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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Humana Challenge - One-and-done

It’s time to tie up all of our loose ends regarding the Humana Challenge, including the selection of a one-and-done and the cementing of our Yahoo! starters.

Putting the first round of the Yahoo! game to bed, I went back and considered the scoring averages on each of the three courses for all eight of the players dating back to 2009. As suggested by the scoring averages of the courses last year, Nicklaus Private is generally the easiest by a slim margin over Palmer Private, with La Quinta playing a decent amount tougher than the other two.

Here’s how round one looks:

Starting Charles Howell III (66.75 average on Nicklaus), Webb Simpson (68.71 average on Palmer), Robert Garrigus (a sick 65.5 on La Quinta) and Palmer (68.22 on Palmer), with Gary Woodland (68.25 on Palmer), Horschel (69 on Palmer), Jason Kokrak (shockingly a 73.5 on Nicklaus) and English (68 on La Quinta) on the bench.

My one-and-done eventually narrowed to two players. Robert Garrigus and Harris English. I could make a compelling argument for each, and a less convincing argument against both. Let me stop and say that Webb Simpson and Charles Howell III would have also been in the conversation if I hadn’t used them already.

I ultimately went with English, partially to play defense. While I’m going to be sick if Garrigus goes on to post a top five, I would probably be even sicker (and further behind in the standings) if English went on to post a top five, or win. English is a bit more of a “chalk” pick, and this early in the season that’s probably not a bad strategy anyway.  Essentially, this comes down to taking current form over course history.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the birdie show this weekend!

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