Power Rankings: 2015 Humana Challenge


The PGA Tour heads to the mainland for the Humana Challenge, the 10th event of the wraparound season. A full field of 156 players will take on three courses in the Coachella Valley.

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Patrick Reed won this event a year ago by two shots over Ryan Palmer. Here are 10 players to watch in Palm Springs:

1. Matt Kuchar: Kuchar enters off a T-3 at the Sony Open where he challenged eventual winner Jimmy Walker before fading on Sunday. Kuchar's time in Palm Springs has been well-spent: five straight top-25 finishes, including a runner-up showing in 2010.

2. Patrick Reed: The defending champ cruised to victory a year ago, and now he returns after a playoff victory at Kapalua. Momentum is clearly on his side, and another high finish should edge Reed closer to that top-five standing he told us about a year ago.

3. Bill Haas: Haas got his first win at the Humana back in 2010, and since then he has added a runner-up (2011) and a T-6 (2014). He was one of the most consistent players on Tour last season, making 27 cuts in 28 starts and running through the FedEx Cup Playoffs with four straight top-16 finishes.

4. Keegan Bradley: As Webb Simpson showed at Sony, there is life after anchoring. Bradley switched to a counterbalanced putter at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished T-3, and now will embark on his first full season without the belly putter. In two starts in Palm Springs, he's finished T-7 (2011) and T-18 (2014).

5. Zach Johnson: Johnson finished T-3 here a year ago, and in three Humana appearances he has yet to finish outside the top 25. While he let a successful title defense slip away over the weekend at Kapalua, he remains one of the game's best in creating - and converting - birdie chances.

6. Chris Kirk: Kirk was derailed by a third-round 74 at Waialae, but his T-26 finish was still respectable - even moreso considering that it's his worst result since the BMW Championship in September. Kirk was T-7 in his Humana debut in 2011 and has closed the first two events of 2015 in style: a final-round 62 in Maui followed by a 64 Sunday in Honolulu.

7. Ryan Palmer: Last year's runner-up has three top-six finishes in the last four years. He opened his new year with a T-17 finish at Sony, highlighted by a second-round 63, and Palmer finished last season in the top 10 on Tour in both total strokes gained and birdie average.

8. Brendon Todd: Todd was one of the Tour's breakout stars last season, and he has had some success in Palm Springs, where he finished T-6 a year ago. He opened 2015 with eight straight sub-par rounds, a streak that should continue this week in the desert.

9. Webb Simpson: Simpson seems rather comfortable with his new short putter, and now he heads to a tournament where he has cracked the top 25 in three of five previous appearances, including last year when he closed with a 64. Currently eighth on Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green.

10. Justin Thomas: Confidence breeds success. Thomas notched his second top-10 finish of the season at the Sony, where his second-round 61 earned him a share of the lead at the halfway point. In a tournament where the winning score usually exceeds 20 under, Thomas could be a threat after leading the Web.com Tour in birdie average in 2014.