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Monday, January 13, 2014

Humana Challenge - Power Rankings

With our research well underway, it's time to delve into the Humana Challenge Power Rankings. As mentioned in yesterday's post, this is one of the more challenging events to zero in on statistically significant patters. It also tends to spiral into a shootout, not unlike the final round of the Sony Open.

Here's our best shot:

  1. Webb Simpson - Took a week off after a T3 in the HTOC, so enters the tournament fresh. He won earlier in the 2013-14 season in the desert of Las Vegas on a course (TPC Summerlin) that also requires deep numbers (-24). Though he missed the cut here last season, he tied for 13th in 2011. 
  2. Harris English - By now you know it will take a lot of birdies this week at PGA West, and he might be just the man for the job. In six starts this season, he already has 114 birdies and was tied for second with 23 at Waialae last week. He's T19 and T65 in two previous starts in the Humana Challenge.
  3. Zach Johnson - The argument could be made for him to occupy the top spot, but hedging on the side that he's running on fumes after winning the HTOC and contending with a T8 at last week's Sony Open. Form is excellent and history includes a T8 in 2012 and a T23 last year.
  4. Charles Howell III - Rebounded from a rocky first round to tie for eighth last week and heads to a course where he tied for second a year ago. Notorious for his quick starts during multiple PGA TOUR seasons, so continue to invest while the iron is hot.
  5. Keegan Bradley - He's only played here one time before, tying for seventh in 2011, but he has the skill set to dominate the easy par 5s. Like most of the elite, it he gets hot he will be dangerous. This is our first look at him in 2014.
  6. Robert Garrigus - An interesting one-and-done option, the bomber has feasted at PGA West over the years including a T2 in 2012 and a T16 last year. More so than most players, this week hinges on his ability to putt.
  7. Brandt Snedeker - Eased back into action with a T11 at the HTOC, then skipped the Sony. While it's very likely he's using this event as a method to peak for one of his favorite stops next week (Farmers), he offers plenty of value this week as well. His record the last two years is identical to Zach Johnson (T8/T23 last two). One-and-done gamers are wise to watch him closely to determine if he's the pick next week.
  8. Billy Horschel - He tied for 10th here last year and shared sixth at the HTOC, so form seems to be meeting history. Class is also undeniable, so he should be a solid pick in almost any format.
  9. Gary Woodland - Lost in a playoff here in 2011 and possesses the power to run over this golf course much like Garrigus. If the putter is working for him, he'll be a force.
  10. Brian Gay - Defending champ enters in solid form off a T13 and a T32 in the Hawaiian events.Tied for fifth here in 2011, so the win isn't the only bright spot at PGA West. . 
  11. Jason Kokrak - See Garrigus and Woodland, but also note his T20 at Sony last week and a T8 in this event last year.
  12. Charley Hoffman - His win here in 2007 was over 90 holes, but he added a T10 last year as well. He's known for length and feasting on par 5s, but also is a threat for breaking par on almost any hole. 
Next 5: Matt Every, Rickie Fowler, Jeff Overton, Brian Stuard, Brendon Todd

We will return tomorrow with our Fantasy preview. Until then, best of luck to all!


  1. Having to choose between Kokrak, or Garigus in a one and done....who do you pick?

    1. Both worthy of consideration and cut from the same mold. I'd lean Garrigus due to a larger litmus of solid course history. I would still feel very comfortable with taking a shot at Kokrak, though.

  2. Just curious, what is your reasoning behind Bill Haas not being mentioned this week? Thanks.

    1. Fair question. Combination of a poor week (especially putting) at the HTOC and back-to-back poor showing in this event after his win/P2. Has transitioned into a player that makes more noise on the harder courses lately.

  3. Replies
    1. Man. I'm so used to answering questions in context and relative to value, the simplest question is a tough one. I'll answer your question by saying Webb, because he won in the desert earlier this year and is always inside the top 10 right now. Something about my gut just can't shake the idea of a bomber like Garrigus, Woodland or Kokrak winning.

    2. I saw your latest post. Just know if Garrigus posts a top 5...Ill be happy...Im going Garrigus. I went against my initial gut last year...Gay, and we all know how that worked out!