Hey, it also means goodbye as the PGA Tour leaves the Hawaiian Islands for the mainland and a much drier climate in the desert of La Quinta, California.
I see a few nosebleeds in some guys’ near future this weekend as they will be going from a sub-tropical climate to the bone dry barren desert overnight.
There is zero rain in the forecast for Thursday thru Sunday with minimal wind as well that isn’t expected to blow north of 10 mph.
Cool, dry conditions should make for some really low scores. Betting favorite Jon Rahm won here last year but only at (-22).
24 out of the previous 27 winners have finished with a better score.
One of those golfers is Jhonattan Vegas. The Venezuelan won here in 2011 and is quite valuable at (+8000).
FedEx Cup Champion Justin Rose makes his first appearance on the Tour in 2019 this week and I expect the Brit to be in proper form as he completely smoked the end of 2018 including a successful Fall Series.
Check out Justin here sharpening his axe during an absolutely gorgeous golden hour.
No filter! Love this time of day…. ? pic.twitter.com/WcK4i5jMjZ
— Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) January 10, 2019
Formerly a 90-hole tournament, the pro-am is now back to the standard 72 but the cut will come after the 3rd round this week, not the 2nd.
The tourney will be played on three different courses in SoCal’s Coachella Valley. They will play one course per round for the first three days then return to Thursday’s links, the La Quinta Country Club, for the final round on Sunday.
BetOnline has a few betting options available for you.
Today, I wanted to share with you my 3 best bets for the entire tournament.
Hadwin vs Howell III
Both of these golfers seem to play this course at a high level year-after-year. It’s Adam Hadwin, though, that has been lights out on these sets of links for three years straight finishing 6th, 2nd, and 3rd.
Hadwin is also the younger man. He isn’t so young, though, at 31 to where maturity during time off could come into play.
Charles Howell III is playing hot right now, but he is coming off playing two weeks in the warm humid weather of Hawaii while Hadwin only played last week in Honolulu.
Hadwin has outplayed Howell III in the past three years at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Let’s make it fore!
Swafford vs Glover
Here’s another matchup I really like. Swafford won this tournament two years ago in 2018 and finished tied for 3rd at the Sony Open last week.
The Fall Series was an ugly one for the Georgia Bulldog Hudson as he averaged 50th place in five starts from October through November.
2019 is a new year, though, and it sounds like the 31-year-old Hudson made a resolution to not stink it up shooting 17 under in Honolulu last week including a final round of 64.
Glover is nearly 40 years old, but shouldn’t be too fatigued as he hasn’t played a tournament in 2 months.
Unlike his foe Swafford, Lucas Glover had a great Fall Series averaging a 12th place finish over 4 tourneys.
That was last year, though. I’ll take the recent 3rd place last week and 1st place at this tourney a couple years ago over someone who hasn’t played competitively in 2 months.
Rose vs Rahm
I don’t care who it’s against, you give me the world’s best golfer at even money to outplay one man and I’m immediately interested.
Rahm is the favorite and won here last year, albeit with one of the lowest winning scores in the history of the tournament.
Rose recently signed with a new club sponsor, Honma after leaving TaylorMade.
With nothing but good things to say about his new clubs, I’m sure he has been “unofficially” practicing with them for a while now.
Even though this will be Justin’s first Tour appearance in 2019, his recent tourney resume is still better than anyone in the field.
Rose will be 39 this year. Let’s hope his maturity lent itself to focus over his 6-week holiday break.
The 2019 Desert Classic is played on 3 different courses, so we can likely expect a few lead changes throughout the weekend.
I couldn’t find any top 10 or top 20 finishing odds. I really like those as trying to pick a winner can be a daunting task. Even when choosing 3-5 golfers, you’re often left empty-handed.
Your wagers probably aren’t huge as 90% of the field is usually (+1000) or better on a given week, but I want you to be able to get at least a couple victories per tournament.
We will be able to pick some winners this year, but it likely won’t be every week.
The Tournament of Champions was a successful one for my picks. I didn’t get the winner but out of three guys total, two golfers managed a top ten and a top twenty finish, respectively. The sleeper Brian Harman, though, failed to make the cut.
This week, though, let’s pull for Rose, Hadwin, and Swafford!
Get your picks in soon. The 2019 Desert Classic tees off around noon Eastern on Thursday.