also part of the winning American Presidents Cup team in Korea. He had a good end to the season with a T15 at The WGC Bridgestone, T30 at The PGA and a T4 at The Deutsche Bank.
He has played well here in the past finishing T24 last year, a win in 2014 and T22 finish in 2012. If he brings that good form into this week he will be a huge contender and looks like he’s right on the cusp of a win any day now.
Zach Johnson 18/1
Johnson had a good week at The Sony Open finishing with a T9 on 13 under par. He has been playing well over the last few weeks finishing solo 12th at The Hero World Challenge and a T21 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He played well towards the end of the season in the FedExCup playoffs finishing T4 at The Barclays, T22 at The Deutsche Bank, T13 at The BMW and T8 at The Tour Championship.
Johnson has played well at this event in the past finishing third in 2014, T23 in 2012 and T11 in 2012. Statswise he ranks 22nd in GIR, 11th in proximity to the hole and 17th in par 4 scoring. After a good week at The Sony, these courses should suit Johnson as they demand very accurate iron play and good putters in order to make birdies.
Bill Haas 28/1
Haas was part of the winning Presidents Cup Team in Korea where he won an impressive two and a half points for his team and beat Sang Moon Bae in the final singles match on the Sunday to seal victory for the Americans. He has been playing well recently finishing T5 at The Hero World Challenge and finished T18 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions on 12 under par for the week.
He has a fantastic record at this event with a win last year, sixth in 2014, second in 2011 and another win in 2010. He leads driving accuracy hitting over 80% of fairways and comes here this week in great form.
Jason Dufner 35/1
Dufner comes here showing some solid form over the last few weeks with a win at The Franklin Templeton Shootout with partner Brandt Snedeker, where his iron play and putting looked superb all week. He also had a great week at The RSM Classic finishing T9 on 10 under and followed that with another top 10 finishing T9 at The Sony Open last week on 13 under for the tournament, which included a third round 65.
Despite missing the cut last year, Dufner has played well here in the past finishing T11 in 2012, T33 in 2011 and T18 in 2010. He is hitting just over 75% of greens in reg and ranks 16th in strokes gained tee to green. He also ranks 19th in par 5 scoring which will stand him well this week with an abundance of par 5’s to contend with.
Jason Bohn 40/1
Bohn was showing some superb form before Christmas with two seconds and a third in four starts. He came close to a win at the OHL Classic where he was beaten by Graeme McDowell in a playoff after the Northern Irishman hit a majestic second shot into three feet and rolling it in for a birdie and the win on the first playoff hole. He had a great start to the new season finishing T3 at The Frys, which included a superb third round 64 to finish 14 under par for the tournament. He followed that with a T2 at The Shriners Open in Vegas shooting 68,66,69,68 on his way to a 15 under par total. He started strongly at The Sanderson Farms Championship shooting 67,70,70 in the first three rounds but fell off the pace after shooting a 73 in the final round to finish T39.
Statswise Bohn could suit this course ranking 29th in driving accuracy, 31st in GIR, 12th in strokes gained tee to green and 17th in par 4 scoring. His has played well here before finishing T30 last year, T33 in 2014 and T30 again in 2012. He comes here in much better form this time around and could be one to watch at a decent price.
Final Selections –
Patrick Reed 10/1 2pts EW
Zach Johnson 18/1 1pt EW
Bill Haas 28/1 1pt EW
Jason Dufner 35/1 1pt EW
Jason Bohn 40/1 1pt EW
Total Staked = 12 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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