Power Rankings: 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge


The 2016 fantasy golf season is off and running, as the PGA Tour heads to California this week for the CareerBuilder Challenge. A field of 156 players will tackle a rotation of three courses: La Quinta Country Club and a pair of newcomers in PGA West's Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course.

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Bill Haas won this event by one shot a year ago over a group of five players. Here are 10 players to watch in Palm Springs:

1. Patrick Reed: Reed had no problem bringing his year-end momentum into a new campaign. After six straight top-10 finishes he added a runner-up result two weeks ago in Maui, and now Reed returns to an event where he cruised to victory in 2014.

2. Matt KucharKuchar nearly missed the cut at Sony, but he rallied for a T-13 finish after a third-round 62. His record in this event includes seven straight top-25 finishes, highlighted by runner-up results in both 2010 and last year, when he led at the halfway point.

3. Ryan PalmerPalmer has had a love affair with Palm Springs in recent years, with three top-10 finishes in the last four years. He was a runner-up here in 2013, has no problem going low and enters off a T-13 finish at Waialae.

4. Bill Haas: Haas has won this event twice since 2010, including last year by a shot, and also added a runner-up in 2011 and T-6 finish in 2014. He remains a solid pick during a year when two new courses are introduced. 

5. Zach JohnsonJohnson got off to a slow start with new equipment in Maui, but he rebounded with a T-9 finish last week in Honolulu. Johnson missed the cut here a year ago but before that tallied four straight top-25 finishes, including a T-3 finish in 2014.

6. Webb SimpsonSimpson was among the large T-13 logjam at Sony, and he now tees it up at an event where he has cracked the top 25 in four of six prior trips. That includes a T-7 finish last year when he closed with a 64.

7. Charles Howell III: Howell had a quietly strong fall, and he picked up right where he left off last week at Sony (T-13), where he thrived at one of his favorite venues. That's now four straight top-25s, and his record here is highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. 

8. Kevin NaNa lacks the recent success at this event of some of the players on this list, but his is a deserving spot after he spent the fall doing everything but win a golf tournament. Multiple brushes with the lead across a variety of courses showed that his game can travel, and that Na is ready to end his victory drought soon.

9. Charley HoffmanHoffman can be hit-or-miss, but when he's on he can contend anywhere. That includes Palm Springs, where he actually has found a bit of consistency in recent years: T-10 in 2013, T-9 in 2014 and a runner-up a year ago.

10. David LingmerthIt's hard to believe that three years have passed since Lingmerth surged into a playoff in Palm Springs. He is now a far more accomplished player, though, with a PGA Tour title to his credit and now four top-15 finishes in six worldwide starts since October.