The Humana Challenge, formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic, kicks off Thursday morning at 6:00 am EST in La Quinta, CA. A PGA event, this weekend has a couple of unique characteristics, starting, of course, with the fact that it is an amateur Pro-Am. Each of the pros playing in the field will be partnered with a different amateurs for each of the first three days, before the field cuts down for Sunday’s final round. The second interesting point here is that the four rounds are actually played out on three different courses.
By making the tournament unique, these features also inherently mean that this could be a weekend to pay extra attention to past successes when drafting your lineup – an ability to thrive (or not) in this specific environment is something that might be repeatable. At least it’s somewhere to start.
Patrick Reed ($16,000) – He’s significantly more expensive than anyone else for good reason – he’s got a win and a T3 in his last two outings, and he won here last year. He’s playing well now, he’s got good history on the course, and so, he’s expensive.
Ryan Palmer ($11,800) – Palmer is a normal kind of expensive for this one, and might have basically the same chance of finishing near the top on Sunday as Reed. It’s amazing to think $11,800 represents over $4,000 in savings, but there it is. His last seven times out, he has finished in the top 25, and since 2011 he has finished in the top six three different times in this event. That includes a second place finish last year, which you know he’d like to improve on.
Brandt Snedeker ($9,100) – He’s another one. After dealing with an injury for most of last season, he has top-10 finishes in each of his last two, and he’s finished in the top-10 twice here in the past as well.
Justin Thomas ($7,900) – After closing out 2014 with two top-25 finishes, he kicked off 2015 with a T6 at the Sony Open. He’s a second-tier player who could actually push his way into the top-10 if he can avoid the one killer round.
Pat Perez ($6,900) – Eventually you get to this point, taking guys you don’t 100% trust due to budget constraints. The question becomes whether you should downgrade one of your top players to free up more salary cap room, or let it ride with a guy like Perez. If you choose option B, your #1 priority is taking a player you think will at least make the cut, and Perez has been doing that of late, with a scoring average of just under 70 over his last three tournaments.