The CareerBuilder Challenge 2016 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

The CareerBuilder Challenge | 21 January – 24 January | Various

With a host of the more popular players on the PGA Tour opting to head to Abu Dhabi this week, you would think that the CareerBuilder Challenge could be worth ignoring but that’s far from the truth as things look to be heating up in La Quinta. Considering that there is no chance that Spieth will steamroll the field once again, there’s a lot of value to be found in a field which seems, at first glance, to be very competitive.

Hosted by PGA West, three courses will be played throughout the tournament but the one that everyone will be keeping a close eye on is the TPC Stadium Course. This historic Peter Dye design has always been considered to be one of the toughest out there, so it will be interesting to see how this field gets around the 7,100 yard par 72 set up. One player who will arrive fired up will be Patrick Reed, who looked to be in great form during the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He’ll know that the 500 FedEx Cup points on offer could prove invaluable later in the season and seems to be a player worth keeping an eye on.

With three different courses in play, it’s tough to pinpoint a handful of areas in the game which need to be in check to win here, so overall it’s looking like the all-rounders will have the best chance of winning. Fortunately, there is no shortage of those competing this week and it looks like we’re in for some exciting golf. So who will win in La Quinta? Let’s have a look.

To Win Outright
Patrick Reed:  9/1
Matt Kuchar: 16/1
Zach Johnson: 18/1
Bill Haas: 28/1
Ryan Palmer: 28/1

Charley Hoffman (40/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Charley Hoffman’s name is not one you will find appearing regularly in golf tipping circles but he looks to be worth a small each way bet this week. He doesn’t have much form behind him at the moment but he will arrive in La Quinta familiar with all of these courses and confident that he can repeat the performance he put in last year when he was narrowly edged out by Bill  Haas. At this price, I’ll be backing Hoffman each way.

Ryan Palmer (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
We haven't seen much from Ryan Palmer lately but traditionally he has played well at the start of the year and I’m hoping that this week he gets the ball rolling and notches up a Top 5 finish at least. He seemed to be getting back into the swing of things last week and managed to pull off a Top 15 in the Sony Open, but he’ll have to be a bit more consistent his week if he wants to really challenge. That’s not too tough to imagine though as he will be confident playing on courses he knows well. I’m tipping the each way bet on Palmer.

Kevin Na (33/1 a win, 73/10 a place)
Kevin Na struggles to win tournaments but he knows how to play golf in La Quinta and two Top 10 finishes in the past few years bear testament to this. He is one of those players who seems to have every facet of his game in check and on the tough TPC Stadium Course that should stand him in good stead whilst others around him fall apart. An average start to the Sony Open resulted in Na finishing just inside the Top 30 last week but had he gone lower in his first round that could very well have been a Top 10 finish. Now that he has his eye in, I’m expecting big things from Na and will be backing him each way this week.

Patrick Reed (9/1 a win, 19/10 a place)
This week Patrick Reed finds himself priced up as the firm favourite and given the circumstances, the support he’s found in the market seems completely justifiable. Reed is a previous tournament winner and was in fine form last year as he went about systematically taking a competitive field apart. Add to his course form and the fact that his game appears to be in great shape at the moment and you have all the makings of a winner. Don’t ignore Reed this week.

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