2016 CareerBuilder Challenge Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following the annual fortnight on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the PGA Tour treks back mainland for this week’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic….errrrr I mean the Humana Challenge….errrr I mean the CareerBuilder Challenge Presented by the Clinton Foundation And Focusing On Global Warming, or something like that.  Yeah, new name, and some new venues actually this year as well.

La Quinta remains part of the annual three course rota, but out are both the Nicklaus and Palmer Private courses and in is the Pete Dye PGA West TPC Stadium Course and the Nicklaus Tournament Course as the other two hosts.  New venues and names, but one thing that almost certainly won’t change–low scores.  This tourney is an annual birdie plethora with winning scores in the mid 20s under par, as playing in the perfect dome-like Southern Cali weather leads to red numbers galore.

My picks last week at the Sony Open were so-so, as Semi-Flier Ryan Palmer finished t-13th and Lockzilla Marc Leishman notched a t-28th finish.  My Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Cameron Smith started strong, but faded on Saturday to the tune of an MDF finish.  Also, my Hosel-Rocket BUST pick of the week defending champion Jimmy Walker slapped his way around to a backdoor t-13th finish.

Now, let’s hop into some picks this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Leishman t-28th)

Patrick Reed
Patrick Reed
– Straight chalk, top 5 P Reed style.  Patrick enters into this week in top form with six consecutive top 10s under his belt, including a solo 2nd just two weeks ago at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.  He’ll be highly owned in all formats, but for a reason.  Top 5 Lockzilla this week to be sure.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Palmer t-13th)

Jason Dufner
Jason Dufner
– Dufffffffffffffffffffffffff!  Get ready for a return of the Duf that we all know and love in 2016, sans about 40 pounds.  With his personal troubles now seemingly well behind him, it’s game time on the course.  Proof is right in his results, as he’s paired together back-to-back t-9th finishes in official events with last week’s Sony Open with last fall’s RSM Classic (oh yeah, and a co-championship at the Franklin Templeton Shootout with Brandt Snedeker in between).  Duf has plenty of experience in this tourney over the years and knows that it takes some serious red numbers to contend.  I do worry a little about his putter being able to heat up enough to go that low, but then again I’m going to trust my instincts and just follow his current upward trend as I believe that he banks another top 10 this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Walker t-13th)

Jason Bohn
Jason Bohn
– With finishes of t-3rd, t-2nd, t-39th and P2 his last four events and Bohn seemingly enters this week hotter than anyone…except for the fact that he hasn’t played in two months.  Add in the fact that his career best finish here is t-22nd way back in ’08 and I’m expecting a rusty resumption of play from the 42-year-old.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Cameron Smith MDF)

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari
– I’ve been waiting for the game of this worldwide talent to finally kick into gear on the PGA Tour and I believe that we are on the cusp of some brilliant golf by the Italian (after all, it is a Ryder Cup year).  Sans a first round WD at the Valero, he hasn’t missed a cut on the PGA Tour since last March at the Honda Classic!  He had a solid 68-65-67 opening start at the Sony Open, only to fade a bit to a 70 on Sunday and a t-33rd finish.  That’s fine with me, as all that will do is keep him even more unnoticed.  Molinari finished t-10th here last year and I’m predicting a similar finish this year with podium-finish upside.  Francesco Molinari is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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