Silverado Resort & Spa, North Course, Napa Valley, California. There'll be some wine consumption, so the hangover factor could be in play.
7,203 yards, par 72
Defending champion: Emiliano Grillo. The 24 year old Argentinian shot -15 and won in a playoff over Kevin Na, a perennial second place finisher.
Weather: Not that great, surprisingly, as of today. Thursday, 65, overcast, minimal chance of rain, wind 10 MPH; Friday, Rain, 100%, 62, wind 9 MPH; Saturday, Rain, 100%, 61, wind 21 MPH; Sunday, 60% chance, 60, wind 14 MPH. Makes the course a lot tougher if this forecast holds up.
TV: Thursday-Friday, Golf Channel, 4-8 PM ET/3-7PM CT. Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel, 5-8 PM ET/4-7 PM CT
Key storyline is that Tiger Woods committed to the tournament then decided his game, "just wasn't there." Nice, Eldrick. Phil is playing after an ultra successful Ryder Cup performance, so that makes this tournament, with a solid field to begin with, even more interesting. Matt Kuchar is the only other Ryder Cup competitor from the U.S, in the field. Like the tour cranking back up. The weather could blow through and not be a problem, which will allow for good scoring.
No. 1, 436 yards, par 4
Super opening hole. Generous fairway off the tee. The best drive is on the left side, leaving a clear shot to a well guarded green featuring two substantial bunkers, one on each side. There is a false front, so balls that hit the front of the green are coming back down the hill. A good mid to short iron second shot will leave the player with a good shot at birdie.
No. 15, 189 yards, par 3
The player is playing through a narrow shoot of trees surrounding the tee shot, then he has to clear a pretty substantial lake to a wide, but not deep green with bunkers in the back. Pretty challenging hole. Par is a good score here, birdie is a bonus.
No.16, 571, par 5
The beginning of the home stretch. The final three holes give the players an excellent chance to move up the leaderboard. Players who hit the fairway off the tee have a very good shot of going for the green in two and successfully reaching it. The shorter hitters, may go for it in three shots and hit a sand or lob wedge in close for a birdie on their third shots. Very birdieable hole.
No. 17, par 4, 375
This hole is considered the most picturesque hole on the course, so hopeful there will be some better weather this weekend so we can see this awesome looking course and hole. A large grove of redwood trees protect the left side of the green. Players who draw it too much off the tee can find their approach shots blocked by the redwoods. A drive to the oak tree on the right leaves players with a good shot at going aggressively at the green and playing for a key birdie. A left to right cut off the tee seems necessary here.
No. 18, 575 yards, par 5
A good right to left drive off the tee here will leave the players with a good chance to reach the green in two. A bunker that is deceptive and hard to see and labeled a "ghost bunker" will come into play for any miss-hit approach. The large and relatively flat green has some very subtle breaks requiring an eagle eye for reading it. Plenty of fireworks on Sunday on the last four holes.
Last year's winner certainly in the conversation to win this weekend. Excellent player who could be elite in the future.
The 24 year old from Vestavia Hills, Alabama captured his first title at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last year in the fall of '15 and took home a $1.15 million paycheck. Smylie had a good year, and, like Emiliano, has a very bright future on tour.
The 46 year old native of San Diego is at his semi-home turf. He was 2-1-1 at the epic 41st Ryder Cup and is still on a mission to win more tournaments and another major or two. Love that. He was masterful in his match with Sergio at Hazeltine, shooting an estimated 63 with 10 birdies on the day. Amazingly, Sergio had 9 and they halved the match. I like where Phil's game is, particularly his putter. Certainly in the hunt.
The 27 year old stud from Salt Lake has got all the tools to win big on the tour, starting this year. He won the Puerto Rico Open in late March of last year, and is in the hunt quite a bit. This is another exciting 20 something player. If his putter is on, he's stellar with the flat stick.
I'm going with this 23 year old. He finished tied for third here last year at -14, one shot off getting in a playoff. He then won the CIMB Classic Malaysia in November. He's got a super, long game, and I'm predicting his putter to be on. He's pretty close to Spieth if not equal to him in talent. I'd say he's just as good. I'll take the University of Alabama product this week.
Tomorrow: Week 7 College football previews and predictions
LSU needs to step up to that plate and play Florida at Florida Saturday, November 19th. We need to see this game, and the SEC needs this game played for fairness in the standings. LSU needs to do the honorable thing and the right thing and go to Gainesville on Nov. 19th. The SEC will pay for the out of conference games that both teams will need to cancel, LSU vs. South Alabama, though that's a pretty good game it's not as important as an SEC matchup that could have some determination in the SEC East and West. And Florida has a home game vs. Presbyterian, so that is definitely doable. As my father in law says, LSU needs to "tough it out."