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Brandon Harkins turns his attention to the California desert as he prepares for this week's CareerBuilder Challenge.

The PGA TOUR rookie is 5-for-6 to kickoff the season. He's landed inside the top 30 in four of those cuts made. The key has been fast starts as he's found himself T20 or better in each of his last four starts. Harkins has shown an ability to have an all-around game, gaining 3.1 strokes off-the-tee at the Shriners, gaining 3.3 strokes approaching-the-green at the Shriners, gaining 2.4 strokes around-the-green at the Safeway, and gaining 6.7 strokes putting last week at the Sony. It's asking a lot for all those tools to match up in the same week, but he's proven to have all the tools needed to succeed. The California State University-Chico product should enjoy a return to his home state this week.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 12:13 PM

Hudson Swafford reached 20-under 268 during last year's CareerBuilder Challenge en route to victory, returning this week for his first chance to defend a PGA TOUR title.

The Georgia Bulldog roared out of the gate with a 7-under 65 (La Quinta CC) on day one last year to find himself in a share of second place. He moved over to the Nicklaus Tournament Course and replicated the score to find himself alone at the top. Swafford had to fend off the charge from Adam Hadwin who fired a 59 on Saturday but Swafford's 20-under 268 was one stroke better than Hadwin come Sunday night. Swafford hit a rough patch following the win but he's rounding back into form with nine straight cuts made heading into this week. Gamers should not be afraid to reinvest in the big-hitting 30-year-old.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 11:58 AM

Justin Rose heads to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC looking to break his so-near-but-yet-so-far record in the region.

Rose has made just two previous visits to the course and tournament, enough to suggest that he likes it well enough to win, but only if he can keep one pesky round out of the log book. On debut in 2013 he started like a train, pegging 67-69-68 to lead by two with 18 holes to play; a final round 71 saw him fall one swing shy of the winning total. Two years later he stymied himself with an opening 73 before cutting through the field with two 69s and a Sunday 65 for T12. He might argue that he is due a win in the U.A.E. because he has four second placed finishes there and was last seen in the country leading after 54 holes before finishing T4 in the DP World Tour Championship. Two wins late in 2017 proved his summer hard work was pushing him in the right direction. Looks likely to be a threat.
Jan 16 - 10:25 AM

2013 winner Jamie Donaldson will want to rekindle his affection for Abu Dhabi Golf Club when he tees it up at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

That win came flush in the middle of a period when the Welshman's career was at its height. That year and the next he'd finish top five on the Race to Dubai, but of late that has changed. He was 87th in 2016, 99th last year, but the manner of his card retention (a superb top five at Valderrama, a venue he had always struggled at) was a boost and he's had a solid enough start to the 2018 season, including T23 in the Hong Kong Open and T34 last week at Glendower. He's 9-for-10 on the course, with a second best effort of T9 in 2015.
Jan 16 - 10:24 AM

Hideto Tanihara will make his tournament debut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week at Abu Dhabi GC.

The Japanese golfer was key to Asia building a pre-final series lead in the EurAsia Cup, as he claimed two points from the opening sets of matches, but on Sunday he dropped his point to Henrik Stenson. Nonetheless it was further proof that he's a solid performer on the European Tour stage and his second full year will be of interest after some genuinely impressive efforts in 2017. That said he has no course experience to fall back on and doesn't have the greatest record in the United Arab Emirates: he was T54 in last year's DP World Tour Championship and has twice missed the cut in the Dubai Desert Classic. Last seen on the tour logging T31 in the Hong Kong Open and a week later T13 on the Japan Tour.
Jan 16 - 10:21 AM

2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship winner Robert Rock returns to Abu Dhabi GC, hoping to reignite memories of his career high point.

Prior to, and since, the 2012, Rock has a pretty poor tournament record: In nine starts he has made four cuts, has a best of T26, and averaged more than 30 putts per round. But in 2012 everything came together, so much so that he even went toe-to-toe with Tiger Woods in the final round and emerged triumphant (Woods won 8 of his next 32 starts). In the run-up to that success he pegged three straight top 12 finishes, including in the U.A.E. at the DP World Tour Championship. He was fairly recently T4 in the Dunhill Links and T8 in the Andalucia Masters, but it's not quite the same and he's a little off what was his career best form six years ago.
Jan 16 - 10:20 AM

Chad Campbell looks to snap out of a slump as he preps for this week's CareerBuilder Challenge.

Campbell is 4-for-6 to start the new season but two of those were aided by a no-cut format. The 43-year-old is going through a rough patch, finishing outside the top 30 in his last 10 starts, dating back to last year's Barbasol Championship (T18). The flat stick is never his strongest asset but it's gone even colder recently, losing 2.5 or more strokes putting in five of his last seven starts with measured rounds. In his favor, Campbell finished T6 here last year so perhaps this could be a good spot to return to form.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 9:01 AM

Sung Kang returns from a fun week at the EurAsia Cup and will get right to work at this week's CareerBuilder Challenge.

Kang was a big part of the early success for Team Asia last week. Paired up with Poom Saksansin on day one, the duo ripped apart Henrik Stenson and Alex Levy en route to a 5-and-4 victory. The same duo lost to Thomas Pieters and Matthew Fitzpatrick on Saturday but Kang halved his match with Fitzpatrick on Sunday. After a promising start, Europe prevailed in the end. Despite the lengthy travel, Kang should be well prepared this week. He shared some videos a few weeks ago of him practicing at PGA WEST. Gamers should give Kang a long look in deeper formats as he tries to build on last year's breakout season.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 16 - 8:52 AM

Dustin Johnson will make a second appearance in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC, hoping to retain the form he closed last season's renewal with.

Twelve months ago Johnson made his tournament debut and could only muster a round one level-par 72. It left him T75 and eight swings back of the lead. A Friday 68 got him inside the cut line (T38), but he remained those eight shots back. Cue a weekend 64-68, a 12-under last 36-hole total which bettered by three anything the rest of the field could manage as he raced into a tie for second. Add it to his dominant eight-shot victory in the season-opening Tournament of Champions and you can understand why he is the bookmakers favorite. Possible chinks in the armour? Travel: he's had to get from Hawaii to the U.A.E. In this day and age, part of the job though. More realistically, perhaps, the field will remember how he blew his six shot 54-hole lead in the HSBC Champions. Flipside of that is that we've learned that whilst they might recall it, he's unlikely to.
Jan 16 - 5:35 AM

Dylan Frittelli will be seeking to maintain his newly discovered desert form when he tees it up in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC this week.

This time last year the South African posted 79-72 here and spent the weekend working on the range. It helped him make the cut in Doha, but he only scratched T42. It was in tune with his Middle East visits on the Challenge Tour. That he ended 2017 finishing T4 in the DP World Tour Championship says so much about how his game and confidence grew between those desert visits. He claimed a win in that period and added the Mauritius Open in December. T20 in the South African Open was a middling effort, but he is probably the next high quality South African to emerge and regularly contending in this grade of event will be his 2018 aim.
Jan 16 - 5:34 AM

Rising star Hao Tong Li is all set to make his debut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC this week.

The Chinese golfer was one of the undoubted stars of last week's EurAsia Cup. He drained a 12'0" final green putt to earn a day one fourball half which gave Asia an end-of-series advantage, added a foursomes triumph on day two and thrashed Paul Dunne 3-and-1 in the singles. It was a performance which ought to only add to the growing confidence of a golfer who has massive potential. This week will be his tournament and course debut, but he was T13 in the DP World Tour Championship so he is not entirely new to the UAE. He ranked fourth for Greens in Regulation that week and topped the Ball-Striking tables at the Hong Kong Open; more of the same will be useful this week.
Jan 16 - 5:33 AM

Paul Dunne will want to rebuild a touch of confidence at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship hosted by the Abu Dhabi GC.

Dunne's first experience of team golf on the pro circuit will have left him with mixed emotions. The thrill will have been great, the victory sweet, but the fact he emerged with a 0-3 record will sting. He was the only member of the team not to add to the winning total. His response will be interesting. Plenty of players would use it as motivation. He arrives at the course with curious memories of this tournament on debut 12 months ago. He opened with rounds of 68-66 to lie T3, just two swings back of the lead, but slumped to weekend laps of 73-77 and T39. He has limited experience of the Middle East: he's 4-for-4 with a best of T21.
Jan 16 - 5:31 AM

Alexander Levy needs to sharpen his record in the desert as he returns to for a sixth appearance in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Abu Dhabi GC.

The Frenchman enjoyed his week playing a part in Europe's success in the EurAsia Cup. On the first day he and Henrik Stenson ran into the birdie-train that was Sung-Hoon Kang and Poom Saksanin, who were 8-under through eight. When Levy made birdie on nine for their first gain he theatrically raised his arms in triumph; a typical gesture of fun and love of the fight which endears him to crowds. He was 1-2 for the week, earning his point in a singles win over Kiradech Aphibarnrat. He doesn't have the greatest record in the Middle East: 17 starts and 7-for-13 when there is a cut (four of those cuts made at Emirates GC). He's 2-for-5 here, but his T20 in 2015 is his Middle East career best.
Jan 16 - 5:30 AM

Patrick Reed and his wife, Justine, welcomed their second child into the world last month, and he'll make his first competitive start since the big event as he preps for this week's CareerBuilder Challenge.

The five-time TOUR winner has been dormant since a T5 at the Hero World Challenge. He was on baby duty that week but his son didn't arrive until the following Wednesday (12/6/2017). Now he returns to a tournament where he owns a victory (2014) and a T12 (2017) in five tries. Only one of the courses used during the 2014 edition is still in the rotation this year (La Quinta CC). Without a win since the 2016 NORTHERN TRUST, Reed will surely be hungry in 2018. The safe play for gamers is to let him shake off the rust and then reinvest early and often. However, he's proven the ability to fire out of the gate without competitive rounds under his belt, winning the 2015 Tournament of Champions after a layoff over a month.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 15 - 7:39 PM

Kevin Streelman takes his talents to La Quinta, California, for his ninth appearance at this week's CareerBuilder Challenge.

Streelman is 5-for-8 at this 54-hole-cut event. It's hard to find the most notable finish as he's ended the week T10 or T11 on three occasions. Most recent was a T11 in 2016, the first year the current course rotation was used. More recently he's posted top 20s in four of his five starts this season. This week will be his first start of the 2018 calendar year, though. Streelman has gained strokes around-the-green in 10 of his last 12 events with ShotLink lasers, making him a very strong candidate to at least make the cut this week in the California desert.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Jan 15 - 7:32 PM



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