The boys head back to the mainland this week for the Humana Challenge in Partnership with the Clinton Foundation, which has the distinction of having the absolute longest name of a tournament known to man. Seriously, I’d like to see what those logo balls look like. The Humana (formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic) is a multi-course event, featuring three courses throughout the four days. Over the years Phil Mickelson has owned this event, with two wins, and is the all-time leading money winner of this event. It’s his first tournament of the year, so he’ll be an interesting one to watch.
A Group – With all that being said above, I’m actually staying away from Lefty this week. I think he’s too much of a question mark at this point. Instead I’ll opt for another guy making his debut this week, Matt Kuchar. Kuchar is hungry after going winless in 2011, and he comes to La Quinta with top 10s in his last two starts there, including a T2 in 2010. Backing him up I like Charles Howell III, who’s hot after a great showing last week at the Sony (T2).
B Group – Another big name I’ll be staying away from this week is Dustin Johnson. DJ is coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery in the off-season and the state of his game at this point is anybody’s guess. It’s hard to stay away from Bill Haas in this group and I’m not even thinking about it. Haas won this event in 2010 and lost in a playoff last year. Bo Van Pelt is also making his 2012 debut this week, and he’s coming off of a huge end to his season in 2011 with five top 10s in his last seven starts, capping it all off with a win in Malaysia. Harrison Frazer is a solid guy off the bench after posting T5 and T2 in his last two starts respectively. He’s on the bench to start because of not a great history at this event.
C Group – Brian Gay is coming off a T6 at the Sony and has a solid history at the Humana/Hope, with a T5 last year. Look for him to hit plenty of fairways (as his usual) this week, and if his putter is hot he’ll be dangerous.
Starting Foursome: Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas, Bo Van Pelt, Brian Gay
On the Bench: Charles Howell III, Harrison Frazer, Brendan de Jong, Martin Laird