IRONS WILL CARRY MATT KUCHAR AND DAVID TOMS
Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation in La Quinta, California.
Purse – $5.6 million
Winner Share – $1,008,000
FedEx Cup Points – 500
Courses – La Quinta CC; PGA West (Arnold Palmer Private)
Par: 72 on all three courses
Defending Champ: Mark Wilson
Tournament Record – 59: David Duval (1999)
Every week I do “research” into the PGA’s latest tournament. Generally, that consists of looking at last year’s leaderboard and Google searching which of my picks have hot wives. But I figure it can’t hurt to use my intermediate muckraking skills on Humana, the title sponsor. Since, like most PGA events, I know nothing about the company responsible for filling the giant purse.
[caption id="attachment_33755" align="alignright" width="300" caption="<em><strong>Kuchar's wedge wizardry will keep him in contention.</strong></em> <em>Photo Credit</em>: Christian Petersen"][/caption]
I only learned two things about Humana Inc: It’s a healthcare company, and don’t cross them, ‘cause they’ll get ya.
Which is unfortunate. I had a whole bit prepared on the lunacy of a golf tournament hosting the “Humana Well-Being Walk”. Fine PR move, but I guarantee it just consists of a stroll down 18, cigar smoking and a quick photo-op; followed by a lubricated evening with Good Times Hall of Fame member and co-sponsor Bill Clinton. On the whole, golf does less for the promotion of good health than it does for women. No easy feat.
Unfortunately, that mini-diatribe may spur a sternly fonted e-mail from Humama, and I already get enough hate-filled messages; ones filled with evil emoticons that may or may not be trying to pierce my soul. I’m striving for less, not more – LIKE GOLF! Plus, I don’t need it wrecking my life. I fear this benevolent organization. Besides saving lives, Humana is mainly concerned with keeping its good name unsullied.
INT. BOARDROOM – DAY
STERN, BUT CARING CHIEF OF MEDICINE and CORPORATE BIG WIG seated across a negotiating table. CORPORATE BIG WIG has two silent, unnamed lawyers on each side.
STERN, BUT CARING CHIEF OF MEDICINE: “It looks like we have no choice, we have to sell the hospital to you, a for-profit medical corporation. What will you call it?”
CORPORATE BIG WIG: (ominous sound cue) “Ecumena”
STERN, BUT CARING CHIEF OF MEDICINE looks disappointed, ashamed of what the future holds.
This is an excerpt from a 1987 teleplay of St. Elsewhere. Well, it’s how I imagine the scene played out. I’ve never actually seen a second of the show. All I know is that Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World was one of the leads, and that he filmed it in between voicing history’s greatest canal, inlet or fjord adjacent invention - K.I.T.T. But that’s unsubstantial. After seeing a copy of the real script, Humana was not pleased. It immediately sued NBC, trying to get the episode that sees…
“Ecumena portrayed as a for-profit hospital chain based in the Midwest that manages an artificial heart program” and “shows an Ecumena executive rejecting a proposal to establish an AIDS clinic because of ‘plain dollars and cents’.”
… pulled from air. Which is nothing like Humana…
“… a for-profit hospital chain based in Louisville, Ky., that is home to the only permanent artificial heart program in the United States”
… how could anyone draw that conclusion? Apparently Humana. According to an NBC attorney at the time, Humana officials, “don't like what's being said about them, so they're trying to get to us through a trademark infringement case.'' After extensive bickering, the case ended up in front of a federal judge, who sided with the network. But NBC ended up running a disclaimer before the episode anyways; stating that “Ecumena” is not intended to represent a real company: They’d been compromised. Presumably by shadowy figures.
Isolated incident? Please. Michael Moore trashed Humana in his 2007 socialist manifesto Sicko, inspiring an innovative strategy of internal memos designed to mitigate the damage through self-praise. When it was revealed Moore had previously slagged the conglomerate on The Awful Truth, he was done. He’s currently working the Grimace costume outside the last remaining McDonalds in Flint, Michigan. He may or may not be getting paid exclusively in McRibs. As delicious as it sounds, it’s not the page in my life’s Choose Your Own Adventure book I want being flipped to. Humana will come at you with more furious rage than the claw because it likes being messed with less than Texas.
So, I couldn’t be more excited for this week’s Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. I think it is going to be a fabulous tournament. Everyone should watch, and seniors should take advantage of Humana’s Prescription Home Delivery Pharmacy: It’s convenient and affordable!
Also, make sure you have health care.
Matt Kuchar – Kuchar’s marvelous work around the green kept him moving up the leaderboard at the Sony Open, good for a T5. His consistency will have him lingering again this week.
Phil Mickelson - The Humana has the prestigious honor of playing host to Phil’s 2013 debut. Despite a 47th place showing last year, Lefty has two wins in La Quinta in his career and will certainly want to showoff for the potential future First-Husband.
Brandt Snedeker – Showered in SPF 500, Snedeker claimed a solo third at the season opener. And, he cracked the Top 10 in two of his previous three visits to PGA West. He’ll get some Sunday screen time.
Harris English – “Hot Fiya” Harris enters sizzling, firing 62-66 to close out at Waialae, sneaking into a tie for ninth. He’s one of golf’s best young talents and a breakthrough is looming, don’t be shocked if he pulls it off this week.
Webb Simpson – I’ve been riding Simpson all season and see no reason to stop now. He’s been churned out middling results through two events, but a player of his quality won’t keep his distance from a giant payday much longer.
Pat Perez – Steady. That’s about the best you can about Perez. Having a reliable cut maker on your squad is imperative in such an unpredictable C Pool.
David Toms – Charlie Hoffman, Mark Wilson, Mike Weer, Justin Leonard, Bill Haas, D.J. Trahan. All former winners, and all terrific iron players, just like Toms.
John Senden – Like Perez, Senden’s a grinder. He’s a long shot to win, but has enough putting touch to keep him in the birdie making business.
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