Humana Challenge Recap
Patrick Reed needed almost all of the 7 shot cushion he built up over the first three rounds by firing 63-63-63, as he struggled to a final round 71. His 2 shot win marks the second of his career, as he held off late charges by Ryan Palmer, Zach Johnson, and Justin Leonard. He also withstood a devastating celebration fail:
What We Learned
- Patrick Reed is only 23 years old! The list of current 2 time winners under the age of 23 is a short one: Harris English, Rory McIlory, and Patrick Reed. No other option but to be completely impressed by what he did this week. I don’t care how easy the courses are. Three consecutive 63’s is mind blowing.
- As we noted on twitter this week, his wife is 5 months pregnant. An incredible “coincidence” that his win at the Wyndam Championship was almost exactly 5 months ago? She may be preggers with twins now….
- Reed was paired with Tommy Gainey the first 3 rounds. He beat him by 32 strokes in 54 holes.
- Birdies were given out like welfare checks (and now it all makes sense: Finchy brought Bill Clinton in to implement elements of his Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 over the next few years). Finishing -20 didn’t even net you a top 10.
- The Gary Woodland-Billy Horschel pairing was an intense, tasty treat. It was like a raw 22 oz bone-in strip (Woodland – dense and aggressive) paired with a throaty left bank Bordeaux, maybe a Chateau Margaux (Horschel – equally intense, tannic, but also elegant w/ that Polo deal). Two ball-striker-extraordinaires/NLU favorites.
- Zach Johnson still likes to lay up. Let’s hope this booing thing continues!
- I’m pretty sure Holly Sonders thought she was actually playing in the event. She had the crowd waves down, and spent as much time as Lefty does signing autographs and doing interviews after the round.
- If the Humana keeps on this path, it’s going to be more of a vehicle for fitness propaganda than a golf tournament. And Bill Clinton spent more time in the booth than Jack Nicklaus does during the Memorial, which says a lot.
How Our Picks Fared
In our preview piece, we suggested the following players for your fantasy lineups, or your bets. Here is how they fared:
- Gary Woodland – T38
- Bill Haas – T6
- Billy Horschel – T25
- Jason Kokrak – MC
- Pat Perez – T58
- Kevin Chappell – T58
- Luke Guthrie – T18
- John Peterson – MC
Field – We suggested this week being as good as any to make a “field” play, and Patrick Reed indeed was part of the “field” pool. Overall it was a mixed bag – we’ll try to rebound this week.
NLU Shot Tracker of the Week
On the 358 par 4 8th on the Palmer Private Course, the group in front cleared the green for Woodland to hit. The hole does not play downhill, and the wind was barely blowing. He flew it pin high. This is everything we stand for.
NLU Oil Spill of the week (brought to you buy BP)
DJ Trahan’s Saturday scorecard:
Keep in mind how insanely easy the courses on this tournament are. To shoot 80 on that course and in those conditions was special, as Fil summarized here:
- The parents are back from their vacation this week and the kids are grounded for throwing a bash while they were gone. Torrey Pines, TPC Scottsdale, Pebble Beach, and Riviera – possibly the best stretch of the entire year. Coincidentally, Zach Johnson announced that he’s taking the next four weeks off. I’ve got no problem with guys taking time off, but to play Hyundai, Sony, and Humana, and then skip Torrey, Phoenix, Pebble, and Riviera is like getting invited to play Augusta but calling it quits after the front nine so you can head to the range and work on your traj. ZJ’s a purveyor of perhaps the most buttery wedge game on tour, as well as an upstanding gentleman, but it’s tough to reconcile the fact that, outside of the majors, he seemingly puts more stock in second and third tier events than some of the cornerstones of the premier non-majors (and while Torrey and Phoenix are definitely bomber tracks, the Pebble rotation and Riviera suit his game well). Not to mention he has 11 top 10’s in his last 14 events!
- Also back from hiatus is the CBS broadcast crew, one of the many reasons the next four weeks are so tasty. The production quality is top-flight, the banter is unmatched, and more than anything it feels like an actual telecast instead of a prolonged conversation between “Rog” and “Johnny.”
Check back tomorrow night for a run-down of everything you really need to know for The Farmers.