We discuss Johnson Wagner's frightening lack of pop culture knowledge, the thrilling NFL playoffs, and of course, this week's PGA Tour stop
Where: La Quinta, Calif.
Course: PGA West (Nicklaus); PGA West (Palmer); La Quinta CC
Defending champion: Jhonattan Vegas defeated Gary Woodland and Bill Haas in a playoff for his first career PGA Tour win.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Kevin Na
3. Charles Howell III
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Anthony Kim
6. Kyle Stanley
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we promise to be the only article you read this week not to mention Tim Tebow. OK, starting... now! What a great weekend it was with the NFL Playoffs and a bushy-mustachioed Johnson Wagner in Hawaii. I don't know what's more surprising, the fact that J-Wags now has three PGA Tour wins or that he didn't know what the Magnum P.I. looked like before Googling the famed Tom Selleck character. Will this week's winner have facial hair? Let's examine.
The PGA Tour leaves Hawaii and begins its West Coast swing. The annual stop at Palm Springs is next for the newly-labeled Humana Challenge, which will work with the Bill Clinton Foundation. Funny, when a former President of the United States gets involved, more big-name players show up.
Random tournament fact: Formerly the Bob Hope Classic, the tournament was known for, among other things, the lovely "Bob Hope Classic Girls." Here's a collection of pictures. You're welcome.
Jhonattan Vegas. It was a coming out party for the Venezuelan rookie in the desert last year. Vegas three-putted No. 18 in regulation, but then defeated Gary Woodland and Bill Haas in a playoff, despite plunking his tee shot into the water on the second extra hole. Vegas didn't exactly light it up in Hawaii, but in the birdie binge format of the former Hope, don't be surprised to see his name on the leader board again.
STUD/KNOCKOUT PICK OF THE WEEK
Bill Haas. Like you didn't see this coming... The reigning FedEx Cup champion got his first career win here in 2010 and then nearly went back-to-back before losing in a playoff to Vegas last year. While the odds of seriously contending at the same tournament three years in a row are low (Then again, what are the odds of a father and son winning the same PGA Tour event?), it's hard to fathom him not finishing high considering he's 57-under par in La Quinta the past two years.
Starters: Kevin Na, Bill Haas, Anthony Kim and Pat Perez
Bench: Charles Howell III, Ryan Palmer, Chris Kirk and Greg Chalmers
GUEST PICK OF THE WEEK
This week's guest pick comes from Shosh Agus-Kleinman (@ShoshEAK) via Twitter. Here are his compact, but complex reasons for taking Kyle Stanley: "Can go low, knocked rust off, long hitters do well (Vegas/Woodland), good caddie, good finish to last yr."
I like the pick for all the reasons listed. Of course, I also like it since Stanley made my list of top 10 sleepers for 2012. Please see the brightly-colored link above. Also, care to make a guest pick? Be bold and email me at Alex.Myers@GolfDigest.com or tweet at me (@AlexMyers3) for a chance to appear in next week's column. Or if you just feel like making fun of my picks.
HOME SWEET HOME
Anthony Kim. How well does AK know these tracks? Well, he's a 2003 graduate of La Quinta High School. He hasn't played here since 2008, but he finished T-3 that year. Fellow GolfDigest.com team member John Strege helped with this one. So if it backfires, send your complaints his way on Twitter at @JohnStrege...
RIDE THE HOT HAND
Charles Howell III. I liked CH3 a lot last week (as did our guest picker, @TheRealNova7) and he came through with a T-2. He's playing for a third-straight week at an event where he finished T-13 last year. And speaking of hot hands, how about Sergio Garcia winning $35,000 for finishing 51st place at the PokerStars Carribbean Adventure. Serg, you didn't tell me you play! Let's get a home game going, preferably at one of your homes. Just a guess, but they're probably a little nicer than mine.