Who might do well at the CareerBuilder Challenge?
This is definitely one of the stranger tournaments, as there is a full field, but the cut isn’t halfway through the tournament. Instead, there is a cut on the third day. This is because the golfers play three different courses in a three day span, with all of them playing the same course on the last day. In addition, they each play with an amateur player. Each course features four par 5s, so the winning score will be low. The five major stats to consider this week are Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:TTG); Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P); Par 5 Scoring Average (P5); Par Breakers (PB); and Ball Striking (BS). Two of the courses are brand new, so there is very little course history to go off.
Patrick Reed ($12,400): Personally, if I were to pay up, I wouldn’t try to do anything too cute with getting Kuchar, ZJ, etc. Reed’s the guy to pay up for, and he should be great this week. His last three tournaments have all been top 10s, and statistically he is strong as well, ranking 41st in SG:TTG, 19th in SG:P, 28th in P5, and 25th in PB. He’s my pick to win, and I think he is in a tier of his own this week.
Jason Bohn ($10,100): Without Casey in the field this week, Bohn becomes my favorite player in the 10-11K price range. Three of his last four tournaments have seen Bohn finish tied for third or better. He’s been a beast since the start of last year, and statistically strong as well, ranking top 50 in every stat except Par 5 Scoring Average (where he ranks 78th).
Brendan Steele ($9,000): Steele is the GPP play of the week. In his last five events, he has finished in the top 20 in three of them. He missed the cut in the other two. So far this year he has become the definition of boom or bust, and I believe this week he’ll be successful. Outside of his putting, he is statistically elite, ranking inside the top 30 in every other stat. He prefers to putt on Bermuda grass, which hopefully means that putting won’t hold him back this week. He’s a guy who can drain long putts when he’s feeling it, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him competing for the trophy at the end of the weekend.
Tony Finau ($7,800): Last week was a disappointing week for Finau, but what better way to bounce back than on courses that have four par 5s? He is four for four making the cut this year, with two top 20s. I expect him to bounce back strong, and would be pretty surprised if his ownership is low.
Smylie Kaufman ($7,700): With Finau priced right above him, and with him not having played a tournament in a while, I could see Kaufman getting overlooked by many this week. Don’t be the guy who forgets about him this week. He is six for six making the cut this year, including a win and two other top 20s. He has fantastic stats this week, and is an elite driver, which will serve him nicely on the par 5s. I think there is a good chance he could win his second tournament of the year this week.
Patton Kizzire ($7,200): With back-to-back missed cuts, it might be a shocking endorsement here for Kizzire. However, he didn’t play poorly last week, having only missed the cut by one stroke. Earlier in the year, he showed off his talent, with back -to-back top five finishes. The par 5s should suit him well, and he is statistically strong for the tournament.
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- Paul Casey and James Hahn
- Patrick Reed and Matt Kuchar
- Ryan Palmer and Zach Johnson
- Jason Bohn and Brendan Steele