Phil Mickelson's status tops CareerBuilder Challenge storylines

Phil Mickelson's status tops CareerBuilder Challenge storylines

PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson's status tops CareerBuilder Challenge storylines

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This week on the PGA Tour: the CareerBuilder Challenge.

  • Where: PGA West (Par-72,113-yard TPC Stadium Course and Par-72, 7,159-yard Nicklaus Tournament Course); Par-72, 7,060-yard La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif.
  • When: Thursday-Sunday
  • Who: 156 players, cut after 54 holes to top 70 and ties (low 60 and ties if 78 or more players finish above the initial cut line)
  • Why: $5.8 million purse; $1.044 million and 500 FedEx Cup points to winner

On The Tee: This Week’s Top 5 Storylines

LEFTY A QUESTION MARK: As of Tuesday afternoon, Phil Mickelson is still in the field this week, though he remains questionable after undergoing two sports-hernia surgeries during the offseason. Should he play, fans of Lefty should expect some rust. However, Mickelson, whose last Tour start was a T-8 at the Safeway Open last fall, does have a great track record at this event – five career top 10s, including a T-3 last year, and 11 straight cuts made.

DUF’S DEFENSE: Jason Dufner’s victory last year at the CareerBuilder was part of a solid season for the veteran. He missed just two cuts (Phoenix, Augusta) and posted three top 10s after his win in La Quinta, including a T-8 at the Tour Championship.

HAAS THE FAVORITE: Bill Haas is a lot of people’s favorite this week – and for good reason. Haas has won twice and missed just one cut in 12 career CareerBuilder starts, and was T-9 last year. He’s the event’s all-time money leader ($2,974,215) and holds a 68.08 scoring average in 54 career rounds here. He enters on a roll, too: T-13, T-13, T-4 and T-20 in last four worldwide starts.

PAST CHAMP PAT: Patrick Reed holds the 72-hole scoring record at the CareerBuilder. He posted a 260 to win here in 2014. Since then, Reed has finished T-24 and T-56 in La Quinta. Reed also seems to be getting over his Ryder Cup hangover. After not cracking the top 40 in three starts (not including the 18-man Hero World Challenge) since the Ryder Cup, Reed was T-6 in last start, at Kapalua.

THE COURSES: This week, three courses will be used. Players will play one round each on PGA West’s TPC Stadium Course, PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course and La Quinta Country Club. For those who make the 54-hole cut, they will play the final round on the Stadium Course. Both PGA West courses are in their second year back on the rota. The Stadium Course was used previously for one year in 1987. La Quinta has been part of the rota 46 times now.

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