Expert Picks: Humana Challenge

January 17, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same.
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SLEEPER PICKS: Who might surprise at the Humana Challenge?
Expert picks: Humana Challenge
Pick order Player selected
PHIL MICKELSON. He's got all the pedigree at Humana that you'd want, with two wins and the all-time money lead in this event. But that's just Expert Picks filler -- I love to follow Phil as much as most fans, and wasn't letting him get away with the first choice.
DUSTIN JOHNSON. The knee is reportedly fine and Johnson has a history of playing well early in the season. He's only played the tournament twice but did tie for 12th in 2008. He's also back with his old caddie Bobby Brown. All positive signs.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Mickelson
BILL HAAS. Won in 2010 and should have won last year, except he struggled late and ended up in a playoff, which he lost. Lackluster finish two weeks ago at Hyundai TOC shouldn't be a concern. Event's move to four rounds shouldn't hurt, either.
If Smithson had the top pick ... Haas
MARTIN LAIRD. The Scotsman, who finished second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions two weeks ago, tied for 22nd at this event last year. He's motivated to play well and earn a victory in 2012, as he hopes to make the Ryder Cup squad.
If Deason had the top pick ... Laird
MATT KUCHAR. Making his 2012 debut this week in the desert. The fact that he didn't win in 2011 was a big surprise, and he wants to make it back in Kapalua in 2013. Top 10 at La Quinta last two years, including a tie for second in 2010.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Kuchar
ANTHONY KIM. Going on a gut feeling more than anything, as AK looks to erase the memories from a poor 2011 season. The Californian should be refocused and recommitted in his first appearance in this event since a tie for third in 2008.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Mickelson
BRIAN GAY. He kicked off his 2012 season with a T6 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has good history at the Humana Challenge and hasn't finished outside the top-20 in the last three years, including a T5 last year.
If Szeker the top pick ... Haas
JOHNSON WAGNER. Best finish here was a tie for 13th back in '07, but he's a much different player. He had one top-10 in all of '11 -- his win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic -- and he's already doubled that number in '12. Under par in all eight rounds this year.
If Ross had the top pick ... Haas
CHARLES HOWELL III. Howell's confidence should be high this week after posting four sub-70 rounds at Waialae. He's a combined 40 under in his last 10 rounds at this event and should continue the trend after going T65, T26, T13 in his last three starts here.
If Dunham had the top pick ... Haas
HARRISON FRAZAR. Confidence is soaring. He's finished in the top five in each of his first two starts this season, and could have won last week had he dropped a few more putts on the back nine. Tied for eighth in this event in 2007.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Mickelson

The Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation is the third event of the 2012 season. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders: