The CareerBuilder Challenge returns once again in its role as the first tournament on the mainland of American for the New Year. It’s fair to say that this event is not everybody’s cup of tea. The players will all compete alongside an amateur on three different courses on the first three days of play before it reaches a crescendo on Sunday.
Some players love the more relaxed atmosphere and the chance to play at different courses, others, not so much. What all the players love about the CareerBuilder Challenge is the chance to card plenty of birdies. Each of the Stadium Course, the Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club are easy par 72 layouts by PGA Tour standards. They all played significantly under par last season so it will come down to which player makes the most of their scoring chances.
Molinari’s Patient Game Can Pay Off
Francesco Molinari has been focussing his career very much on the PGA Tour over the past couple of years. The Italian still maintains his European Tour card but it’s in America where he sees his future. Unfortunately, he’s been as yet unable to win a regular PGA Tour event. This week could be the perfect time for him to get that monkey off his back.
Molinari is famed for his driving accuracy. He’ll be in plenty of good positions to make birdies this week, it’s then a case of hitting high quality irons into the greens before following up with the putter. That’s easier said than done but he’s got the quality to get the job done and the patient mentality to switch on despite long periods of inactivity during the first three days. At odds of 33/1 with BetVictor, Molinari should be in for a good week in California.
Henley to Have His Best CareerBuilder to Date
Unusually for the CareerBuilder, the host courses have not changed from last year. The inconsistent nature of the venues used and the pro-am format mean that previous poor performances at the tournament is not as big a worry as it may be in other weeks. That is good news for Russell Henley.
Henley is already a two-time PGA Tour champion and he is trending towards win number three with three top 15 finishes in his last four starts. Those stats are impressive but the most important factor for Henley fans is his traditionally high quality putting. He’ll take more chances than most this week on the greens. If he manufactures enough of them he’ll represent very good each way value at odds of 40/1 with Betfred.
Kjeldsen Hoping the Weather Blows Success His Way
Soren Kjeldsen’s career looked to be petering away when he reached 40 but then came one of the best rounds of 2015 at the Irish Open. While most players saw their chances blown away during the final round at Royal County Down, Kjeldsen excelled. That trophy has spurred him on ever since.
With poor weather forecast this week, Kjeldsen will be hoping he can capitalise once again. The Dane’s never won on the PGA Tour but that could be about to change at an exciting 100/1 with Sky Bet.