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PGA Tour: Looking Ahead to the Humana Challenge

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

During the next few weeks on the PGA Tour, the biggest names in the sport are going to begin making their season debuts. This week at the Humana Challenge is an example of just that, as Phil Mickelson kicks off his 2013 campaign. “Lefty” has had plenty of success on the west coast and is certainly hoping for that trend to continue. He needs to get off to a hot start, but isn’t a lock to do so as his T45th season opener last year indicates.

Outside of the usual notable participants, I will be keeping a close eye on rookies Russell Henley and Scott Langley. Will they be able to continue to play at an incredibly high level or will they come back down to earth after what was sure to be an emotionally draining wee last week? If Henley can continue his hot streak with the putter, he’s going to be in contention this week and just about every week he plays.

I expect Henley to be in contention late on Sunday with Mickelson, Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson. Out of the four, I think Snedeker has the best shot at pulling out the victory. Mickelson will still be shaking off the rust and will miss a few key shots, but will finish in the top 15. Simpson tied for 13th in his last start here and should finish in the top 10. I think Henley gives the top spot on the leaderboard a serious run, but he runs out of gas and falls a few shots back of the eventually winner, who I predict will be Snedeker, who finished eighth in this event last year to start his season. His hot streak on the greens will carry over enough from the end of last year to give him the win.

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think will happen this week on the PGA Tour.

You can view all of Carl’s RantSports articles here and follow him on Twitter @CarlConradRS.