CareerBuilder Challenge – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

PGA West – TPC Stadium Course (HOST COURSE)
7,113 yards – Par 72 – Bermudagrass Greens overseeded with Ryegrass and Poa Trivialis
Tournament Stimpmeter: 11 feet … Slower Greens

La Quinta Country Club
7,060 yards – Par 72 – Bermudagrass Greens overseeded with Ryegrass and Poa Trivialis

PGA West – Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course
7,159 yards – Par 72 – Bermudagrass Greens overseeded with Ryegrass and Poa Trivialis

Tournament Angles

#1 California Courses
#2 Par 72 Courses
#3 Easy Courses
#4 Short Courses

Previous Winners

2017: Hudson Swafford -20 over Adam Hadwin -19
2016: Jason Dufner -25 over David Lingmerth in a playoff
2015: Bill Haas -22 over Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar, S.J. Park, Brendan Steele, Steve Wheatcroft -21
2014: Patrick Reed -28 over Ryan Palmer -26
2013: Brian Gay -25 playoff over David Lingmerth & Charles Howell III -25
2012: Mark Wilson -22 over J. Wagner & J. Mallinger & R. Garrigus -22
2011: Jhonattan Vegas -27 playoff win over B. Haas & G. Woodland -27
2010: Bill Haas -30 over M. Kuchar & T. Clark & B. Watson -29

54-Hole Leaders

2017: Adam Hadwin (-17)
2016: Jason Dufner (-23)
2015: Erik Compton, Bill Haas, Michael Putnam, Justin Thomas (-17)
2014: Patrick Reed (-27)
2013: Scott Stallings (-22)
2012: Mark Wilson (-21)
2011: Jhonattan Vegas, Gary Woodland (-24) … 72-hole leader
2010: Bubba Watson, Alex Prugh (-23) … 72-hole leaders

36-Hole Leaders

2017: Hudson Swafford (-14)
2016: Jason Dufner (-15)
2015: Matt Kuchar (-15)
2014: Patrick Reed (-18)
2013: James Hahn, Roberto Castro (-14)
2012: Mark Wilson, David Toms, Ben Crane (-16)
2011: Jhonattan Vegas, Gary Woodland (-18) … 54-hole leaders
2010: Alex Prugh (-21) … 54-hole leader

Important Interview Quotes

Q. You talked about playing two tours, a lot of the European players don’t play as much on the West Coast, they play Abu Dhabi or Dubai and yet you’re here this week, you’re in San Diego next week. Is it just the southwest is a comfortable place for you to be?
JON RAHM:
Well, yeah, I mean I’ve been living in this area for five years and most of the college tournaments we played was around here, so exactly, we played here — we played the Norman course as well — I’m just familiar with this type of golf course. This is very similar to Phoenix. Very similar golf. And that’s basically what I’ve been playing for the last few years. I do love California, all those golf courses play very similar to what I do back home, which is soft, humid, sea level, cold type of weather. So that’s why I love Pebble, I do love Torrey, and I’m sure I will love Riviera as well. It’s just a stretch of golf tournaments that’s good for me. -2018

Q. Stadium Course? Your thoughts?
PHIL MICKELSON:
I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited the fact that tomorrow the weather’s supposed to be perfect. That will be very helpful. Because that’s a penalizing golf course. You hit it off line there, it can be extremely penalizing. But there’s plenty of room off the tee and around the greens to get away with it, if you have slightly less than perfect. -2017

Q. Speaking of playing in the rain, we may have more of this. This doesn’t feel like California to me, does it feel like home to you?
BRENDAN STEELE:
No, not right now. It’s normally the best tournament for weather for the year. Everybody comes here because they know the conditions are going to be perfect, going to make some birdies, going to be able to do some practice after the round, but unfortunately, this week, we have had to dodge a little bit of weather. -2017

Q. You seemed to have a lot of success here the last few years, you were in contention here before. What is it about this area?
ADAM HADWIN:
I think it’s a bit of a second home for most Canadians. I’m living in Phoenix now, so a short drive away. And I get a ton of support here and they show up and it’s pretty incredible. Other than that, I don’t know, I just kind of happened to play well this week. -2017

Q. How did the rain affect the golf course? Did it affect any of your through lines or any mud balls?
PATTON KIZZIRE:
We didn’t have any mud balls today. The course played a lot longer. We were hitting longer clubs into the greens and hitting more club off the tee and it made the course a lot different than it normally is, the perfect conditions that are normally out here. -2017

Q. You’re a Georgia guy through and through. You live on Sea Island. To start every year you’ve put up a month long residency in the California desert. Why do you do that and how comfortable are you playing here?
HUDSON SWAFFORD:
My wife and I have rented the same house for four years at the Hideaway and love it there. The members are unbelievable. They welcome us with open arms. And usually you come out here to enjoy the good weather and the CareerBuilder, you can pretty much leave your umbrella at home. And it’s not the case this year. It was a little cold and rainy. So hopefully it gets a little better as the week goes on. But, yeah, it’s really nice coming out and start of the year, refreshed and rejuvenated get ready for Sony and nice weather. -2017

Q. Did they feel like the same golf courses you had played in Q-School?
Patrick Reed:
… unlike at Q-School, the pins are a little bit more accessible, because you’re playing with amateurs as well, they’re not going to put pins three paces from the edge, because then you might not finish. So, they put the pins a little bit more accessible, that’s why you see a little lower scores. If they were to tuck the pins like they normally do on PGA TOUR weeks, the score would get cut in half. Because now you’re hitting some 6-irons and 5-irons and 7-irons into greens and you’re able to go flag hunting. When, on a normal event, when it’s three or four paces from the edge, a lot of guys aren’t going to hit 6- and 5-iron at the flag, you’re going to go center of the green, try to make a 30-footer, if they don’t they make par. But these weeks you’re able to go at it and get yourself 5, 10, 15 feet away. -2017

Q. Which one of these numbers impresses you the most, to me it’s the greens in regulation, 86 percent, and that’s 31 out of 36.
HUDSON SWAFFORD:
I would agree with you. Tee ball has been good, allowing myself to have great positioning. And hitting out of the fairway is key here. The overseeded rough can get a little sticky and create some problems. Hitting from the fairway is key here. -2017

Q. Now, La Quinta is a bit single file. Do you like to go with a driver, your outlook on the courses as we move into the rest of the CareerBuilder Challenge?
JAMIE LOVEMARK:
You can be really aggressive off the tee. There’s some holes I do hit iron off of, but for the most part a lot of drivers. The Nicklaus is tomorrow, I haven’t been out there, I drove a few holes. And Stadium is tough. It’s a lot harder than the Palmer last year. I expect the scores to be a lot higher. A lot of water, a lot can happen. The par-5s are a lot tougher. -2016

Q. How do you make the transition smoothly from a golf course like this to a golf course that you just said is going to be a bit beefier tomorrow?
JERRY KELLY:
The grass is the same. That’s the thing that makes it play similar. There were still some long holes out here. I mean, in the past, this (La Quinta CC) has been the tough golf course. So it was strange just how the mindset changes when this becomes the so called easier one and you have to get it. I was able to get it, but normally this is the toughest one in the rotation, so. But it’s just strange. Our minds are just so messed up. -2016

Q. Some mojo coming in the top-10 in Hawaii last week. Speak to the differences under foot. You got Bermuda out there and you come to the desert.
JERRY KELLY:
That is my favorite grass, meaning Waialae, obviously. I love to have the ball skid off of my putter. A lot of guys want to see it roll right away, I like to see it skid. I’m a little more of a pop stroker. So when I come here and there is absolutely no skid and I can hear the ball leave the putter head, I’m like, oh, am I topping it, what am I doing. But it’s just the difference to the grass and I’m not adjusting my loft or anything, so I just got to make sure I hold my angle solid and hit solid putts. -2016

Q. Do you change your approach on this golf course (Stadium CoursE) as opposed to saying the Nicklaus Course or La Quinta, do you say, I got to do this today, as opposed to the others?
ADAM HADWIN:
I think on Stadium you have to get your self around without making some big mistakes. I think some big mistakes lie out there. You got par-5s with water that you try and be too aggressive you can easily make a six or seven and that’s going to throw you pretty far back, instead of kind of making maybe laying up and taking easy par or something. -2016

Q. And that said, I guess it’s a pretty visually daunting golf course these two around here. So thoughts to the Stadium Course tomorrow?
BRENDAN STEELE:
Yeah, definitely, I played Stadium a lot kind of as a kid and a little bit mini tours and stuff, but I haven’t played as much in the last 10 years. So getting out there again it was fun to kind of see the shots and see what I remembered correctly and what I didn’t remember, but there’s definitely a lot of water, a lot of, you have to hit a lot of good shots and just really be committed to your lines and stay aggressive. -2016

Q. Last question, you obviously you’re fond of this place you won here in 2010 (Desert Dunes Classic), what is it about this area that suits you well?
ADAM HADWIN:
Well, it’s very friendly to Canadians. I think we double the population in the wintertime. But I won a Canadian TOUR event in 2010, my first Canadian TOUR event. So, yeah, comfortable, lots of support down here, lots of Canadians coming out the last couple days to watch, so it’s always nice to hear some cheers. -2016

Q. Stadium Course for you tomorrow, what’s your history there and your thoughts on having that part of the rotation now?
JASON GORE:
Well, my history of these two golf courses is, I’ll tell you one thing right now, this place is a heck of a lot easier playing in this tournament than it is in Q-School. So that being said, I’m looking forward to going out and playing Stadium Course and it not being Q-School. So, the Stadium Course is one of my favorite golf courses. I’m a southern California guy and growing up here I think I played it right when it first opened, I might have been 13 or 14, and just being in absolute awe of it. And just watching it on the Skins Game. I think I was standing somewhere around the 17th tee when Trevino mace his hole-in-one there during the Skins Game. So that place has got a lot of childhood memories on it. So it will be fun to go out there and play and not be in Q-School. -2016

Q. Did you get much practice before this week?
JASON DUFNER:
I came out the week at Maui when the guys were in Maui, I played each course twice, we practiced one day. I think I was here Tuesday through Saturday. So I played enough golf and I played nine holes over on the Stadium on the back nine earlier this week. -2016

Q. How much did you play this course before this week?
KEVIN NA:
A couple weeks ago I came out, I usually spend time at Morningside Country Club. My sponsor has a house out there that he let’s me use. It’s always empty. He’s got a Rolls Royce golf cart that I cruise in. So I came out played with my sponsor once when he was in town. After he left town I was, I played out here a couple more times. I played the Nicklaus once and I played the Stadium two and a half times. -2016

Q. 8-under par, consisting of nine birdies. Is the key to a round like that simply on the greens?
JEFF OVERTON:
Yeah, absolutely. That and wedges. I think out here you get some good wedge looks and I’ve been really working hard with my teacher, James Siekmann, and my wedge game has been very good and then because you get some 6-, 7-footers and you see those go in and the next thing you know the 15-footers go in. So definitely it’s short game, especially out here, kind of early in the year on this course, this was probably the easiest of all the ones we’re going to see this week. -2016

Q. A lot of places you might go first time, there is one golf course. Here you’ve got three you need to try and learn a little something about. How are you going about doing that this week?
LUKE DONALD:
Well, I played the Nicklaus yesterday, I played the Palmer today, and I’m going to play La Quinta tomorrow. They’re reasonably straightforward golf courses. The Nicklaus greens are a little more undulating than the Palmer, for sure, just the first look there. It was good to have a practice round around there. But the score here is pretty low. The conditions are very benign, usually, and you get a little wind and great weather. So, it’s hopefully with just one practice round I’m figuring out the courses enough to be competitive this week. -2015

Q. Seems like yesterday the scoring on all three courses was almost identical, within like 1/100th of each other. Today the Nicklaus Course has given up a lot of low scores. When you come into this tournament, do you think that’s the course that you’ve got to go low on or is there really a difference?
NICK WATNEY:
Well, as a player, there’s not really a difference, just a because if you make a few pars on the Nicklaus, you don’t want to start pressing things, but, yeah, the, I figure the La Quinta may be the most difficult, just because the fairways are fairly narrow and there’s some out of bounds around there, but at the same time, if you play well, the greens are so nice here on every course that none of them are overly long and you can shoot a pretty good score on any golf course.
So, I think the things, the thing about the Nicklaus Course, the par-5’s are pretty reachable for everyone, so you hope to get three or four birdies. I played Charley Hoffman today, he eagled two of them, so I think that’s what makes the Nicklaus Course pretty scorable. -2015

Q. Pros talk about how great these greens are, but how good have they been rolling for you if you got the line?
BILL HAAS:
We don’t play better greens on TOUR than these greens here.
Augusta maybe they’re faster, but when it comes to smooth necessary and just if you hit a quality putt is pretty much tracks towards its hole and certainly makes it a lot of fun for us.-2015

Q. You mentioned this is kind of like a home tournament for you. Does that put any more pressure on you as a player to really produce in front of your friends and family?
BRENDAN STEELE:
I don’t think so. It’s nice to have the support. If I don’t play well, I don’t play well. That’s the case with golf. You’re going to have five, six good weeks in the year and it would be nice to do it in front of the home fans or friends and stuff, so to speak, but I haven’t traditionally played that well here, even though I’m really comfortable. So you can make of that what you will, whether it’s just kind of rust kicking off from the start of the year or extra added pressure, I don’t really think there is any, I really like the support. -2014

MARK STEVENS: We would like to welcome Brandt Snedeker to the interview room. This is going to be your sixth start in the Humana Challenge. You have 17 straight rounds under par if you kind of want to talk about your thoughts coming into the week and then we’ll have some questions.
BRANDT SNEDEKER:
This is one of my favorite events just because of obviously the weather here is perfect, the golf courses I feel like setup really well for me. -2014

Q. Last year this was about the only tournament that you didn’t contend in on the West Coast. At the beginning of last year you were full of confidence coming in, how do you compare your game and your confidence level now as opposed to 12 months ago?
BRANDT SNEDEKER:
It’s pretty similar, actually. The West Coast always seems to treat me very well. I love playing on the West Coast. One of my favorite places to be. Feel like my game’s actually really in pretty good shape.
I played really well at Maui and then just didn’t quite have a few good breaks here or there, a few bad breaks and didn’t quite convert on a lot of opportunities I had. This week I feel like I’m hitting the ball as good as I’ve ever hit it. Feel really confident with what’s going on in my long game. All it comes down to this week is whether you make those key 10-footers or not.
Pretty much turns into a putting contest every year because there’s so many birdie opportunities. So that traditionally suits my game pretty well, so I’m excited about the rest of the week. -2014

Q. Obviously, you had success across the street at Q-School here, success here, what is it that works for these courses the style, the weather, do you like mountains, what’s the deal?
BRIAN GAY:
It’s everything. It’s a pretty special place for me. Getting my card here in the fall of 1998 at Q-School and I always enjoyed coming here. And being from the South it was really super cool thing to come here back then for the first time to play up against the mountains and I thought it was super cool then. And the golf courses are fantastic and they’re always in great shape. Just enjoy playing here. -2014

Q. You’ve been top 10 here twice in the last three years. What is it about these courses that click with you?
RYAN PALMER:
When you get obviously perfect weather, and perfect greens, and I feel like I’m a pretty good putter, and I can make a lot of birdies in a round. I enjoy coming here. I have a good feeling when I get here so I’m always at ease when I’m here in my mind. I’ve got some great people we stay with and have a good time with.
That’s over at Indian Wells. And I just, I look back on the success I had here and the round I’ve shot, and I’m able to carry that over and then obviously, playing good last week helped. So, if I keep hitting the driver the way I’m hitting it, I can get out there pretty good and have a lot of short irons in and keep putting good and I tend to play pretty well here. -2014

Q. You’re the second person I talked to who said the greens over there are as good as they have seen?
ZACH JOHNSON:
I mean they’re like this every year, but they’re as good as I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those places where especially inside of 15 feet I would say if you miss the putt it’s not because of the green. It’s because you didn’t hit it the right line. -2014

All quotes from ASAPsports.com unless otherwise noted.

PGA TOUR Q-School Finals History

*History when played at PGA West’s TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament Course

Q School History

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