Updated: January 19, 2017 12:01 am
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri shrugged off the disappointment of the previous week, as he geared up to tee off at the CareerBuilder Challenge in La Quinta. The PGA Tour makes its first stop on the mainland after two weeks in Hawaii, where Justin Thomas made a sweep of both events.
At the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jason Dufner is the defending champion. Lahiri will play with Luke List and two other amateurs at the Nicklaus Course and they will start from the tenth tee. The first three rounds will feature pros with the amateurs.
Last year at the same event, Lahiri opened his 2016 season and finished Tied-28th. This week three courses are in the rotation – PGA WEST (TPC Stadium); PGA WEST (Nicklaus Private) and La Quinta Country Club. These courses will be played in rotation over the first three rounds, with the Stadium Course hosting all final-round play.
A total of 156 players will tee up and the cut will be applied after 54 holes to top 70 and ties, and the purse this week is USD 6 million. The tournament, formerly known as the Bob Hope, has been a PGA Tour staple since 1960. Even though he was uncertain till a couple of days ago, Phil Mickelson features in the field after undergoing two sports-hernia surgeries during the offseason. He is the Ambassador of the tournament.
His last appearance was at the Safeway Open, where he was Tied-eighth, so there could be some rust. But he has a great record at this event – five career top 10s, including a T-3 last year, and 11 straight cuts made. Defending champion Jason Dufner is back, his victory last year at the CareerBuilder was part of a solid season for the veteran.
He missed just two cuts (Phoenix and Augusta) and posted three top 10s after his win in La Quinta, including a T-8 at the Tour Championship. Bill Haas is a lot of people’s favorite this week. Haas has won twice and missed just one cut in 12 career CareerBuilder starts, and was T-9 last year.
Patrick Reed holds the 72-hole scoring record at the CareerBuilder. He posted a 260 to win here in 2014.