The PGA tour heads to the Sunshine State for the first event of the Florida Swing. This event will provide plenty of drama. One of the toughest courses on the PGA tour, with over 6000 balls having found the water that surrounds the course since 2007.
Lacking the firepower of the Genesis field but still plenty of interest and intrigue regardless.
South Florida locals Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka head the field with both previously coming runner-up at this event in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Interestingly Brooks’ brother Chase Koepka is here on a sponsor’s exemption.
Other notables include world number 13 Louis Oosthuizen, 2020 winner Sungjae Im and Joaquin Niemann, fresh off his impressive wire-to-wire win at the Phoenix Open.
Dane Nicolai Hojgaard will make his PGA Tour debut here, who at 20 years old is already a two-time DP World Tour winner.
There will also be a strong British and Irish contingent in Florida this week, perhaps attracted by the windier, tougher conditions they are used to often being a factor here at The Honda Classic. Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Aaron Rai and Padraig Harrington are all here.
The Course (beware the Bear Trap!)
Par 70 – 7,125 Yards, Greens: Bermuda, Designed By: Tom and George Fazio (Renovations by Jack Nicklaus)
This course is tough! In fact, it played 230 over par last year in total. In part, this is thanks to the grueling stretch covered in water called the Bear trap (holes 15-17). 1604 balls have found the water at the Bear Trap since 2007. The winners generally don’t make it to double figures under par. Matt Jones won it at -12 last year but was five shots clear of second place.
Recent Honda Classic Winners
- 2021: Matt Jones (-12)
- 2020: Sungjae Im (-6)
- 2019: Keith Mitchell (-9)
- 2018: Justin Thomas (-8)
- 2017: Rickie Fowler (-12)
What’s it going to take to win?
- Accuracy off the Tee: With long rough and water hazards covering a huge majority of the course, finding the fairway is going to be important. Expect players to hit a few more irons off the tee than we normally see.
- Approach to the Green: Only 64% of the greens were hit in regulation last year and if you don’t hit the green you are in trouble.
- Around the Green: Missing the greens here means a bogey 50% of the time and will challenge the best short game.
- Low bogey % Linked to all of the above but there are players who tend to find better results on tougher golf courses. Being able to avoid bogeys is key.
One to watch
Louis Oosthuizen – Yes, he is the highest ranked golfer in the field but that’s not the only reason why we have picked him as our one to watch. Louis loves a major and this is in large part to the fact he adapts himself very well to a tougher golf course. Louis looked in decent shape on his debut appearance this year coming T14 at the Phoenix Open. Despite all his success, Louis is yet to win a tournament in the U.S. Is this the week?
What we have in store this week
Being on the East Coast means an earlier start time for our tournaments this week so make sure not to be caught out. Here’s what we have in store…
€6k Main event – PLAY HERE
€1.5K Mini-Main – PLAY HERE
Satellites for our Season Long game on all four days
Rounds 2,3,4 single-day DFS (included in our leaderboard)
And of course…
See you on the first tee🏌️