The first tournament in 2019 in the mainland United States gets underway at the 50th edition of the Desert Classic in La Quinta, California. Last year, Jon Rahm claimed his 2nd career PGA Tour victory in a playoff over Andrew Landry. Rahm returns to defend his title against a strong field, which includes past Desert Classic winners Jason Dufner, Bill Haas, and Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson. Other notables include two-time major champion Zach Johnson, three-time PGA Tour winner and California native Pat Perez, and 6-time PGA Tour champ Hunter Mahan, who regained full status for this season via the Web.com Tour Finals.
The TPC Stadium Course at PGA West will host this event for the fifth time, and the fourth year in a row. A Pete Dye design, it still produces plenty of low scores, as 20-under par or better has won this event since it has been played exclusively at this golf course.
Players to Watch:
Marc Leishman: The Aussie has had a great start to the 2018-2019 season. A win at the CIMB Classic combined with a T4 and a T3 in his last two events has him 3rd in the FedEx Cup standings. Don’t be surprised to see him challenge the leaderboard this week.
Andrew Putnam: Fresh off a runner-up finish last week in Hawaii, Putnam is having a great follow up to his best season on the PGA Tour, where he narrowly missed the TOUR Championship. A strong finish this week could be a catalyst to an even better season.