The PGA Tour now moves back to the mainland and tees up at the Arnold Palmer Course at La Quinta resort PGA West California. Set at the foot of the majestic Santa Rosa Mountains it offers breathtaking views. It incorporates five lakes and a canal that comes into play on holes 14 through to 17. Look out for the five finishing holes which are carved along the rugged mountain range.
The Palmer course measures 6,930 yards and has hosted the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic where David Duval shot a course record 59 in his final round to win the tournament by one shot, firing an eagle on the final hole. It has also hosted the PGA Club Professional Championship in 1996 and in 1997 hosted the Senior PGA Tours Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
The start of the season is always hard to predict, even the bookies are unsure now some of the big guns are starting to tee it up. Will Phil Mickelson 16/1 still be using the belly putter? Matt Kucher 14/1 is the bookies favourite and are offering great odds on the Floridian.
My picks to win:
Dustin Johnson 22/1 had a great year last year winning The Barclays and finishing in the Top 25 on eight other occasions. He also had a 4th place finish in the FedEx Cup. It’s his first outing of the year, but I think Dustin is looking for it to be a year to remember.
Martin Laird 28/1 has already teed it up this year at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions where he finished second and will be looking to add to his two PGA Tour victories this year.
Another player to who competed in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions was Bryce Molder 33/1 who finished in seventh place. A win at the Frys.com saw him finish the season well, finishing in the Top 10 five times out of his final ten tournaments he entered.
My each way picks:
2011 was a great season for Brandt Snedeker 40/1 who finished 8th in the FedEx Cup, notching up his first win since his maiden victory at the Wyndham Championship in 2007 by taking the winners cheque at last years The Heritage.
Brendon De Jonge 66/1 is another player who started his season early this year and a Top 10 finish at the Sony Open sees the Zimbabwean tee it up at the PGA West full of confidence.
Pat Perez 66/1 had a bit of a roller coaster year last season making the Top 25 seven times, but he also missed the cut seven times. He teed it up last week at the Sony Open and hit the ground running with his opening two rounds of 66, 67, but then went backwards with rounds of 71, 73. But these are good odds for someone who can hit a streak and won his only tour event so far here back in 2009.