The Honda Classic
When: February 25th - 28th
Where: PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
2015 Winner: Padraig Harrington (-6)
The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.
PGA National Resort and Spa: The Champion Course - Created by Tom and George Fazio in 1981, this course was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2014. The course allows for easy landing areas and very approachable greens. The challenge comes across holes 15-17 "The Bear Trap" two par 3's and a par 4. The navigation through the Bear Trap where there are literally traps littered throughout this section can make or break the success on this course. "The Champions layout at PGA National is 7,140 yards of venom, a king cobra of a course that rises without warning to strike down the world's best golfers. Snake charmers may have a better chance of taming it than the players at the Honda Classic." - Karen Crouse of the The New York Times, February 2014.
Rickie Fowler. The 7 year vet "Cowboy" out of Oklahoma State is having a good 2016. He has one missed cut and 5 top 25 finishes. He has great distance on his drives and should he fall into the Bear Trap he is 5th on the tour in sand save percentage. He finished 7th here in 2012, 13th in 2013, 24th in 2014 and 41st last year.
Luke Donald. The 15 year vet out of Northwestern had a rough year in 2015 but is off to a decent rebound in 2016. He has yet to crack the top 25 in each tour but is getting closer and closer. His putting has improved (especially on days 1 and 2 of tournaments), he's great at going for the green which he will have ample opportunity to do in this tournament and best of all, he has a good track record. He won here in 2006 and over the last few years has four top ten finishes in his last four times at this tournament.
Webb Simpson. The 8 year vet out of Wake Forest has yet to miss a cut so far in 2016 with 3 top 20 finishes under his belt. He is 45th in driving distance and 10th in going for the green. He is able to land it close to the hole from sand but putting has been his down fall. If he can keep the strong distance and approach shots it should mitigate the poor putting at The Champion Course. His only recent play at this tournament was in 2011 where he finished 24th.
Paul Casey. The 16 year vet out of Arizona State has had a respectable year with 3 top 25 finishes, 1 missed cut and one top 40 finish so far. He's 5th in going for the green with some great approaches beyond 225 yards. He has a good drive and is 2nd on the tour in ball striking which is great on a course where you can let it fly. After missing the cut at the Honda Classic in 2013, he finished 12th in 2014 and 3rd last year.
Dark Horse Bonus Pick:
Tyrone Van Aswegen. The 12 year vet out of Oklahoma City has played quite a bit on the tour this year. He has 3 top 25 finishes, one missed cut and 7 finishes between Missed Cut and top 25. His strength at this tournament comes in scrambling as he's 12th on the tour in sand save scrambling. He approaches well from within 125 yards and is in the top 70 on the tour in putting. He's the opposite of Webb Simpson. He finished 24th here in his only play in the tournament in 2014.
Last tournament results - Northern Trust Open (144 total field)
A: 4th place
B: 20th place; 78th place
C: 45th place
Dark Horse: 139th place (apologize as John Huh was one of the 5 worst in the tournament.)
YTD Avg: (Average field of 131 people)
A: 46th place
B: 26th place
C: 53rd place
Dark Horse: 52nd place