The Honma Man – Fresh off a high-profile equipment change, Justin Rose will make his first start in the United States since last September. Rose enters the week #1 in the world and won his last start of 2018 at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Lefty – Also making his first start of the season is “The Match” champion Phil Mickelson. Phil routinely makes his season debut at this event but is coming off a missed cut last season.
Pete Dye – PGA West was a tour initiative in the 1980s when they asked Dye to build an extremely difficult course for the pros to play. The players will also rotate through two other courses this week, but the telecast will center on the Stadium Course. The design famously caused PGA Tour players to vanquish the course off the schedule one year after its opening. Today, it remains a test but hardly what it was in the 80’s. The course is one of the courses that began to shift golf course design trends from penal to strategic.
Rooks – Many tour staples tend to skip this event, and that opens up a lot of spots for the younger guys looking to get starts. The telecast will only show the main Stadium Course, so we should (hopefully) get glimpses of plenty of rookies and up-and-comers this week.
With one and done leagues underway, check out who Paulie likes in the Desert for your league and for DraftKings here.
The Euro Tour begins their 2019 campaign this week with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Known for its world-class fields, this year’s event is no different than its predecessors. Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, two-time defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Haotong Li, Tyrrell Hatton and Thorbjorn Olesen are all in attendance. Fleetwood has captured this event each of the last two years and looks to complete the trifecta this season. Tee Times
Three rounds have been completed at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, and 21-year-old Marty Dou (pronounced “dough”) holds a three-shot lead over John Oda. Dou was a teenage phenom and played all of the 2018 season on the PGA Tour. Oda held the 36-hole lead and sits alone in second place with Billy Kennerly and Willy Wilcox one shot behind him. Leaderboard
LPGA Tournament of Champions
The women return this week as well with the first winners-only event the tour has had in over a decade. Winners of the last two years worth of LPGA events will tee it up in a pro-am format with other celebrities. The field of players will take on Tranquilo Golf Club outside of Orlando and will feature world-class players like Ariya Jutanugarn and Lexi Thompson. Tee Times
Another Masters invitation will be sent out at the end of the week. The 5th edition of the Latin American Amateur gets underway on Thursday, and the winner will be driving down Magnolia Lane in 3 months. Last year’s winner, Joaquin Niemann, already has four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour. Tee Times
Is it easier to create a hole or find a hole in the natural landscape? We asked architects Riley Johns, Ian Andrew, Jeff Mingay, Rob Collins, Mike Cocking, Mike DeVries and Andy Staples their thoughts in the latest edition of Architect’s Roundtable. Read it here.