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2014 Humana Challenge Preview/Picks & Gambling Lines

PGA Golf Handicapping – Humana Challenge

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2014 Humana Challenge
Location: Indian Wells, California, United States
Course: Classic Club, PGA West – Palmer Private, LaQuinta, Silver Rock
Date: Jan 16-19, 2014
Total Purse: US $ 5,700,000
Winner’s Share: US $ 1,026,000 (18% of total purse)
Odds from

Defending Champion: Brian Gay ($1,008,000)

The PGA Pros move from Hawaii to California this week to play the Humana Challenge. Three courses will be utilized as always this week and as per usual they promise to be relatively easy for golf’s best. In fact the three courses used this week were the three easiest par 72s on TOUR last year.

The pros WILL find the fairways, should have a relatively easy time hitting the greens and once there should find the putting surfaces to their likeness – all week long. The winner will have to go low here – the cut was minus 10 last year and the winner Brian Gay finished minus 25.

So who should we look out for in what has traditionally been a crap-shoot to call. Let’s take a look.

The Favorites:

Brandt Snedeker 14/1

Sustained an injury at the end of 2013 but made a successful return to action with a T11 at the Hyundai. He has gone under par his last 21 rounds at this tournament and has a T8 and T23 respectively in the last two years. While I love his game I can’t help but think he’s looking forward to the Farmers next week – one of his favorite stops on TOUR.

Webb Simpson 14/1

Has been the most consistent player on the planet lately and enters off a T3 at the Hyundai – his fifth straight top 7 finish. Simpson actually missed the cut here last year but is on fire so far this season – second in GIR and strokes gained-putting; first in adjusted scoring; fourth in scrambling. He is a threat to win it all this week and avenge last year’s disappointing result.

Zach Johnson 14/1

Will play for the third straight week which may slow him down a tad. He won the Hyundai and was T8 last week at the Sony. Johnson is absolutely on top of his game but seems due for a hiccup don’t you think? He has played well here – a T8 in 2012 and a T23 last year.

The Contenders:

Harris English 18/1

English is a man to watch this year. He has followed up a breakthrough 2013 with a good start in 2014. He is a birdie machine which is necessary on this track. With three top 10s already this year including a 4th at Waialea, look for him to go low again this week. His history isn’t great on this track however – T19 and T65 in two previous starts in the Humana Challenge.
Keegan Bradley 20/1

Shockingly Bradley has only played here once – a T7 on 2011 and tees it up for the first time in 2014 this week. He enters on a streak of five straight top 16 finishes – consistent as they come. Bradley should be able to master the par 5s and should be able to go low. He is an intriguing 20/1 despite making his 2014 debut.

Bill Haas 25/1

Haas is another consistent guy – he absolutely loves this track. He won this event in 2010 and lost in a playoff in 2011 and has been under par in his last 27 rounds in this tournament. Haas is a sneaky 25/1 this week.

Billy Horschel 25/1

Horschel usually plays better on tough courses but did finish T10 here last year. He is coming off a good T6 at the HTOC so we know that he is in good form. Horschel is one of those guys that can bust out any week – this one included.

Charles Howell III 28/1

Lost this tournament in a playoff last year and enters having placed inside the top 10 four times during the wrap-around PGA schedule. He is notoriously good at the start of the season – this year included and he is coming off a T8 last week at the Sony. Howell is as hot as any player on TOUR right now – if that means anything.

Gary Woodland 33/1

Power guy should be able to eat up the par 5s and play well on the par 4s. He lost this tournament in a playoff in 2011 and has played well lately – 5 top 20s in his last 10 starts. Woodland’s inconsistent putter will be the key this week.

Brian Gay 40/1

Defending champion here isn’t getting a whole lotta love. He also had a T5 here in 2011 and is coming off a T13 and T32 respectively in the two Hawaiian starts on TOUR.

The Sleepers (50/1 or higher):

Brian Stuard 50/1

Has been very good so far this year – three top 15s already and he did finish T10 here last year in his first appearance. Stuard played well last week – a solo sixth at Waialae in his tune-up for this week.

Jason Kokrak 50/1

Has the power to dominate the par 5s this week and returns to the Humana where he finished T8 last year. He has made three of four cuts this season already and ranks third on TOUR in adjusted scoring. Kokrak is coming off a T20 at the Sony and is an unheralded name to watch this week.

Robert Garrigus 50/1

Another bomber that should do well on the par 5s and long par 4s this week. He has a terrific history at this tournament as well – a T2 in 2012 and a T16 last year and he holds the record at Nicklaus Private (61). He has played well lately – five top 25s in his last eight starts and returns to his favorite track this week. His putter will be the key this week.

Kevin Na 66/1

Finished T8 at Waialae – his second top 10 this year already and he has a good history at this tournament – top 10s in 2010 and 2011.

The Pick:

The pick this week is Harris English at 18/1. He is playing some good golf and is Taylor-made for a track that LOW is essential. His track record here isn’t great – his present form is.

My sleeper is Jason Kokrak at 50/1. His power will amaze and his all-around skill set may make him one of the new faces this year.



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