Games

2019 PGA Tour schedule: A guide to the West Coast swing and Tiger Woods’ return

The PGA Tour season by no means actually ends. There could also be a couple of weeks it goes into hibernation round the holidays, however that’s it. The “season” now wraps round two totally different years and simply goes on and on with enjoying alternatives out there for its members virtually year-round.

There are a number of categorical sections we will discern in the fixed march. There are totally different “swings” comparable to the Florida swing or Hawaii swing and then there’s, in fact, the all-important “Playoffs” at the finish, which can now come earlier than Labor Day and keep away from being swallowed entire by soccer. We at the moment are getting into the West Coast swing, the annual five-week stretch in California and Arizona which will simply be the greatest cluster on the whole schedule (it’s undoubtedly the greatest).

There’s no main championship snapping the sports activities world’s consideration to golf and most of the nation is frozen occupied with soccer and basketball, however this stretch consists of the Tour’s greatest run of venues, fields, and custom. The West Coast swing has all of it, even in the event you’re not absolutely paying consideration to golf but. It additionally marks the return of Tiger Woods, who yearly comes again to the Tour at Torrey Pines and will achieve this once more in 2019.

Right here’s your schedule for this yr.

The 2019 West Coast swing

Date Event Venue Purse Date Event Venue Purse Jan 17 to Jan 20 Desert Basic TPC Stadium Course at PGA West — La Quinta, CA $5,900,000 Jan 24 to Jan 27 Farmers Insurance coverage Open Torrey Pines – South Course — La Jolla, CA $7,100,000 Jan 31 to Feb three Waste Administration Phoenix Open TPC Scottsdale – Stadium Course — Scottsdale, AZ $7,100,000 Feb 7 to Feb 10 AT&T Pebble Seashore Professional-Am Pebble Seashore — Pebble Seashore, CA $7,600,000 Feb 14 to Feb 17 Genesis Open Riviera Nation Membership — Pacific Palisades, CA $7,400,000

With such a pleasant, delineated portion of the schedule to look at, we determined to kick round a couple of subjects and potential dialogue factors for the subsequent 5 weeks. It’s an ideal stretch for the PGA Tour, even in the event you’re not precisely prepared to bounce headfirst into the golf season.

Occasion you’re most enthusiastic about is …

Brendan: Riviera. That is the greatest stretch on the schedule, for my part, and there are a number of nice occasions. However the reply to this can all the time be Riviera. It’s certainly one of the uncommon venues on the PGA Tour rota that’s value a pilgrimage, in the similar means you may go go to a well-known venue in one other sport, similar to Wrigley Subject or Lambeau Area. It’s that good. You’re dropped in a canyon in the center of Los Angeles that boasts one among the nice basic programs in the nation. Additionally, the area continues to be completely loaded. Each prime participant from throughout the world needs to come to the solely cease in LA and now that Tiger’s basis is internet hosting it, they get the Tiger bounce too. That is the PGA Tour’s greatest occasion, even together with The Gamers.

Kyle: Scottsdale, child. You possibly can have your traditionalism at Riv. That’s superb, it’s a very good occasion. The Individuals’s Open is and will all the time be precisely what I need a trendy golf event to appear to be. It’s loud and silly and boorish and gauche and there’s a music pageant on-site. It’s an occasion, not a golf event — and the pomp and circumstance (?) of numerous 32-year-old mutual fund wholesalers named Chad getting drunk in a desert is one thing I can’t cross up. I’m making my first pilgrimage this yr.

Oh, and yeah, the finishes are often nice even when 15 holes of the course are somewhat forgettable.

Tiger returns, once more, at Torrey and Riv and he’ll …

Brendan: I feel Tiger makes the reduce at Torrey, finishes round 30th, and then misses the minimize at Riviera. It’s been awhile since we noticed him in competitors and he didn’t precisely mild it up after his Tour Championship win. I feel he begins the yr easing his means into it and Torrey shouldn’t be precisely an ideal match for his recreation anymore. Regardless of his saying it matches his eye, he’s by no means carried out nicely at Riviera, the place bombers have a definite benefit. Tiger will attempt to whale away and get caught up in the sycamores and eucalyptus. I so, so dangerous need him to present out at Riviera and mild it up in LA however I don’t assume it occurs this yr. He’s going to get some reps with an eye fixed on Augusta.

Kyle: My expectations are truthfully through-the-floor low. I’m anticipating a little bit of a regression from that Tour Championship mania to begin this yr. Certainly we flew too shut to the solar in 2018 with the close to misses at Birkdale and Bellerive, and the win at East Lake, proper? Cat’s had an extended layoff, appeared considerably shaky in each The Match and Hero World Problem. You hit on all of his struggles at Riv, and I’ll agree that growing older Tiger isn’t constructed for Torrey’s milquetoast size anymore. I’ll go CUT-CUT to begin the yr, although I don’t assume it’ll be something value extrapolating an excessive amount of from. It’s golf, type fluctuates, he’ll be positive.

One participant who completely wants to play nicely …

Brendan: I don’t assume anybody completely has to play nicely. It’s the first quarter of the season and what occurs in February can imply little for April by way of July. However Jordan Spieth positive might use some constructive rounds. I feel he’s the one participant most in the crosshairs at the begin of the yr and his feedback at the Sony Open did little to instill confidence that he’s shut to figuring it out. He sounded misplaced and even resigned at occasions. He has added Torrey Pines to the schedule for the first time in a couple of years, and has gained at Pebble Seashore, the place he all the time exhibits up to shake palms as the title sponsor’s golden boy. If he misses each reduce till March, I nonetheless assume he can present up to Augusta and win together with his recreation in shambles and full trash of a statistical profile. However each spherical and assembly with the press he has till then gained’t be notably carefree if he bombs on the West Coast swing.

Kyle: Thought train: I’m going to ask you to rattle off an inventory of 30-something PGA Tour execs which have gained precisely one time on Tour in the final three seasons. Appear troublesome? Unattainable? In fact it’s! That record accommodates a bunch of simply, uh, guys — and additionally Rickie Fowler.

That’s proper! Considered one of America’s largest golf “stars” has the similar variety of Tour wins as Aaron Baddeley and Ted Potter, Jr. over the final three seasons. He’s now 30. He has 4 profession PGA Tour wins. Sure, he contends. Sure, he’s an elite-level expertise. However, how lengthy are we going to maintain this up? At what level do you simply turn out to be Chris Kirk with a motocross bike?

Profitable at Riv or in Scottsdale gained’t get the burden off Rick’s again, however what it’d do is heat up a little bit of confidence upstairs if he finds himself in rivalry at a serious in 2019. Is that this the yr he lastly breaks via at the WMPO after close to misses every of the final three years?

Waste Management Phoenix Open - Final Round

Rickie throughout one other shut name at the Phoenix Open.Photograph by Christian Petersen/Getty Pictures

An underrated participant or story you most need to see pop …

Brendan: Can I curiosity you in a Steve Marino comeback arc!? No? OK, properly I’m on this. I did a double take once I noticed him in the subject at the Sony and it seems Marino is in comparatively ok well being and form to play a full PGA Tour schedule right here at the prime of the yr. He’s on the subject listing for the Desert Basic, Torrey Pines, Phoenix Open, and Pebble Professional-Am. That’s a rattling full run for Marino, who’s a little bit of an off-course legend and everyman that I might love to see pop once more on the PGA Tour. We’d like extra characters!

The rookie (or sophomore) you most need to watch …

Brendan: The apparent and right reply right here is Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, the 37-year-old Mexican with the most triumphant story of getting to the PGA Tour in the league’s historical past. It’s a rattling inspiration and everybody must be rooting for the rookie to get a win on this West Coast swing to lock up a spot in the Masters. However outdoors of that apparent selection, I’ll go together with Chris Thompson, the 42-year-old rookie that goes utterly towards the development of the trendy recreation. Thompson might not bubble with character and he’s precisely the sort of rookie the Tour does NOT need to promote. They need the 22-year-old that hits it 350 yards. There are dozens of these robots coming to plug in to the newest Reside Beneath Par advert, so for now, I’ll watch and root for Thompson to make some noise on the best tour in the world.

Kyle: Sorry, yell at me, high-quality. I do know the cool and scorching factor to do is lament the impact of Drivebots on at present’s recreation, however I’ll mainline all the Cam Champ you’ll be able to probably provide me. I’m all in on a freakish athlete who flies the ball miles previous different lengthy hitters on tour, particularly one with a backstory as fascinating as Champ’s. He’s already gained as soon as this yr, and I’ll be extra stunned if it doesn’t occur once more this yr.

Sentry Tournament of Champions - Round Two

Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Pictures

Brendan: I’m very into that, too! I used to be simply on the lookout for some non-Champ reply. He can be superior to watch, particularly at these venues.

One factor or individual that may get loads of consideration that you simply simply don’t care about …

Brendan: I’m verrrry fearful that the suffocating mainstream golf media goes to choke the pleasure out of following Hosung Choi, in the event that they haven’t already completed so. Choi can be a deal with to watch at Pebble Seashore. The one story I’m already sick of is placing with the pin nonetheless in the cup. That’s going to proceed to get numerous love as CBS joins the broadcast fray and extra and extra followers tune in for the first time this yr. I’m over it. It’s effective and cool and let’s transfer on from speaking about the new guidelines.

Kyle: Bryson. I’m uninterested in Bryson. The bit is previous. I’m uninterested in the placing with the pin in, I’m uninterested in the carefully-crafted pseudoscience used to develop model energy for Cobra/Puma, I’m uninterested in the driving-range psychological breakdowns which are positive to come, I’m uninterested in the “Well, Christ Had Haters Too” angle towards anybody who dare doubt his clear grift in the identify of physics. I urge you to get this man off my tv, till somebody lastly asks his ideas on international warming throughout a press convention.

Will Johnny Miller cry at the Phoenix Open?

Brendan: Sure. Regardless of his spicy commentary and gruff exterior, I feel Johnny is an emotional softie and that is the finish of a legendary run. Additionally, keep in mind when he oddly obtained choked up speaking about Keegan Bradley at the finish of final yr’s BMW Championship? That was one among the weirder and extra sudden turns of the 2018 season.

Kyle: No. Completely not. I current you this quote on why he made Phoenix his final cease, by way of Golf Digest:

“I was always known as the ‘Desert Fox.’ My best golf, besides that final round at Oakmont, came in the desert, especially in 1975 when I won by 14 shots in Phoenix and by nine shots in Tucson. I was playing at a level of golf those two weeks as good or better than I’ve ever seen anyone hit the ball.”

Emotion and reflection requires self-awareness, of which John has none. We’d have him no different means.

One loopy prediction or spicy take …

Brendan: Jordan Spieth doesn’t make a minimize on the West Coast swing and somebody proclaims he’s utterly washed. Phil Mickelson wins in Phoenix, and consistent with custom, does so in a playoff towards Hideki Matsuyama that runs into the halftime present of the Tremendous Bowl.

Kyle: Cam Champ wins once more earlier than we head to Florida, and an entire bunch of individuals throw approach, method an excessive amount of cash on him at the Superbook earlier than we get to Augusta.