The Honda Classic
Date: February 22nd – 25th
Course: PGA National Golf Club Champion Course
Purse - $6.6MM ($1.2MM to winner)
FedEx points – 500 to winner
2017 Winner: Rickie Fowler (-12)
Course: PGA National Golf Club Champion Course. 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.
My Starting 4:
Billy Horschel. Solid outings the last two years here – 8th in 2016 and 4th last year. He’s struggling as of late, he missed cuts in the last two tournaments but there is a similar pattern the last two years where he struggled in the tournament leading into the Honda Classic and still showed up strong. He is currently 81st in the official world golf ranking, he’s 62nd in strokes gained off the tee and 52nd in strokes gained approaching the green.
Sergio Garcia. He’s finished in the top 35 each of the last 3 years here, 31st in 2015, 2nd in 2016 and 14th in 2017. He’s 21st in the FedEx Cup ranking, 11th in the official world golf ranking. This will be his inaugural PGA event of 2018.
Sean O’Hair. Three consecutive finishes in the top 25 at the Honda Classic – 25th in 2015, 14th in 2016 and 11thlast year. He’s struggled this year outside of his one win – two missed cuts and every finish above 50 but at Champion Course where he’s familiar, he will rebound.
Rickie Fowler. Back to back top 10 finishes here, outside of his one missed cut this season he’s finished in the top 12 in every event, 7th in official world golf ranking and 9th in total strokes gained this season.
My Bench 2:
Tyrell Hatton – Finished 4th here last year, currently 15thin official world golf ranking. This is a bit of a toss up as to how he will fare but he has a good chance at a top 20 finish.
Alex Noren. He has now finished in the top 25 in 4 consecutive tournaments. He is 9th in strokes gained approaching the green, 21st in strokes gained tee to green and 11th in total strokes gained. He has not played here so there is no history to work from.
Which top Golfer not already named will do the best?
This poll is closed
Starting 4: Avg place 41st (31st percentile)
Bench 2: Avg place 37th (28th percentile)