The Honda Classic
Date: March 18th – 21st
Course: PGA National Resort and Spa
Purse: $7MM ($1.3MM to winner)
2020 Winner: Im Sung-Jae (6)
OWGR Points: 38
PGA National Golf Club Champion Course — Opened in 1981 by George and Tom Fazio, this course is middle of the pack in terms of Course Rating (75.2) and Slope Rating (148) the hardest facet is that it’s a par 70. 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
Daniel Berger (second selection this year) — Berger has top 40 finishes here the last three years. He has top 10 finishes in five of his last seven tournaments. He’s 18th in total strokes gained.
J.T. Poston (third selection this year) — Poston has been among the top 40 his last three times here. Currently 6th on the tour in strokes gained putting, he has top 25 finishes in three of his last five tournaments coming into the Honda Classic.
Russell Henley (first selection this year) — Henley has continued to improve here each of the last four years. In 2017 he finished 43rd, he was down to 24th in 2018, 20th in 2019 and finally 8th last year. He’s is 23rd in total strokes gained and 6th in strokes gained approaching the green with his excellent iron play.
Rickie Fowler (fifth selection this year) — Fowler has a real up and down relationship at the Honda Classic. He won here in 2017 then fell to 85th the next year. He finished 2nd in 2019 and then rebounded with a 72nd last year. Following this trend, he will finish 3rd this year!
My Bench 2
Lucas Glover (first selection this year) — Glover averaged a 14th place finish here between 2017 and 2019. Last year he struggled a fell to 87th. He’s 47th in strokes gained off the tee and he has made the cut in 7 of his last nine tournaments.
Byeong-Hun An (second selection this year) — With two top five finishes across his last three years at PGA National Resort’s Champion Course, Byeong-Hun An is as good a bet as any to be among the top 10 at the end of Sunday. He’s 7th in strokes gained around the green and up until his missed cut at the Players Championship last week he was riding on five consecutive cuts made. His putting is really holding him back this year.
Fun Fact: Jack Nicklaus won here in back to back years 1977 and 1978.
2020-2021 Stats (1st percent would be the top golfer picked every week)
Starting 4: avg finish 37th (29th percent)
Bench 2: avg finish 48th (38th percent)