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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Humana Challenge - Round 1

While many of the names and faces were a little different than many predicted, the first round of the Humana Challenge produced the results we expected. Low numbers. Here are a few thoughts on the first round.

  • Three non-winners are tied and 9-under 63 through the first round. Jason Kokrak (La Quinta), James Hahn (Palmer) and Roberto Castro (Nicklaus) proved that low numbers were there for the taking on all courses.
  • 16 players shot 7-under or better. Of those, 11 of those came at the Nicklaus Course, three at the Palmer and two at La Quinta. Simply put, play your Yahoo! players on the Nicklaus Course when possible.
  • Russell Henley continues to impress. His PGA TOUR scoring average through five rounds is an eye-popping 64. A letdown would not have been a surprise, and I still expect a weak round to happen, but it's becoming harder to bet against the kid.
So what does all this mean for our second-round Yahoo! moves?
  • I had Tim Clark starting and Brandt Snedeker on the bench in my A-List. Clark went bogey-free, but only found one birdie to go with his 17 pars. Snedeker posted a 5-under. Both move from La Quinta to the easier Nicklaus Course in the second round. I'm going against the grain and sticking with Clark for another round. There's plenty of reason to trust Snedeker, but I got burned in musical chairs several times with Clark and CH3, so I'm going to just let this play out a bit longer. With 15 GIR, it was the putter that held Clark back and he can get that worked out.
  • The B-List was a disaster. If there is a silver lining, it's that we started the right two players in Kuchar (-2) and Senden (E). Kuchar heads to Nicklaus, so we'll leave him alone and hope for a better day. I don't think Webb Simpson will shoot another 1-over tomorrow, but at this point it's not worth burning a start on him so I'll keep with Senden for another day.
  • At least we got the C-List right. Russell Henley threw a 64 on the board, and English wasn't bad from the bench with a 4-under either. They both play the same course, and move from the easy Nicklaus to the tougher (if any of these courses are actually tough) La Quinta. There's plenty of conventional logic to sitting Henley after the hot round, but if we've learned anything about Henley it's that he defies conventional wisdom. I'll keep riding him until he proves me wrong.

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