Dufner to defend CareerBuilder Challenge crown next week against a field of a dozen event champions including World No. 8 Reed and two-time winner Haas, and two-time major champion Zach Johnson
CareerBuilder Challenge is the PGA TOUR’s first U.S. mainland event in 2017; 156 professionals and 156 amateur golfers tee off January 19-22
LA QUINTA, Calif. – The field of 156 professionals has been determined for the PGA TOUR’s 2017 CareerBuilder Challenge. Jason Dufner will defend his title against 2014 tournament champion and U.S. Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed, 2011 PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs champion Bill Haas and 2007 Masters and 2015 British Open winner Zach Johnson, among others, in the 58th edition of the tradition-steeped event Jan. 18-22.
The CareerBuilder Challenge kicks off the PGA TOUR’s west coast swing as its first U.S. mainland event of the new year, and is heralded by golfers for providing some of the TOUR’s best weather and course conditions at the Stadium and Jack Nicklaus Tournament Courses at PGA WEST and La Quinta Country Club.
World Golf Hall of Famer, 42-time PGA TOUR winner and five-time major champion Phil Mickelson – the CareerBuilder Challenge champion in 2002 and 2004 – is set is assume his role as the CareerBuilder Challenge’s tournament ambassador. Recovering from sports hernia surgery, Mickelson earlier committed to next week’s tournament and is hopeful to play.
Other major champions in the CareerBuilder Challenge field are Dufner (2013 PGA Championship), 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, 2009 British Open winner Stewart Cink and Angel Cabrera, the 2007 U.S. Open and 2009 Masters champion.
Dufner, World No. 8 Reed – the highest-ranking golfer in the field – and two-time event champions Haas (2010 and 2015) and Mickelson are among 12 past CareerBuilder Challenge champions in the field that also include Charley Hoffman (2007 CareerBuilder Challenge winner), Brian Gay (2013), Mark Wilson (2012), Jhonattan Vegas (2011), D.J. Trahan (2008), Chad Campbell (2006), John Cook (1992, 1997) and Mark Brooks (1996).
The CareerBuilder Challenge features quality international flavor through the inclusions of Argentina’s Cabrera and Emiliano Grillo (No. 25 in the world), Italy’s Francesco Molinari (No. 33 in the world) and England’s Andrew “Beef” Johnston, who embarks on his first PGA TOUR regular season and has won golf fans on either side of the Atlantic Ocean with his gargantuan personality and eighth-place finish at the 2016 British Open.
Other prominent internationals include Colombia’s Camilo Villegas, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Spain’s Jon Rahm, the only amateur to make the cut at the 2016 U.S. Open, placed third in his pro debut at the 2016 Quicken Loans National a week later, and begins his first full PGA TOUR season.
“The CareerBuilder Challenge field has come together to feature a very attractive group that is sure to delight our fans,” CareerBuilder Challenge Executive Director and Desert Classic Charities CEO Nick Raffaele said. “We have many accomplished golfers who have won top accolades in the sport, from major champions and past tournament champions to top international golfers and the young guns who have evolved from decorated amateur careers to fierce competitors on the PGA TOUR.”
The CareerBuilder Challenge’s depth of field is evident with the presence of Brendan Steele (No. 4 in the current FedExCup standings), of nearby Idyllwild, Kevin Kisner, four-time PGA TOUR winner Chris Kirk and Scott Piercy and Luke List, both of whom rank in the top 10 in the current FedExCup standings.
Highly-touted PGA TOUR rookies set to play in next week’s CareerBuilder Challenge include 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA individual champion Bryson DeChambeau, 2016 Web.com Tour Player of the Year Wesley Bryan and former amateur World No. 1 Ollie Schniederjans. Aaron Wise, the 2016 NCAA individual champion, is also making his CareerBuilder Challenge debut.
Also making his third consecutive CareerBuilder Challenge appearance, and sixth overall, is Sam Saunders, the grandson of the late Arnold Palmer. Palmer won the first edition of this tournament in 1960 and his five CareerBuilder Challenge titles are the most all time.
Dufner won his fourth PGA TOUR title – his first since claiming the 2013 PGA Championship – at the 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge by shooting 25-under-par 263 through the regulation 72 holes and besting David Lingmerth on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
One of the precious few Pro-Am events remaining on the PGA TOUR, the CareerBuilder Challenge also features 156 amateurs playing with the pros at all three courses over the first three rounds of the event, Jan. 19-21. On-course activities for spectators begin Jan. 18 with the Bob Hope Legacy Pro-Am at the Stadium Course.
CareerBuilder Challenge tickets and complete tournament information are available at www.CareerBuilderChallenge.com. Daily grounds passes start at just $20, and there are options for weekly passes as well as upgraded VIP experiences. All grounds ticket options are eligible for viewing at all tournament courses.
All active duty, reserve, and military retirees, along with one guest, may attend the CareerBuilder Challenge any day for free. Children 15 and under also receive free admission when accompanied by a paying adult (limit 2 children per adult). Daily parking passes ($10) and weekly parking passes ($30, good Jan. 18-22) are also available at www.CareerBuilderChallenge.com.
Chief among the CareerBuilder Challenge’s new amenities enhancing the fan experience will be a concert featuring popular indie-pop band Fitz and the Tantrums after third-round play ends on Jan. 21. As part of the tournament’s “Golf and Guitars” theme, the concert is open to all fans with a Saturday ticket and will take place adjacent to the driving range between the Stadium and Jack Nicklaus Tournament Courses at PGA WEST.
Additionally, all ticketed patrons will have access to the new Casamigos Club 9 lounge, located between holes 1 and 9 at the Stadium Course and featuring a fresh-dining, lounging and relaxation experience. The Casamigos Club 9 lounge will feature a special art preview of the La Quinta Arts Festival from Friday, Jan. 20- Sunday, Jan. 22. Tickets and commemorative posters for the March festival will be on sale at the Casamigos Club 9 lounge during this time. The CareerBuilder Challenge’s main entrance at the Stadium Course at PGA WEST will open up to food trucks (back to the CareerBuilder Challenge for the third consecutive year by popular demand), free fan activities and tournament exhibitors.
The CareerBuilder Challenge – the Coachella Valley’s longest-running charitable event, organized and operated by Desert Classic Charities – has raised more than $57 million for Eisenhower Medical Center and other local charities since its inception as the Palm Springs Golf Classic in 1960.
2017 CareerBuilder Challenge Final Field (156 professionals)