124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Fantasy Fix: Why Charles Howell III is really due for a win at the Humana Challenge

January 14, 2014

What can you expect at this week's Humana Challenge? Low scores. Check that, really low scores. The tournament is played on the three courses that ranked the easiest on the PGA Tour last season. And in last year's event, the PGA West Palmer Course featured 10 rounds of 64 or better on Sunday, including THREE 62s. Four 68s isn't going to get it done this week. Heck, four 66s last year would have only gotten you a T-4. Here are our picks to go deep into red numbers in the desert this year.

Starters -- (A-List): Charles Howell III. CH3 quietly has a fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth this season. It's almost like hitting for the cycle in baseball -- eh, not really. Those four top 10s lead the PGA Tour, but he's still looking for his first win in nearly seven years. Howell also lost in a playoff to Brian Gay in Palm Springs last year. Yep, he shot 25 under and lost. Fun!


(B-List): Webb Simpson. Even hotter than Howell is Simpson, who has a win, a T-3 and a T-7 to start the 2013-2014 season. The last time he played in the desert he fared pretty well, winning the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open in Las Vegas last October.

(B-List): Bill Haas. We'll keep the Wake Forest theme going and select Haas, who picked up his first PGA Tour title at this event in 2010 and lost in a playoff in 2011. Haas was a combined 57 under par during those two tournaments. It was a five-day tournament then, but still. . . 57 under!

(C-List): Harris English. New equipment? No problem. English, carrying Callaway clubs now, has carried over his momentum from last summer. He's coming off a solo fourth place at the Sony Open.

Bench/Backups -- Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Zach Johnson, and Pat Perez.

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Charles Howell III. See above. He's due. Also, he can't do any worse than last week's pick, Tim Clark, who withdrew with an elbow injury after one round. Ouch.

Previously used: Martin Laird (Kapalua), Tim Clark (Sony).