2014 Humana Challenge Expert Fantasy Picks

GolfStrat’s Expert Fantasy Golf Picks
“2014 Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation”

(Yahoo Sports, PGATour.com, Golf Channel Picks are below)
2013 Finish: 99th Percentile, Yahoo Fantasy Golf
2014 Current: 93rd Percentile, Yahoo Fantasy Golf

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It’s Time for the West Coast Swing!

Now that the Hyundai and Sony tournaments have concluded, it’s on to California. The big winners over the past two weeks have been Zach Johnson and Jimmy Walker. Zach will be playing at the Humana Challenge and is a favorite coming into the week. He’s one of the most underrated pros on tour, with 11 total career victories (and back-to-back wins at the Northwestern Mutual and Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He’s also the hottest player on tour the past 5-6 months. It’s great to watch someone who doesn’t overpower the course play so well in this modern age of golf. These differences in styles between players are what make golf so interesting. This is going to be a great 2014 season.

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Humana Challenge Commentary

The PGA TOUR now moves to California and the Humana Challenge. Given that it is a Pro-Am, the course set up shouldn’t be too challenging, which should lead to lower scores. Don’t be surprised to see several low 60s shot during the Humana Challenge. Also worth pointing out, rookies will need to adjust to three different courses, which should make it challenging for first timers to truly learn the breaks on the greens. Winners tend to have played the old Bob Hope Classic (now the Humana Challenge) several times in order to claim the top prize. The courses have their own unique challenges. While the Palmer course may have the highest scoring average over the past few years, we chalk it up to the fact they play one of the first three rounds as well as the final round at the Palmer course. The last day is typically set up more difficult since the major part of the pro-am is finished by then. La Quinta is typically the toughest track and while some may go low, typically you should avoid starting your golfers during the one round they play at La Quinta. The most noteworthy course dynamic is that the Nicklaus course is typically the easiest course on tour every year. Look to pick Group A, B, and C players that are on different schedules for the first 3 days, so you can start one each day when they’re playing on the Nicklaus. For that reason, we may revise our preliminary picks when the final tee times and course schedule are posted on Wednesday. Good luck this week!

Course summary for the three venues:

  • PGA West – Palmer (6,930 yard, par 72) – host course and final-round competition will take place here.
  • PGA West – Nicklaus (6,951 yard, par 72) – first three rounds.
  • La Quinta Country Club (7,060 yard, par 72) – first three rounds.



DAILY YAHOO FANTASY GOLF STARTERS
Group A
Group B
Group B
Group C
Round 1
Charles Howell III
Webb Simpson
Billy Horschel
Ryan Palmer
Round 1 Notes
  • Charles Howell III will have his only round on the Nicklaus course on Thursday, so we’ll take him over Snedeker for round 1.
  • Webb Simpson and Billy Horschel both play on the Palmer West course, which we view as slightly easier than La Quinta, so we’ll take these two.
  • Ryan Palmer is on Palmer West while Harris English is on La Quinta. We’ll take Palmer for round 1.
Round 2
Brandt Snedeker
Zach Johnson
Keegan Bradley
Harris English
Round 2 Notes
  • Recap from round 1: never seen so many guys hit the ball in the water: Webb Simpson and especially Billy Horschel who dunked it 3 times on par 3’s. Given Ryan Palmer’s solid day, it’s disappointing that Horschel and Howell didn’t perform well on the two easier golf courses.
  • We’re going to stick with our strategy and play the 4 guys at the Nicklaus course tomorrow. We saw Swafford take it deep on Nicklaus so the course is ripe for the picking.
Round 3
Brandt Snedeker
Webb Simpson
Billy Horschel
Ryan Palmer
Round 3 Notes
  • Recap from round 2: a much better day for our starters. The Nicklaus course, which typically averages a stroke lower than the Palmer and 1.5 strokes less than La Quinta lived up to its billing today as Snedeker, Bradley, and English all shot 66 or better.
  • For the 3rd round, we’ll stay with the three guys who are on Nicklaus and start Simpson, Horschel, and Palmer. Snedeker will be our selection in the A group as he’s playing Palmer. Let’s hope Simpson can find some game and Palmer can catch Reed heading into round 4.
  • We played against Ryan Palmer in college and the guy is one of the best players we’ve ever seen, especially in windy conditions. We don’t know how he hasn’t done better throughout his career thus far. If he notches a win this week, we’ll love him ever more.
Round 4
Charles Howell III
Zach Johnson
Keegan Bradley
Ryan Palmer
Round 4 Notes
  • Recap from round 3: It feels like it’s been a very long week. TV and internet coverage have been poor due to the amateurs and the three courses. The final round should be a littler cleaner in terms of our viewing experience. Those who started Reed have pulled way ahead this week, and the rest of us are treading water at about where we started the week.
  • Let’s start Palmer one last time and see what he can do on a course he scorched a few days ago. He’s got the incentive to go out and get the birdies rolling quickly and hope Reed falls back to the pack.
  • Snedeker couldn’t hit a fairway today which kept him from going low. We’ll start Howell in the final round as he’s been hitting the ball better.
  • Finally, we’ll go with Mr. Keegan “Ace” Bradley and Zach Johnson, who will finish up a three week stretch but is putting well and hitting nearly every fairway.


YAHOO SPORTS FANTASY PICKS
Player
Recent Finishes
“Humana” Finishes
Comments
(A) Brandt Snedeker (11) Hyundai TOC
(55) HSBC
(20) Tour Championship
(8) BMW Championship
(23) 2013
(8) 2012
(CUT) 2011
(10) 2010
He had a good first start at Hyundai. His ability to make tons of birdies and scramble from 30+ yards should serve him well with so many reasonable length par 5’s. Plus, he’s done well here in the past.
(A) Charles Howell III (8) Sony Open
(6) OHL Mayakoba
(27) McGladrey
(7) CIMB
(2) 2013
(49) 2012
(13) 2011
(26) 2010
Played well the last three rounds at Sony. He almost won here last year, so he should be ready to go again now that he’s shaken off the rust. His scrambling ability should aid him in getting up and down for birdies on the par 5’s.
(B) Zach Johnson (8) Sony Open
(1) Hyundai TOC
(1) Northwestern Mutual
(16) McGladrey
(40) Shriners
(23) 2013
(8) 2012
(20) 2004
Disappointing 8th place finish at Sony, however he just missed 4-5 putts that could have fallen. He’ll take his laser focus and see what he can do at Humana.
(B) Billy Horschel (6) Hyundai TOC
(34) HSBC
(11) CIMB
(CUT) Frys.com
(10) 2013
(CUT) 2011
(CUT) 2010
He’s got the right skills to win at Humana, so his recent good play should make him a candidate for doing just that.
(B) Keegan Bradley (13) Northwestern Mutual
(11) HSBC
(10) CIMB
(12) Tour Championship
(7) 2011 Recent string of top 15’s shows he finished last year strong, and his ability to go low is required to be competitive at this old Bob Hope Classic.
(B) Webb Simpson (3) Hyundai TOC
(5) Northwestern Mutual
(7) McGladrey
(1) Shriners
(CUT) 2013
(13) 2011
(33) 2010
(5) 2009
Webb, ZJ, and Jimmy Walker are the hottest golfers on tour. There’s nothing to show that he won’t get another top 10 this week at Humana.
(C) Harris English (4) Sony Open
(13) Hyundai TOC
(45) OHL Mayakoba
(4) McGladrey
(65) 2013
(19) 2012
His poor putt on the last hole at Sony cost us a cool 7 points, and his last 5-6 holes were disappointing; however, Jimmy Walker earned the victory with an impressive final nine. Hopefully Harris can rebound this coming week and the Humana.
(C) Ryan Palmer (8) Sony Open
(53) CIMB
(CUT) Shriners
(CUT) Deutsche Bank
(6) 2013
(CUT) 2012
(4) 2011
(42) 2010
Finished strong at Sony and has the ability to go low on courses like those at the Humana. We may reconsider this pick later this week, as this is our most unsure slot.


PGATOUR.com FANTASY GOLF PREDICTIONS
NFL Golf Gear
Player
Recent Finishes
“Humana” Finishes
Harris English (4) Sony Open
(13) Hyundai TOC
(45) OHL Mayakoba
(4) McGladrey
(65) 2013
(19) 2012
Keegan Bradley (13) Northwestern Mutual
(11) HSBC
(10) CIMB
(12) Tour Championship
(7) 2011
Zach Johnson (8) Sony Open
(1) Hyundai TOC
(1) Northwestern Mutual
(16) McGladrey
(40) Shriners
(23) 2013
(8) 2012
(20) 2004
Webb Simpson (3) Hyundai TOC
(5) Northwestern Mutual
(7) McGladrey
(1) Shriners
(CUT) 2013
(13) 2011
(33) 2010
(5) 2009


GOLF CHANNEL EXPERT PREDICTIONS
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Humana Challenge
Starter
Someone to Consider
Group 1
Webb Simpson Billy Horschel
Group 2
Charles Howell III Gary Woodland
Group 3
Jerry Kelly Brian Stuard
Group 4
Hudson Swafford Billy Hurley III
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Starter
Someone to Consider
Group 1
Sergio Garcia Martin Kaymer
Group 2
Jamie Donaldson Branden Grace
Group 3
Rafael Cabrera-Bello Ricardo Santos
Group 4
Robert Karlsson Gregory Havret

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