Humana Challenge 2015 E/W Tips: Snedeker can return to winning ways on the West Coast

Six-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker
Six-time PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker

Dave Tindall brings us his each-way tips for the PGA Tour's first stop on the US mainland - the Humana Challenge in California...

"If Snedeker starts to show the sort of form that took him to six PGA Tour titles with double-win seasons in both 2012 and 2013, his quotes for this quality of event will be sub-20s. Therefore jump on the 40/1 while you can!"

*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places

Nap - Back Brandt Snedeker @ 41.040/1

A trawl through player records in California can be surprising. Some high-profile names seem to struggle repeatedly while others show up time and time again.

Snedeker very much belongs to the latter category. In his last 10 starts in the Golden State, the man with the Beach Boy-esque blonde sweep has posted two victories, a second place and an eighth. The wins came in January's Farmers Insurance Open and early Feb's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am so he has a reputation for starting the year fast.

Last year was a tough one as he battled injury but at November's HSBC Champions in China, where he finished tied 10th, Snedeker said of his health: "Everything feels good. Haven't had any issues for a while."

Later in that day one interview, the Ryder Cup star added: "I know I'm on the cusp of some really, really good stuff." That was his second top 10 in the last three starts after he posted one in Las Vegas so clearly Snedeker's work with new coach Butch Harmon (they teamed up in July 2014) is showing early reward.

In the Humana, Snedeker has finished 8th (2012) and 10th (2010) while he posted a second-round 64 last year before fading. He said during that week: "This is one of my favourite events. The weather is perfect and the golf courses I feel set up really well for me. The West Coast always seems to treat me very well."

If Snedeker starts to show the sort of form that took him to six PGA Tour titles with double-win seasons in both 2012 and 2013, his quotes for this quality of event will be sub-20s. Therefore jump on the 40/1 while you can!

Next best - Back Ryan Palmer @ 22.021/1

Ryan Palmer can come across as one of those middle-ranked Americans, who pop up from time to time but probably throw in just as many missed cuts.

That's a little harsh as he's won three times and his form of late is excellent.

Starting with a top five in the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, he's reeled off four top 10s in his last nine starts and only once has he finished worse than tied 25th in that run. He continued his impressive form with a T17 at the Sony Open last week and threw in a second-round 63 to remind us he can go low - exactly the requirement for this week.

These low-scoring desert courses which yield birdies and eagles galore are ideal territory for Palmer-golf and that's borne out by his superb recent record in the event.

Last year he finished runner-up to Patrick Reed, the year before he carded bookend 65s to finish sixth and in its five-round format in 2011 he was fourth after closing 65-67-64.

We don't really need a quote to support the idea that he likes this event but it's still reassuring to hear straight from the horse's mouth on why he thrives. "I love being here, I love playing these courses," said Palmer last year. "The weather's always perfect and when I get it going I can shoot low. I can make a lot of birdies. I'm comfortable with the house, the people I stay with at Indian Wells, we have a great time all week and it keeps me relaxed. I'm able to come out here and just enjoy the week."

His price isn't special but course and current form suggest he's the reliable option for an each-way return.

Outsider - Back Scott Stallings @ 81.080/1

Scott Stallings was a winner on the West Coast Swing last year when he captured the Farmers Insurance Open so he immediately puts a tick in the box for California form.

He can add to that a fourth place in this event in 2013.

Stallings was actually leading the way after 54 holes having opened 66-65-63 but stalled (excuse the pun) late on in the final round and was caught.

It's often the case that a player will struggle on their next start in an event they've let slip but will then bounce the year after that. Stallings fits that bill having finished 58th last year and some recent performances also hint at a big challenge.

The 29-year-old - one of very few players in the US to have banked three PGA Tour wins while still in their 20s - had a couple of top 25s in the Fall Series and then flew Down Under where he finished fifth in the Aussie PGA.

He shook off the post-Christmas rust with a 14th in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and should be ready to give this tournament another real crack.

Stallings won the True South Classic in 2012 with 24-under so can prevail in a birdie-fest and at 80/1 he's well worth chancing.

Dave's 2015 P/L (based on £5 e/w per selection)

Staked: £60.00
Returned: £110.00
P/L: +£50.00

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