2014 Fantasy GolfChris Garosi

Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: Humana Challenge

PGA Tour Professional Sang-Moon Bae tees off on the 17th Hole (Photo by Patrick Hagerty)
PGA Tour Professional Sang-Moon Bae tees off on the 17th Hole (Photo by Patrick Hagerty)

We are back this week for another look at PGA DFS at DraftKings. We had a much better week last week than the opening week. Let’s continue that momentum this week as we gear up for our next tour stop.

We leave the islands of Hawaii and head to California for the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation (yes, that Clinton – Bill Clinton) at PGA West (on the Arnold Palmer Private Course). This week we have a lot of words to weave through before we even get to the field. Whew!

It’s a great week to check out DraftKings as they have some top notch contests. Come on over and take a look.

Tour Stop

This week’s tour stop is the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation at the Arnold Palmer Private Course at PGA West in La Quinta, California. The Palmer Private Course is a 6,950 yard course that clocks in at par 72.

The former Bob Hope Classic is a pro-am event that will also utilize two other PGA West’s course in the first three rounds – the Nicklaus Private course (6,951 yards and par 72) and the La Quinta Country Club course (7,060 yards and par 72).

Each of the 156 pros will play with a different amateur partner each day on different courses for three days. On Sunday, the low 70 professionals and ties will play the final round of the 72-hole tournament at the Palmer Private at PGA West.


Another full field event that puts a group together very similar to last week as we expect seven of the top 25 in the World Golf Rankings to tee it up in La Quinta.

The full field can be found here.

Also, thanks to GolfOdds.com for the odds this week. If you’d like to see a second set of odds, check out the Betting Zone’s odds here.

Past Tournament Results

2014 Winner: Patrick Reed led the entire tournament en route to the win last year.

Here is the top 20 from last year’s tournament

2014 Humana Challenge Top 20
2014 Humana Challenge Top 20

The tourney has been at Palmer Private since 2001 except 2006 through 2008 so history will again be important this week, though I won’t rely on 2006-2008 data extensively. I’m not as concerned with the change in 2012 from five rounds to four rounds.

DraftKings Expert Picks

Ben Crane | $6,400 – Crane has gone tie for eighth, missed cut, tie for ninth in the last three years at the Humana. If you believe in patterns, he’s due to miss the cut. If you don’t, then he’s got two top 10 finishes in three years.

Brandon de Jonge | $7,900 – de Jonge missed the cut at the Sony, but tried his best not to. After a 74 in round one, he fired a 65, but still missed out on the weekend. The South African has played the Humana six times and hasn’t missed a cut. He also has three top 25s in this six appearances.

Luke Guthrie | $5,000 – Two appearances here. Two cuts made with a top 20 finish last year. However, his season isn’t off to the greatest start even though he’s made four of five cuts. His best finish is tie for 39th at the CIMB Classic.

Bill Haas | $11,400 – Haas has three top 10s in his last five turns at the Humana. He did miss the cut in 2013, but he’s got a win in that time period as well. This is his first start of 2015, but remember he didn’t miss a cut on the PGA Tour all of 2014.

Charley Hoffman | $9,100 – Hoffman’s record here is quite good with four top 10s in his eight appearances here. However, his record is up and down as he comes in with back to back top 10s, after he’d missed the cut three years in a row. But, before those three missed cuts he won in 2007 and then made two more top 20 finishes. Hoffman picked up a tie for 14 th in the Hyundai and also has a win this season at the OHL Classic.

Zach Johnson | $10,800 – Johnson has played the Humana the last three years and his worst finish is a tie for 23 rd in 2013. His other two shots here were both top 10 finishes. He looked good last week until he gassed on Sunday to a final round 73.

Matt Jones | $6,100 – Jones faded on the weekend at the Sony, but did open with a 68-67 to make the cut. However, he tied for 11th at the Hyundai two weeks ago and he’s played this tourney five times without missing the cut. Moreover, his worst finish here in those five appearances is a tie for 29th and has two top 15 finishes during that time.

Jerry Kelly | $7,400 – Kelly may be in my column every week as he just makes cuts. He’s got back to back top 10 finishes so he’s in fine form coming in. He’s made the cut at the Humana in three of the last four years including two top 15 finishes.

Martin Laird | $7,600 – Laird has made the weekend in six of seven appearances and has three top 25 finishes to his name during that time. He missed the cut his last time out, but does have two top 20s in the current season.

Justin Leonard | $4,900 – The old man keeps plugging along on tour. He’s played the Humana 17 times and has five top 10s including a tie for third last year. I don’t expect a repeat of last year’s performance, but his track record is attractive at this price.

Jarrod Lyle | $3,300 – My John Daly pick last week didn’t work out too well (though I still cashed with him in my lineups). This week, we will look at Lyle. He’s back on tour after his second bout with leukemia so he’s just a great story. Beyond that, he’s played relatively well since his return to golf with two cuts made on the PGA tour and solid results in Australia. He’s got to pick up $230,030 on tour to get conditional tour status back through a medical extension. He’s played here three times and has made the cut twice.

Ryan Palmer | $11,800 – Palmer’s history here is interesting as he has four top 10 finishes at the Humana and three of them have been in the last four years. In the other year he didn’t finish in the top 10, he missed the cut. Palmer posted scores below 70 in all four rounds last week including a blistering 63 on Saturday.

Patrick Reed | $16,000 – Walker defended his title last week, so why not Reed this week? He is the most expensive player on the board, so you’ll need to get creative if you want to roster him here. His last time out on tour he picked up a victory at the Hyundai. But, I wouldn’t go nuts trying to squeeze him in as the prior year he was here he missed the cut.

I won’t list all of the big favorites, but of the players priced at $10,000 or higher, but the only one I’d stay away from is Phil Mickelson. You can make a case for just about any of the other high priced guys and I wouldn’t argue with it.

Rory Sabbatini | $7,100 – Are we witnessing the start of Sabbatini’s best season in years? He’s five for four for five in cuts made and is coming off a tie for sixth at the Sony for his second top 10 of the season. His record here is fine, but certainly not outstanding with two top 10s (none since 2006) in seven appearances. He’s made only two of his four cuts in the last four years here so he’s spot on the list is about believing in his current form.

Shawn Stefani | $7,300 – Stefani is in top form currently as he picked up a tie for sixth last week and had a second place finish at the OHL Classic. His only start here in 2013 where he finished 72nd.

Brian Stuard | $6,600 – Stuard is back again this week and it’s all about his history here. He’s played here the last two years and he’s finished in the top 10 in each year. He did miss the cut last week which gives me some pause, but his history is tough to ignore.

Justin Thomas | $7,900 – The 21-year old rookie has started to show the talent everyone knows he has. The second round 61 at the Sony Open made me take notice. And he maintained his composure all the way to a tie for sixth at the Sony. This pick is about form as of course he’s never played here.

Brendon Todd | $9,600 – I’m recommending Todd for one more week. He had a shot last year to pick up the win here, but faltered down the stretch to a tie for sixth. He finished 26 th in his only other trip here in 2012. He’s got two top 20 finishes in the season and hasn’t missed a cut.

Good luck this week! Head over to DraftKings to choose your squad for this week.

DraftKings Scoring

Roster size: 6 Golfers


Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:

  • Per Hole Scoring
    • Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
    • Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
    • Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
    • Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
    • Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
    • Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
    • Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -1 PT
  • Tournament Finish Scoring
    • 1st: 30 PTs
    • 2nd: 20 PTs
    • 3rd: 18 PTs
    • 4th: 16 PTs
    • 5th: 14 PTs
    • 6th: 12 PTs
    • 7th: 10 PTs
    • 8th: 9 PTs
    • 9th: 8 PTs
    • 10th: 7 PTs
    • 11th–15th: 6 PTs
    • 16th–20th: 5 PTs
    • 21st–25th: 4 PTs
    • 26th–30th: 3 PTs
    • 31st–40th: 2 PTs
    • 41st-50th: 1 PTs
  • Streaks and Bonuses
    • Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
    • Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
    • All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
    • Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +10 PTs

Scoring Notes: Ties for a finishing position will not reduce or average down points. For example, if 2 golfers tie for 3rd place, each will receive the 18 fantasy points for the 3rd place finish result. Playoff Holes will not count towards final scoring, with the exception of the “finishing position” scoring. For example, the golfer who wins the tournament will receive the sole award of 1st place points, but will not accrue points for their scoring result in the individual playoff holes.

Player Lock Notes: All golfers lock at the time the first golfer tees off on day 1 of an event.

Full rules are located here for DraftKings golf.

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