The PGA moves to California this week for the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. This is one of the more unique events on the tour – being played over five separate golf courses, with 18 holes being played on each. The event follows a pro-am format for the first four days, before the amateurs drop out and the pro action begins for the title over the final round.
With the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship also being played out, the field for the Chrysler is often weaker than other events on the tour and many of the big names elect not to compete. Pat Perez will defend the title he won in 2009 against the likes of Mike Weir, Justin Leonard and Tim Clark.
Ryan Moore is a strong contender for the title, having finished sixth in the SBS Championship but has missed two of his last three cuts in this event. Meanwhile Tim Clark could be a likely winner as he seems to excel in shootout matches, and carded a 27-under total last year at this event. Strong and accurate iron play could be key to success and Clark fits the bill.
Justin Leonard comes into the event having missed the cut at the Sony Open but the 2005 title winner has the short-game to put him into contention and finished in the top-10 ranked putters on the Tour in 2009. His easy-going attitude could stand him in good stead amid the none-too-serious atmosphere that prevails during this event.
Chad Campbell gained some momentum going into the Hope after shooting a 66 in his final Sony Open round and will look to build on that this week. He also won the tournament in 2006 so knows what is expected to win.
However, for the winner we look to Canada’s Mike Weir who won the title in 2003 and finished third last year. Although without a tournament win since 2007, Weir’s short game ranks amongst the best in the world and with rain forecast, the ability to land and hold approach shots close to the flag could swing the tournament in favour of the 2003 US Masters champion.