January 16 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Well, Tim Clark's performance at the Sony Open in Hawaii quieted the critics that disagreed with my advice that it was OK if you missed Dustin Johnson at Kapalua. Clark matched Russell Henley's 63 in the final round and still lost by three.
So, does this mean that those who invested elsewhere at Waialae should lean on Clark at this week's Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation? Perhaps.
His game is exactly where it needs to be and his track record at PGA West speaks for itself -- two runner-up finishes and a tie for fifth in four starts. However, he hasn't teed it up here since it was a 90-hole competition in 2010. Moreover, I still like him later, perhaps at Pebble Beach, Colonial or Sedgefield. Nevertheless, if you dig the hot hand, you're all set. Plug him in.
I'm going to burn Robert Garrigus. En route to a last year's tie for second --- his first of five worldwide in 2012 -- he led the field with 30 birdies and tacked on an eagle. He opened with a sloppy 73 on the Palmer Private before rebounding with a 64 at La Quinta and an absolutely incredible 61 at Nicklaus Private to tie the course record.
The Humana Challenge ranks third among tournaments in Garrigus' all-time earnings behind the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic (where he secured his only PGA TOUR victory) and the Hyundai Tournament of Champions (which has already concluded and where he didn't play anyway). Next is the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where he lost in a playoff in 2010, but it was his only top 40 in five appearances; and then the RBC Canadian Open, where he tied for second last year at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. However, because Canada's national open is migratory -- Glen Abbey Golf Club hosts this season -- case closed.
Of the others in the field, Phil Mickelson, John Senden, Jesper Parnevik and Mike Weir co-lead with four top 10s apiece at the Humana Challenge. I've always advised saving Mickelson for either the Masters or the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Senden is a reasonable alternative coming off a tie for 26th at Waialae, but I'd still revert to Garrigus for the aforementioned reasons. Meanwhile, Weir and Parnevik haven't pinged our radar for some time.
Brandt Snedeker sits atop my Power Rankings, but shootouts can be dangerous. I'll wait for a week when his putter matters more than compiling birdie opportunities.
I'm not a believer in taking risks in one-and-dones, but if you are, consider making a run at Jeff Overton. Despite his forgettable record at PGA West, he's trending toward a special season, and he's already among the best never to have won a PGA TOUR event.
Last week: Tim Clark; 2nd place; $604,800.00
Overall Record: 2-for-2
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 2
Top 25s: 2
Missed Cuts: 0