A threesome only a golfer would dream of

Set your DVRs...

It’s hard to describe a player of Rory McIlroy’s caliber as being underrated, but since an ankle injury derailed his 2015 season, Jordan Spieth has stolen McIlroy’s position as golf’s golden boy. McIlroy and Spieth will square off for the first time in 2016 at this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which is sure to be a season-long storyline of golf supremacy.  

The excitement at Abu Dhabi doesn’t stop there as world number 5 Henrik Stenson, world number 6 Rickie Fowler, three-time Abu Dhabi champion Martin Kaymer and amateur standout Bryson DeChambeau also headline this star-studded field.  

You won’t want to miss early round coverage as Abu Dhabi’s organizers have treated golf fans to the aforementioned threesome of Spieth, McIlroy and Fowler for the first two rounds. Early round coverage can be found on The Golf Channel tonight at 9:30 pm and Friday at 1 am (CST).    

Playing a rare second fiddle

The PGA Tour returns to La Quinta for the newly branded “CareerBuilder Challenge” (funny enough, considering the brand’s notoriously confusing job board promises to make any job hunt a challenge). As is tradition, the field will be cut after 54 holes instead of the usual 36, with players playing 3 different courses Thursday, Friday and Saturday.   

This year, the tour is making a change to its 3-course rotation, swapping out PGA West’s Palmer Course for the TPC Stadium Course at PGA West. The Stadium course was voted out of the rotation in 1987 (after its first and only year) by the players for being too hard, making this year’s final round an interesting show of how technology and skill have changed over the years.   

The former Bob Hope Classic’s top headline is the season debut of fan favorite, Phil Mickelson. Mickelson will try and rebound from a couple of disappointing years of golf. Mickelson last won in 2013 at the British Open and has slid to number 36 in the world, his lowest ranking since his second season on tour.  

Our hardboiled picks to click

Stat of the week: 
With the addition of a new course to the rotation, use caution when looking at previous years’ results.  The fried egg’s fantasy savant did some digging and found that the last tournament played on this specific course rotation was the 2012 Q-School, a leaderboard with a lot of familiar names.   

Stud: Patrick Reed
DraftKings Salary: $12,400
Reed is the top-ranked player of the event and former 2014 champion. He ranked in the top 25 in birdie average and strokes gained putting in 2015, two key stats for a tournament that is traditionally a shootout.   Oh yeah, Reed also earned his tour card in 2012.  

Bonus Stud: Matt Jones
DraftKings Salary: $8,900
Our fantasy savant decided to give you a second stud this week because his stats were so similar to the favorite (Reed). Jones also earned his tour card on this rotation of courses in 2012 and finished in the top 25 in birdie average and strokes gained putting in 2015. Jones is making his first start since his win at the Australian Open in December.  

Sleeper: D.H. Lee
DraftKings Salary: $5,900
Who? Lee was the medalist here in the 2012 Q-School and re-earned his card after spending last year on the Web.com tour, where he finished in the top 30 in birdie average and 9th on the money list.   

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Someone call “Cribs”

Age 22 saw the fried egg living in a 1500 sq ft 4-bedroom college apartment with roommates. In contrast, Jordan Spieth just purchased a $7 million home from fellow tour player, Hunter Mahan.  Among other features, Spieth’s new pad has a 12-car garage with an Augusta mural, a trackman simulator, a private gym and a wine cellar. Not too shabby...

The Wednesday Workout

A golfer’s core is fundamental to a consistent and powerful swing.  Unfortunately, most golfers are consistent about neglecting their core. To help, here is a nice variation of a traditional plank that's easy to do at home or in the gym. 

Quick Hooks

Charley Hoffman fires a casual 59.

Fowler considering European Tour membership.

Europe may say ta-ta to trousers?

Jamie Donaldson’s chainsaw massacre