Category: Humana Challenge

January 21, 2013

Inside the Numbers: 2013 Humana Challenge and Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Posted at 11:41 AM by Sal Johnson

P1-TigerWith his win at the Humana, Brian Gay moved up 180 spots in the World Ranking, to 116th from 296th.

Gay is known for hitting it straight and scrambling, and last week was no exception. He was tied for second in driving accuracy, hitting 44 of 56 fairways, and fourth in scrambling, getting up and down on 10 of 12 greens missed. He hit 60 of 72 greens for the week and dominated the par 4s, playing them in 14 under.

This was Gay's fourth career win; he led going into the final round for the other three, but this week he began the final round six shots back.

In 2012, seven players came from six or more shots back in the final round. Kyle Stanley (8 shots, Waste Management Phoenix Open), Brandt Snedeker (7, Farmers Insurance Open), John Huh (7, Mayakoba Golf Classic), Tommy Gainey (7, McGladrey Classic), Phil Mickelson (6, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am), Marc Leishman (6, Travelers Championship), Ernie Els (6, British Open).

Brian Gay shot 63 on Sunday, one of the best rounds of his career. In 432 events and 1382 rounds, his best rounds were 62 in the fifth round of the 2011 Bob Hope (T5) and 62 in the third round of the 2008 Mayakoba Classic (W).

His best fourth rounds were:
63: 2013 Humana Challenge (W)
63: 2009 Bob Hope Chrysler (T19)
63: 2010 Byron Nelson (T2)

Charles Howell has won $24.6 million with only two career victories. Since his last win at the 2007 Nissan Open, he has played in 171 events with earnings of $11.1 million and no victories.

Of the top 38 players on the career money list, Howell has the fewest wins. Of the top 100 in career earnings, only eight players have fewer wins. Briny Baird (99th) has never won, and these players have just one win: Tim Clark (39th), Bo Van Pelt (50th), Kevin Sutherland (65th), John Senden (66th), Pat Perez (89th), Kevin Na (90th) and Fredrik Jacobson (92nd).

Howell has 14 runner-up finishes and 62 top-10 finishes in his 13-year career of 366 events.

Rookie David Lingmerth finished second in his second PGA Tour event, getting knocked out of the playoff with a bogey on the first extra hole. Since 1970, only Anthony Kim has earned a runner-up finish faster. He tied for second in his first tournament, the 2006 Valero Texas Open. Nathan Green also tied for second in his second tournament, losing a playoff at the 2006 Buick Invitational.

Since turning pro in 1996, Tiger Woods has played in a total of 301 PGA Tour and European Tour events, only missing the cut in nine PGA Tour events and just once on the European Tour, last week in Abu Dhabi.

Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson and Steve Stricker have played with Tiger twice in events in which he has either missed the cut or withdrawn.

This was the first week that Rory McIlroy missed the cut in an event where Tiger Woods also missed the cut. (McIlroy did miss cut at 2010 Players, when Woods withdrew.)

(Photo: Kamran Jebreili / AP)

April 30, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Deadspin provokes PGA Tour on video use

Posted at 12:12 PM by Mick Rouse

PGA Tour vs. Deadspin
Toward the end of January, Deadspin posted this pretty hilarious video of a sound guy biting it as Ryuji Imada prepared to tee off at the Humana Challenge. According to Deadspin's Barry Petchesky, the PGA Tour did not find the video nearly as funny.

It was not the pinnacle of sports commentary, but it was a guy falling down, and I thought it was pretty funny.

The PGA Tour disagreed. They sent us a nice little letter on PGA letterhead, noting that " is displaying unauthorized PGA TOUR video content....This footage could not have been captured except in violation of the PGA TOUR's on-site policies, and in violation of PGA TOUR's copyrights."

That letter insisting the video be taken down can be seen here.

Deadspin and the Gawker Media legal team responded to the PGA Tour, arguing fair use. The PGA Tour and their lawyers have since rejected that argument, as seen in this letter, stating, "Gawker used the most substantial, important, and commercially profitable portion of PGA TOUR's content."

We'll have to wait and see if further legal action is taken against Deadspin, but Petchesky seemed to find the entire squabble just as funny as the video that sparked it all.

Once again, we're talking about a guy falling down. If that's the most profitable portion of the entire Humana Challenge broadcast, they've got bigger problems than some tinpot website milking it for laughs. The video stays up. Damn the man, save the Empire.

Bubba ready to go home
It has been a whirlwind ride for Bubba Watson since winning the Masters, and now he is ready to get home to his wife and new son, reports Ryan Ballengee

"I just want to go home and then see what it feels like to be a real dad and be there and support my wife and everything," Watson said Sunday. "So, that's where I really want to be right now."

Despite the exhausting schedule and missing home, Bubba still pulled together a T18 finish at the Zurich Classic, keeping his goal to finish every event in contention alive and well.

"Pretty good week being tired, coming back for the first time after winning the Masters, all this different media attention, you know, all the stuff that comes with it," he said. "It's something you got to get used to. Wears on you, tires you out. Somehow, I finished in the top 20. A lot of guys wished they did that. Not a bad week."

Watson will skip this week's Wells Fargo Championship, but never fear, he'll be back in time for the Players — that is, unless he opts out for diaper duty.

"That's where I'm supposed to be. That's where I'm scheduled to play. We're going to go home and evaluate and see where we're at," he said.

Lexi's prom date controversy
Lexi Thompson is 17, and like thousands of teenagers across America, she'll be attending her high school prom in a few weeks. But Lexi isn't just any teenager, so she can't have just any date. She needs an American hero. By now you've probably seen the video in which she announces a contest for U.S. servicemen, who can upload a photo to her Facebook page in hopes of winning the chance to take her to prom. The video has sparked some controversy, and many in the media have deemed the stunt "creepy."

I'm scratching my head at the controversy. Clearly this is a calculated PR move -- everything  Thompson does from this point forth essentially will be -- but creepy? It's not like Lexi is trying to knock down the door of 30-year-old servicemen, and she specifically states that candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 20. That doesn't seem like an unreasonable or inappropriate age range. But more importantly: it's simply a date to a high school prom.

Tweet(s) of the Day

January 19, 2012

Bob Hope's 18 best quotes about golf

Posted at 5:08 PM by Joe Passov


Francis Ouimet, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and President Eisenhower all helped spread golf to the masses. However, I don’t think the game ever had a greater ambassador than Bob Hope. He played more than 2,000 different courses in virtually every country that offered golf, appeared in the 1951 British Amateur at Royal Porthcawl in Wales, and spent decades presiding over his namesake PGA Tour event. He was Mr. Golf.

They may call it the Humana Challenge now, but we’ll always have the memories, including these 18 gems from the man himself. Insert your own rim shots where appropriate.

1. “Arnold Palmer has been a frequent pro-am partner…He’s the biggest crowd pleaser since the invention of portable sanitary facilities…He’s won as much money as I’ve spent on lessons. He told me how I could cut eight strokes off my score…skip one of the par 3s.”

2. “It’s fun playing with (Jackie) Gleason. He has the only cart with a bartender. Have you ever seen Jackie riding around in his cart? It looks like a Goodyear blimp giving birth to a jeep. When he gets into a trap, the sand has to get out.”

3. “I’m an international player. I can say ‘shank’ in twenty-seven languages.”

4. “I’d played Shinnecock once, several years ago, and the rough did me in. When you hit into that stuff, you need a tetanus shot.”

5. “Jerry Ford’s fame as an erratic hitter, capable of beaning anyone within a range of 260 yards, is richly deserved. He’s rattled a number of shots off heads and backsides of the fearless followers in his gallery. The President doesn’t really have to keep score. He can just look back and count the walking wounded…Whenever I play with him, I usually try to make it a foursome—the President, myself, a paramedic and a faith healer. One of my most prized possessions is the Purple Heart I received for all the golf I’ve played with him…You don’t know what fear is until you hear Ford behind you shouting ‘Fore!’…and you’re still in the locker room.”

6. “That reminds me of Sammy Davis (Jr.). Sammy hits a nice ball, about 90 yards. But his jewelry flies 110.”

7. “One of nature’s true golf masterpieces is Pine Valley…It’s an awesome blend of turf, sand, scrubland, trees and water…Foursomes have left the first tee here and have never been seen again. They just find their shoelaces and bags.”

8. “Billy Graham, our (tournament’s) earthquake insurance, is another (great guy). It’s hard to beat a guy who gets out of a sand trap just by muttering a few words and looking up. Billy doesn’t call it a score…he calls it a ‘reckoning.’ I sank a 35-foot putt against him, turned around and my caddie had turned into a pillar of salt.”

9. “I once showed Pat Bradley my swing and said, ‘What do I do next?’ Pat replied, ‘Wait till the pain dies down.’”

10. “It’s fun playing with Dean Martin at Riviera in Los Angeles. When he wins anything we always tell him. Dean doesn’t drink liquor anymore. He drinks Windex. He gets an awful hangover but his eyes are so clear…I’ve seen Deano send a ball over 250 yards…just by breathing on it.”

11. “I never kick my ball in the rough or improve my lie in a sand trap. For that I have a caddie.”

12. “One of the most exciting performances I’ve ever seen on a TV screen had to be Johnny Miller’s 63 in the final round of the Open at Oakmont in 1973. That was absolutely unbelievable. Oakmont may be the second most difficult golf course in the country, just behind Pebble Beach, and for Johnny to shoot that kind of score under Open conditions just defies description. I know what a real accomplishment that was because I’ve played Oakmont. A photographer kept shooting me every time I swung. I was very flattered until I found out he was from Field and Stream.”

13. “For the average player, Pebble Beach could be murder. It was Alcatraz with grass…After playing Pebble Beach you needed antifreeze, not orange juice.”

14. “I do try to work out a little. I go swimming twice a day. It beats buying golf balls.”

15. “My only regret is that they don’t have an intensive care unit in the Eisenhower Medical Center for my golf game.”

16. “The caddies in Scotland are something else. If you hit a bad shot they sneer at you. They all sound like Rickles with a burr.”

17. “(Bing) was an excellent player, with the slowest backswing I’ve ever seen. While he was taking the club back you could fit him for a tailored suit.”

18. “I joined Cypress (Point) a long time ago and haven’t played nearly as many rounds there as I would have wished. It’s such a beautiful place…It’s also very exclusive. Cypress had a very successful membership drive last month. They drove out forty members.”

Quotes from Hope's book, "Bob Hope's Confessions of a Hooker: My Lifelong Love Affair with Golf."

(Photo: Tony Triolo/SI)

January 07, 2012

Mickelson to play Palm Springs event for first time since '07

Posted at 6:08 PM by Mike Walker

So this is what former President Bill Clinton brings to a golf tournament.

Phil Mickelson announced Friday that he would play in the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs, Calif., which begins Jan. 19. Mickelson, who won the event when it was called the Bob Hope Classic in 2002 and 2004, hasn't played there since 2007.

“I’m honored to join President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for the Humana Challenge,” Mickelson said in a statement on the Clinton Foundation's website. “I admire President Clinton and the charitable work of his Foundation, which helps millions of people around the world, and I applaud him for joining Humana in using the tournament to help promote health and wellness. Some of my best seasons have come after starting at this event and I’m really excited about coming back again.”

Clinton has partnered with the event through his foundation to promote health awareness. While the Palm Springs event was once one of the PGA Tour's more glamorous stops, the event has struggled to attract top stars like Mickelson in recent years, and Clinton's involvement was seen as a possible boost for the tournament.

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