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BlogHonda Classic Preview and Picks

Honda Classic

February 23rd – 26th, 2017

PGA National Champion Course

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,140

Purse: $6.4 million

with $1,098,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Adam Scott

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 44 of the top 100 and 21 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with only three players form the top-ten: #7 Adam Scott, #8 Justin Thomas and #9 Sergio Garcia. The other top 50 players are #13 Danny Willett, #14 Rickie Fowler, #16 Paul Casey, #17 Branden Grace, #18 Tyrrell Hatton, #19 Russell Knox, #21 Brooks Koepka, #22 Jimmy Walker, #25 Louis Oosthuizen, #26 Rafael Cabrera Bello, #28 Emiliano Grillo, #29 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #32 Francesco Molinari, #33 Thomas Pieters, #34 Daniel Berger, #40 Zach Johnson, #47 Kevin Kisner and #49 William McGirt.

Last year there was also 25 top-50 in the field.

The field includes 13 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2017.  Those players are #2 Justin Thomas, #5 Brendan Steele, #8 Mackenzie Hughes, #9 Charles Howell III, #10 Hudson Swafford, #12 Gary Woodland, #15 Cody Gribble, #16 Russell Knox, #18 Keegan Bradley, #19 Daniel Berger, #21 Luke List, #22 Kelly Kraft and #25 Brian Harman.

The field includes 13 players in the top 25 on this year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #2 Justin Thomas, #7 Brendan Steele, #8 Mackenzie Hughes, #9 Charles Howell III, #10 Gary Woodland, #12 Hudson Swafford, #14 Daniel Berger, #15 Cody Gribble, #17 Russell Knox, #20 Keegan Bradley, #21 Kelly Kraft #24 Luke List, and #25 Chris Kirk.

The field includes 9 past champions: Adam Scott (2016), Padraig Harrington (2015 & ’05), Russell Henley (2014), Michael Thompson (2013), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Camilo Villegas (2010), Ernie Els (2008), Mark Wilson (2007) and Luke Donald (2006).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Honda field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Honda in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Honda.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Honda Classic

Player Genesis Open Super 6 Perth AT&T Pebble Beach Maybank Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Classic Farmers Insurance Qatar Masters CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi Sony Open SBS T. of Champions
Charles Howell III
(193.67 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T2
(100)
DNP T12
(25.33)
DNP T8
(33.33)
DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(169 pts)
DNP 5
(70)
DNP DNP 3
(90)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(141 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T3
(60)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP
Ollie Schniederjans
(136.33 pts)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP
Brendan Steele
(135 pts)
T39
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T16
(34)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP DNP T6
(20)
Justin Thomas
(133 pts)
T39
(11)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(88)
Win
(44)
Sergio Garcia
(133 pts)
T49
(1)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Gary Woodland
(130 pts)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T6
(40)
DNP
Kelly Kraft
(120.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP 2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(22)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T27
(15.33)
DNP
Thomas Pieters
(120.33 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(115.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T34
(16)
DNP T11
(39)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP T19
(20.67)
DNP DNP
Tyrrell Hatton
(114.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP
Kevin Kisner
(110 pts)
DNP DNP T10
(40)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP
Scott Brown
(109 pts)
T2
(100)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP T41
(9)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T64
(0)
DNP
J.J. Spaun
(109 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP T50
(0.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Anirban Lahiri
(96 pts)
T64
(0)
DNP DNP T7
(55)
DNP T19
(31)
DNP DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Keegan Bradley
(96 pts)
T34
(16)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Hudson Swafford
(92.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP Win
(88)
DNP T13
(24.67)
DNP
Patrick Rodgers
(91.33 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Branden Grace
(83.33 pts)
T22
(28)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
T13
(24.67)
32
(6)
Martin Kaymer
(81.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP T48
(1.33)
DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP DNP
Rickie Fowler
(79.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Jhonattan Vegas
(74.33 pts)
T15
(35)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T28
(22)
DNP T34
(10.67)
DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
Graham Delaet
(71.33 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Zach Johnson
(71.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP
Kyle Stanley
(70.33 pts)
T39
(11)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(14)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
DNP
C.T. Pan
(66.67 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Marc Leishman
(66 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T24
(26)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(20)
DNP
Seung-Yul Noh
(65.67 pts)
T11
(39)
DNP T8
(50)
DNP T57
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Wesley Bryan
(64.67 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T42
(8)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Honda Classic

Player Genesis Open Super 6 Perth AT&T Pebble Beach Maybank Open Phoenix Open Dubai Desert Classic Farmers Insurance Qatar Masters CareerBuilder Abu Dhabi Sony Open SBS T. of Champions
Spencer Levin
(-53.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Andrew Loupe
(-46.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Chad Collins
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Matt Every
(-43.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Steven Bowditch
(-40 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T51
(0)
DNP
Greg Chalmers
(-39.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
28
(7.33)
Steve Marino
(-38.33 pts)
WD
(-5)
DNP T66
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Blayne Barber
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
David Hearn
(-36.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T58
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP
Harold Varner III
(-33.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T68
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

What a great west coast swing and start of the season.  In 14 events we have 11 different winners, three of them multiple winners in Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama.  Of the 14 events, seven different players in their 20s won ten of the events.  Of the other four, two players were in their 30s (Brendan Steele and Dustin Johnson) while two of them were in their 40s (Rod Pampling and Pat Perez),  Of the ten winners two of them Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson won a major championship.

Tour moves from west to east, then southwest?

So the 7 week west coast swing is finished and the tour moves east but is not going to be smooth with four straight weeks in Florida.  Because of the ending of the WGC at Doral and going to Mexico, the dates were already etched in stone which means the tour is going from L.A. to West Palm Beach, to Mexico and then back to Tampa.  Guess there was no way for this year to go from L.A. to Mexico and then on to Florida but supposedly this is being worked out for next year.  Still I think this scheduling will create a worst field at the Honda.  Still for the players who are sick of putting on Poa Annua and experiencing all of the cold, wet conditions they will see a difference in weather and grasses thus giving those with Florida roots and those that grew up playing bermuda a chance to shine in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately for many they will see the departure of doral after 55 years as a big blow, specially for the folks in Miami.  The Blue Monster was an iconic course and a great destination to play golf on.  Now the PGA Tour says that they would like to see a tournament come back to Doral, but realistically that’s not going to happen while Trump is in the White House.  About the only sponsor that I see is if the Trump family sponsored a tournament themselves, but that won’t happen.  Neither will a company risk up to ten million dollars on a venture that could alienate half of the people that aren’t fans of Trump.

This is also the final stretch run toward the Masters which is six weeks away.  With that the only players that can qualify for the Masters are the winners of the next six events and those that fight there way into the top-50 by the end of the Dell Match Play tournament.  It may seem hard to believe but for the FedEx Cup series the year is a third finish, time flies fast.

One last word about Tiger Woods

The rumor had Tiger in L.A. this week, but he didn’t come out to Riviera to be a part of the tournament that his foundation has a major hand in.  Frankly he probably didn’t want to answer some questions that many have for him, basically what is the truth on his back.  It doesn’t look good and the possibility is that the back isn’t what we thought it would be, pain-free for Tiger.  With the Masters just six weeks away, we don’t know if he will be ready or if he can even play again.  Frankly it’s gotten to the point that a lot of people don’t care anymore.  The game is in a good place with Dustin, Jordan, Rory and Jason and frankly people have run out of energy waiting for the second coming of Tiger Woods.  His fame is Howard Hughes in it’s scope, as Tiger tries to be as cunning as Hughes was to avoid any contact with the real world.  We see the way Rory and Jason is dealing with their physical problems and both have been very private but are the first to be honest and give us updates on their condition.  But Tiger seems to think that the whole world is his enemy and takes the easy way out, only telling people that pay him a fee for the information like he did in his interview with Peter Dawson at Dubai.  It’s a shame but deep down we always knew that Tiger would be golf’s next Ben Hogan, who was a miserable old man who didn’t trust anyone and was forgotten by many even after his death in 1997.  We keep on thinking that Tiger will change one day, but the time flies by fast and the only things heard from the Tiger Woods camp is things that are necessary for him to either play again or get a big fee to do a service for some company.  Oh well.

Things you need to know about the Honda Classic

This will be the 45th Honda Classic.  The tournament got started in 1972 as the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic and was played at Inverrary Golf & C.C. in Lauderhill, Florida.  A bit strange and nobody will bother to care, but Friday would of been the 100th birthday of Gleason, who was a really funny guy and loved golf.  In 1981 Jackie Gleason was dropped from the tournament and the following year Honda came aboard as the tournament sponsor, today they are the longest running sponsor on the PGA Tour. After playing at several courses for 15 years, the tournament switched courses again in 2007. This time to the Champion Course at PGA National, site of the 1983 Ryder Cup and 1987 PGA Championship.  It became an instant success and has upgraded the tournament with more marquee and higher ranked players attending. In 1976 the Players Championship, which back then moved around to different courses, chose Inverrary Golf & C.C., and the Inverrary Classic wasn’t played that year.  The event is the first event in the Florida swing.

Course information:

  • PGA National (Champion Course)
  • Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.
  • 7,110 yards     Par 35-35–70
  • Course has a 75.3 rating and slope rating of 147 fron the championship tees. The course is part of a resort and is open to those that stay at the course.  It also sells local memberships.
  • Last year PGA National Champions Course played to a 71,77 average and was ranked the 5th hardest.  The year before it had a 71.83 average, ranking 4th. In 2014 the Champion Course was the 17th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 70.408 average.  Because of the lack of wind and perfect weather all four days, it played the easiest it ever has since joining the tour in 2007.
  • Course has 78 bunkers and 26 water hazards in which 13 holes have water in play for the professionals.
  • Originally designed by George and Tom Fazio and opened in 1981, Jack Nicklaus redesigned the Champion in 1990, adding the feared “Bear Trap” grouping of holes 15, 16 and 17. In the summer of 2013, The Champion underwent an entire bunker renovation with Nicklaus Design.
  • The average size of the greens is 6,400 square feet.  The most famous part of the course is the “Bear Trap”, holes 15, 16 and 17, two par 3s and a par 4 that will bring a lot of drama and excitement to the finish of the tournament.  The 18th hole also creates a lot of drama, it’s a long par 5 that is close to impossible to hit in two, it’s a true par 5.
  • PGA National has a lot of experience holding golf tournaments.  Along with the last ten Honda Classic’s, it’s held the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship and was home to 18 Senior PGA Championships.  It also been the site of the 1982 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the PGA Junior Championships from 1980-1987, 1989-1992, and 1994-2000 and the PGA Club Professional Championships in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1993.

Let’s take a look at key stats that are important for those playing on the PGA Nationals Champion Course:

This is based on the most important stats for PGA National Champion Course, based on data from last years Honda Classic, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2017. What we do is take there rank for each stat and then add up the four catagories.
The scoring average of the field at PGA National in 2016 was 71.77, so with par being 70 that means the average score was a shot and a third over par, making PGA National the 5th hardest course to score on in 2016 (only four courses played harder). It’s also important to see how the weather played a factor, last year weather was clear but very windy, Thursday gusts up to 30 mph, Friday gusts up to 22 mph and Saturday gusts up to 20 mph. This year the weather will be perfect and the course will play fast and dry, so with winds under 10 mph the scores could go low..

In looking at the stats for PGA National last year Greens hit, Rough Proximity to hole and Scambling are important. Last we pick Par Breakers because last year it was near impossible to make a lot of birdies and eagles. Last year seven courses were harder than PGA National in making lot’s of birdies and eagles.

So how did the winner Adam Scott become victorious last year? He won by a shot over Sergio Garcia as Scott was 1st in Greens hit and 2nd in proximity to the hole as he tee to green game was spotless. In Rough Proximity he may of been 60th but since he hardly got in the rough it wasn’t bad. Scott was 6th in scrambling which was a help and T-1st in Par Breakers showing how important these categories are.

*Greens in Regulation: Since the greens average 6,400 square feet normally they would be easy to hit. But since there is a lot of undulation, hitting it to the perfect place is important. Last year on the PGA Tour, the greens of PGA National were the 12th hardest to hit. This has been the norm for PGA National, in 2015 it ranked 6th, in 2014 it ranked 18th, but in 2013 5th, in 2012 11th and 6th in 2011. So a player that hits lots of greens will have an advantage.

*Rough Proximity: How close you can get the ball on the green when your in the rough off the tee, last year PGA National finished 3rd in this stat.

*Scrambling: No matter how good your game is, missing greens always happens so it’s important to salvage par. Last year PGA National ranked 5th hardest in scrambling and in 2015 was 7th hardest so it’s a hard stat for players on this course.

*Par Breakers: The course is so demanding that making a lot of birdies and eagles aren’t possible. So players that are able to make a lot will do well on this course which ranked 8th last year and 5th in this stat on tour in 2015.

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is the link to all of the stats for all players in the field this week

ere are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Honda Classic:

 

Key stat for the winner:

The tour moves from the west coast to Florida and in the next four weeks will hold three events. Look for a lot of different things as the difference between playing in California/Arizona/Hawaii is like night and day compared to playing in Florida. There is a special breed of player that does better on Bermuda than bent or poa annua.

At the Honda and PGA National, historically all of the winners have some connection to playing well on Bermuda by either being born in Florida, South Africa or Australia or have moved to the Southeast defending champion Adam Scott.  There are players like Michael Thompson, who lives in Birmingham, Alabama or Y.E. Yang who lives in Dallas.  There is also a connection with those like past champions Ernie Els, Camilo Villegas, Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy who have homes Jupiter, Florida.  Even guys like 2007 winner Mark Wilson, who was born in Wisconsin and lives in Illinois has a connection.  His is going to school in North Carolina, so you can see why his five PGA Tour has been on Bermuda courses in Florida, Mexico, Hawaii, Phoenix and Palm Springs.  2004 winner Russell Henley grew up in Macon, Georgia and lives on Kiawah Island which could understand why his two PGA Tour and three Web.Com tour wins are on courses with Bermuda grass.  So look for players with that Bermuda connections.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

Unbelievable and really weird stat:

  • PGA National is a typical Florida course with lots of water and sand, look for scores to be a bit high especially if the wind blows.  This will be the first time players see Bermuda fairways, rough and greens on the year that haven’t been overseeded with rye, so it will take some getting use to.
  • Accuracy is going to play the key over distance.  The Champions course is lined with tight undulating fairways that is surrounded with water and sand not only along the fairways but in the middle of several of the fairways. Hitting greens is very important, since moving to PGA National in 2007 seven of the ten winners and ten of the fifteen runner-ups at Champions were ranked in the top-ten in greens hit.
  • Very tough par 4s at PGA National, Mark Wilson was 4 under in ’07, Ernie Els was 2 under in ’08, Y.E. Yang was 6 under in ’09 while Camilo Villegas was 9 under par in ’10. Keeping trend going was Rory Sabbatini in 2011 playing them in 7 under, but showing that they are tough was Rory McIlroy who was only 3 under in 2012, Michael Thompson who was only 2 under on them in 2013 and Russell Henley who was 6 under in 2014.  In 2015 Padraig Harrington played them in 5 under while Adam Scott was 4 under on them last year.
  • Good putting and scrambling.  The greens are very big and have lots of contours so the winner will be a very good lag putter.
  • Interesting to note that 12 of the last 23 winners of the Honda are those that are either born Floridians or now live in Florida (including 2012 winner Rory McIlroy, who bought a house down the road in Jupiter).  A perfect example is 2006 champion, Luke Donald.  Even though he was born in Great Britian and spent a good part of his time in Chicago, he had a house just a couple of miles away.  Look for that kind of a connection in the winner.  We don’t count 2013 winner Michael Thompson on our list but he lives in Birmingham, Alabama so he has to deal all the time with Bermuda when he is home.  The same with 2014 winner Russell Henley who lives in Kiawah Island, South Carolina and again with have a bermuda connection.  Now we can’t consider Padraig Harrington as a “Floridan” even though he has had a place in Florida and has spent time there, while Adam Scott grew up playing not only on bermuda grass but also playing in winds that will be around this week.
  • Good bunker player since there are a lot of strategically placed bunkers on the course.
  • Look for those that play good in wind, just look at 2015 & ’05 champion Padraig Harrington along with defending champion Adam Scott.  Both are from areas that have winds in Ireland and Australia so don’t think there is anybody better qualified after learning to play golf in these areas.  It could be quite windy this time of year and the course is susceptible to winds so look for a good wind player.  The good news wind shouldn’t be a problem for the week and better yet the week looks to be perfect in no rain and perfect temperatures.

 

Who to watch for at the Honda Classic

Best Bets:

Sergio Garcia

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
2 T31 T8 T50 T13 T43

Came close last year finishing runner-up, he is in a really good place right now with his life so it makes things easier. He could be one of the best ball strikers on tour and comes to the right place for that.

Justin Thomas

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T3 CUT

Should have good Florida vibes after finishing T-3rd at both the Honda and Players Championship last year. He can easily be in the running again, leads the PGA Tour in par breakers.

Adam Scott

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
Win T12 CUT

Last year played well in L.A. and won two straight in Florida starting with the Honda, was T-11th at Genesis but played better than his results. He is a great striker of the ball, something that is very important at this event.

Best of the rest:

Brendan Steele

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T14 T11 T33 T51 75 T63

Has made the cut in all six starts at PGA National, bet finish was T-11th in 2015. Has been knocking at the door every place he plays in, has the game and could win for a second time in 2017 (won Safeway). Also has the stats to do well, 19th in greens hit and 3rd in scrambling.

Thomas Pieters

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
First time playing in this event

Was a surprise runner-up last week in L.A., has the game to do well and looking for a good finish to gain PGA Tour membership for the rest of the year.

Rickie Fowler

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T6 T41 T24 T13 T7 CUT CUT

Lives down the block in Jupiter, he was T-6th last year and has a good record playing in Florida. He has three top-six finishes in his last five starts including a T-4th in his last start at the Phoenix Open.

Graeme McDowell

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
5 CUT T46 T9 T9 T6 T31 T65

Has taken a liking to this course, has four top-tens at it including a 5th last year.

Luke Donald

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T61 T7 T8 T10 2 T46 Win

He is the sleeper pick of the week, has played well finishing in the top-ten in his last four Honda starts including a runner-up in 2008. Guy has played a bit inconsistent this year, but could all of a sudden become a superstar this week.

Solid contenders

Charles Howell III

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T44 T55 T29 T26 T10 T26 T55

Always seem to do well on the west coast swing, be interesting to see if there is anything left in the tank. Has only finished in the top-ten once in 2011.

Daniel Berger

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT 2

Has some history on this course, plays well in Florida as he was born, raised and lives in the state (Home is Jupiter). Was T-7th in his last start in Phoenix.

Russell Knox

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T26 T3 T2

Has played well with a T-2nd in 2014, T-3rd in 2015 and T-26th last year, is a total of a 11 under par for his 12 rounds on the Champions Course.

Ollie Schniederjans

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT

Has been remarkable the last four weeks with two top-tens. Went to school at Georgia Tech so he knows how to play in Florida.

Long shots that could come through:

Gary Woodland

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T61 T68 T6 T73

Has a spotty record in this event, but did finish T-6th in 2011. Like him because he was T-5th at Pebble and T-6th at the Sony.

Ian Poulter

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
T43 T3 T36 T46 T41

You never know with Ian, he played great in 2015 and could do the same this year.

Jhonattan Vegas

2017 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05
CUT T12 T67 T70

Has been very consistent on tour in 2017, has mixed results on the Champions Course including being in the running the final day in 2014 before shooting a final round 74.

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