This week the players are in for a real test, as the Tour stops in La Quinta, CA and the PGA West Stadium Course. When you think of PGA WEST®, it is the TPC Stadium Course that first comes to mind. Rated one of the "Top 100 Courses in the World" by GOLF Magazine and 4th toughest course in America in Golf Digest's "Top 50 Toughest Courses in America" (2007), there may be no greater challenge or excitement in the game of golf . At 7,300 yards, the TPC Stadium Course has the highest stroke (76.1) and slope (150) ratings of all the courses at PGA WEST®.
A Pete Dye golf course, TPC Stadium delivers multiple adrenaline rushes throughout the round. Host to PGA TOUR "Q-School" Finals every other year, PGA TOUR hopefuls must navigate the island green of hole #17, known as Alcatraz, as well as the menacing water-lined 18th. Imagine needing to make par-par on two of the toughest finishing holes in golf to earn the coveted PGA TOUR card!
Named "Stadium" thanks to Dye's ingenious plan to sculpt spectator seating into the natural terrain, many historic moments in golf have occurred here, including Lee Trevino's unforgettable hole-in-one on Alcatraz. This won him a carry-over Skin worth $175,000 in the 1987 made-for-TV "Skins Game," hosted at PGA WEST from 1986-1991. With five sets of tees, the TPC Stadium lures all skill levels.
In 1987 the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic came to PGA WEST on the TPC® Stadium Golf® Course which has the distinction of being the first new course added to the tournament rotation since 1971 and is returning again this year. The TPC® Stadium Golf® Course measures 7,300 yards from the tournament tees, 6,739 yards from the regular tees and is rated 76.1 and 73.3 respectively.
Over 40 non-profit agencies will receive fundraising proceeds from this year’s event to go along with a “Presidential presence”. For the 5th consecutive year, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea will be present to host “The Health Matters Summit”. The summit focuses on promoting healthy lifestyles and strategies.
Let’s take a look at the players to keep an eye on this week, as well as my personal DraftKings lineups.
Charley Hoffman - Won this event in 2007, finished T2 last year, T9 in 2014 & T10 in 2013.
Zach Johnson - Finished T9 at Sony Open last week, revealing that a change in equipment has not seemed to have an adverse effect on his game. Finished T3 at this event in 2014.
Patrick Reed - Top ranked player in this event. Champion in 2014, and finished solo second at Hyundai Tournament of Champions just two weeks ago.
Ryan Palmer - Finished T13 last week, and heading to an event where he was runner-up to Patrick Reed in 2014.
Charles Howell III - Almost identical pick to Ryan Palmer. Finished T13 last week, and runner-up in 2013. Lost in a playoff to Brian Gay.
Matt Kuchar - Okay, now this is just getting weird….Similar to Palmer & Howell III, Kuchar finished T13 last week in Hawaii, and was a co-runner-up last year at this event. Bill Haas - This week’s defending champ comes in having had a positive experience at the Presidents Cup, and displaying decent play in his last two events.
Ollie Schniederjans - Making his first start of 2016. This young man reminds me of Justin Thomas in 2015 - came out and impressed immediately. Don’t be surprised to continue seeing his name on leaderboards.
Will Wilcox - Another player in his 20’s that continues to contend on a regular basis. Played poorly last week, but I expect to see him bounce back quickly.
Phil Mickelson - Not the Phil of old, but has won this event twice (2002, 2004). Playing in his home state, and has the ability to play very well on difficult courses.
And now a look at my DraftKings lineups.
Tony Finau - $7,800
Will Wilcox - $7,300
Patton Kizzire - $7,200
Johnson Wagner - $6,900
Kyle Stanley - $6,700
Colt Knost - $6,400
Zach Johnson - $11,900
Webb Simpson - $9,600
Charley Hoffman - $9,200
Spencer Levin - $6,500
Kyle Reifers - $6,500
Rhein Gibson - $6,300
My strategy this week is to draft a team of players I’d expect to see perform, but have mediocre price tags. Team B on the other hand, is completely top heavy. My fingers are crossed for Levin, Reifers and Gibson to have big weeks, for I expect to see Johnson, Simpson and Hoffman perform. You always have a chance with any team, but I’m really excited to see how Team B performs.
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series.Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
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