Mike Glasscott

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Free Fallin'

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


 

Humana Challenge

Arnold Palmer Private at PGA West (Host Course)

La Quinta, Calif.

 

Arnold Palmer Private at PGA West

 

Yards: 6,950

Par: 72 (36-36)

Greens: Bermudagrass (6,260 square feet on average)

Rough: Bermudagrass at 2.5”

Stimpmeter: 11’

Bunkers: 100

Water Hazards: 5

Course Architect: Arnold Palmer (1986)

Purse: $5,700,000

Winner’s Share: $1,026,000

FexExCup Points: 500 to the winner

Defending Champion: Brian Gay held off Charles Howell III and David Lingmerth in a playoff after all three posted 25-under par over the four rounds. It was Gay’s fourth win on TOUR and first since 2009.

Dates:  January 16-19

Format: Thursday through Saturday, two amateurs will be paired with two PGA professionals in foursomes. Each player will play all three courses over those three days. After conclusion of play on Saturday, the field will be cut to the top 70 and ties for championship play on Sunday. Amateurs will not be on the course Sunday. In the past, this used to have a celebrity element (George Lopez, anyone?) but that’s no longer the case as well.

Notes: Gamers, Sunday’s final round will be played on the second-easiest course on TOUR in 2013, Arnold Palmer Private at PGA West.

 

Jack Nicklaus Private at PGA West

 

Yards: 6,924

Par: 72 (36-36)

Greens: Bermudagrass (5,660 square feet on average)

Rough: Bermudagrass at 1”

Stimpmeter: 10’

Bunkers: 66

Water Hazards: 4

Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus (1986)

Notes: In the last five seasons the Nicklaus course has ranked in the top three easiest courses on TOUR. Last year, it played FOUR shots under par. Gamers, you need to find a line up where you can have players on this course as much as possible.

 

La Quinta Country Club

 

Yards: 7,060

Par: 72 (36-36)

Greens: Bermudagrass (5,000 square feet on average)

Rough: Bermudagrass at 1”

Stimpmeter: 10.5”

Bunkers: 102

Water Hazards: 5

Course Architect: Lawrence Hughes (1959)

Notes: La Quinta, historically, is the toughest of the three courses but that is all relative. La Quinta historically ranks inside the top 10 easiest courses on TOUR as well. The order of hardest-to-easiest is: La Quinta-Palmer-Nicklaus. Remember that when fixing your lineups!

 

 

Recent History Lessons

 

The Stars and Stripes, in a Ryder Cup year, have started strongly again as they have claimed the first eight titles of 2013-14’s wraparound schedule. The list of winners has been impressive as well as Jimmy Walker has won twice and is joined by Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Harris English and Zach Johnson. Simpson and English are both in the field this week and will be the favorites.

 

After racking up 12 first-time winners in 2013, only Jimmy Walker has broken his maiden in the first seven events of 2013-14. Don’t worry; there are still 37 more events to go!

 

The Young Guns are led by Johnson, 29, who has more wins than anyone under 30 on TOUR, Simpson, 28, Kirk, 28 and English 24. The Prime Timers have two wins from Jimmy Walker, 34, plus Ryan Moore, 30, and Zach Johnson, 37, waving their flag. The Old Folks, the 40-and-over crew, are waiting for their first trip to the winner’s circle this season and were close last week at Sony as Jerry Kelly was strong with a solo third finish.

 

Pay Attention: It’s FREE

 

The Humana Challenged became a 72-hole event in 2012 but the average winning score around these parts is 25-under. That’s exactly what got Gay, Howell III and Lingmerth into a playoff last year.

 

The only rookie to win this event in 54 years of action was Jhonattan Vegas in 2011. He held off fellow rookie Gary Woodland in a playoff.

 

If gamers are excited about Brian Gay this week, which I believe should be the case, remember Johnny Miller is the only player to defend his title in 54 years.

 

The only multiple winners of this event are Miller, Palmer, Corey Pavin and Phil Mickelson. That’s quite a group to be a part of!

 

Only nine players of the OWGR top 50 (as of Sunday) are entered this week.

 

Last year, Brian Gay was the first player in SIX YEARS to win after MAKING the cut at the Sony. The five previous winners were cut at Waialae. Ok.

 

Only three foreign-born players have won this event since 2000.

 

 

Past Champions in the Field

 

1990: Peter Jacobsen

1996: Mark Brooks

2000: Jesper Parnevik--Sweden

2001: Joe Durant

2003: Mike Weir--Canada

2005: Justin Leonard

2006: Chad Campbell

2007: Charley Hoffman

2008: D.J. Trahan

2009: Pat Perez

2010: Bill Haas

2011: Jhonattan Vegas --Venezuela

2012: Mark Wilson (264)

2013: Brian Gay (263)

 

Hawaiian Double Duty

These studs are grinding out three consecutive weeks:

Ed. Zach Johnson was left off of this list because the writer is an idiot 

Harris English (T11; 4th)

Brian Gay (T13; T32)

Ken Duke (T16; T72)

Sang-Moon Bae (T21; T32)

Scott Brown (T24; T64)

Boo Weekley (26th; T29)

Russell Henley (27th; T51)

D.A. Points (T28; T51)

Derek Ernst (30th; MC)

 


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Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.
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