What: Honda Classic
When: February 23rd - 26th
Where: Palm Beach Gardens
2016 Winner: Adam Scott
Purse: $6.4MM (Winner: $1.15MM)
I will be mirroring the format for last year. It follows Yahoo's Fantasy Golf where you pick 2 A Golfers, 4 B Golfers and 2 C Golfers. As such I will pick one from A, 2 from B and 1 from C (as if they were your starters) along with one Dark Horse pick. It is my aim to do two things: first, select golfers who will do well. These golfers will not always win but it is my aim to keep the selections to golfers who make the cut and will be competitive down the stretch on Sunday. Second - select golfers who aren't always the obvious choice. If you are playing the Yahoo format or even the PGA fantasy league than you are severely limited on starts.
Course: PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Opened in 1981 by George and Tom Fazio, this presents a big jump in the season as we jump from the West Coast to the East and Florida Greens are now introduced. Best known for holes 15-17 "The Bear Trap", this course presents not only a difficult layout to maneuver but also a sharp jump across the country into a completely new dynamic of wind, land and grass conditions. It is known to be the hardest par 70 among the non-majors. Coming so early in the season it's interesting to see who rises to the challenge.
Adam Scott. While Luke Donald is the logical pick, Adam has been playing so well lately. I mentioned this last week but he now has 4 consecutive top 15 finishes on the PGA tour. He won here last year, did not play in 2015 and 12th in 2014.
Russell Knox. Another player who is dominating the courses right now, Russell is 16th in the FedEx Cup, 19th in Official World Golf Ranking. He missed the cut at Waste Management but prior to that he had 9 consecutive top 20 finishes. He was 26th here last year, 3rd in 2015 and 2nd in 2014.
Charles Howell II. He has been electric lately - last 8 tournaments he finished within the top 15 every time. The issue - he has had minimal success at this tournament: Missed Cut in 2016, 44th in 2015, 55th in 2014 and 29th in 2013 but I think this is the year it turns around due to a few things but most notably, in years past there was evidence of his game starting to struggle in the precursing tournament The Northern Trust Open (now the Genesis Open) but not this year, he finished 15th and was playing well through the entire tournament.
Sergio Garcia. Doubling down on Sergio. Last three starts - 17th, 9th and 49th. He finished 2nd here last year, 31st in 2015 and 8th in 2014. He knows how to bring strong game early in the season to a difficult course.
Tyrrell Hatton. First PGA tournament of the year for him. He's 18th in Official World Golf Ranking. Last year, over 5 tournaments (mostly golf championships or majors) he finished in the top 20 60% of the time. I want to see what he can do at PGA National Resort.