FORMERLY the Bob Hope Classic, the Humana Challenge plays the first three rounds as a pro-am event contested over three courses in La Quinta, California, before the pros continue alone on the Sunday.
With the (Bill) Clinton Foundation as a partner and 77 year old health nut Gary Player as a host this year there’s lots of talk of the sponsor’s aim of health and wellness.
The third event of the US PGA Tour for 2013, the Humana Challenge will ironically see a flu-suffering Phil Mickelson dust off the clubs for his first outing of the New Year.
Other top 20 players include Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson, with last week’s tear-away rookie winner of the Sony Open, Russell Henley, also of interest.
There are 11 Aussies in the field including Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Steven Bowditch, Greg Chalmers, Scott Gardiner, Matt Jones, Cameron Percy and Alistair Presnell.
Ogilvy has just moved his family from California back to Scottsdale in Arizona in a bid to revitalise his flagging golfing career.
Ogilvy was based at Scottsdale and the Whispering Rock Golf Club predominantly when he won his seven US PGA Tour titles, including the 2006 US Open.
Now, as golf writer Ben Everill reports in this excellent article, Ogilvy is trying to recapture some of that magic, particularly by regularly playing fellow pros for money.
“I’ve been playing with and against tour players in competitive money games almost every day and that’s as close to match practice as you can get without playing in actual tournaments. It certainly energises you.” Ogilvy says.
The Humana Challenge is being telecast on Fox Sports beginning Friday 7am to 10am.
2013 Humana Challenge Leaderboard2013 Humana Challenge Leaderboard