Opening Round at The Honda Classic
After missing The Honda Classic Pro-Am on Wednesday but indicating he would play in the tournament, Daniel Berger, the favorite and second-highest ranked player scheduled to compete, WD from the Honda yesterday.
Only six of the top 30 Tour players in the FedExCup standings are in the field this week, led by Joaquin Niemann (No. 12).
The field does include 11 past champions: Vijay Singh (1999), Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015), Luke Donald (2006), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Michael Thompson (2013), Russell Henley (2014), Adam Scott (2016), Rickie Fowler (2017), Keith Mitchell (2019) and Sungjae Im (2020).
Lee Westwood, runner-up the last two weeks, made the biggest jump in the FedExCup during the tour’s “Florida Swing,” beginning at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession (131 spots) to tee-off at The Honda.
Honda Classic defending champion Sungjae Im enters his title defense in the tournament in the top 20 in both the FedExCup and Official World Golf Ranking.
PGA National features “The Bear Trap” at (Nos. 15-17) a stretch of land that ranks as the fourth-toughest three-hole stretch on Tour since 2007 (among courses played in at least 10 seasons, non-majors).
Weather for Today: Partly Cloudy with a 20% chance of rain. Temperatures expected to be 71-85 degrees with winds S/SW at 15-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Friday weather calls for a chance of Showers and T-Storms, 50% chance of rain but winds 12-18 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Similar forecast for the weekend, with showers and windy conditions.
PGATourBrunch will be serving an early “BRUNCH” and posting at 7am EDT Friday and 8:00am EDT Saturday-Sunday.
Next Week: World Golf Championship - Dell Technologies Match Playand the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club in Dominican Republic.
Kramer Hickok OUT / Brandon Hagy IN
Daniel Berger OUT / Rhein Gibson IN
Brian Harman OUT / Joseph Bramlett IN
Sam Burns OUT / J.J. Spaun IN
Gary Woodland OUT / Sebastian Cappelen IN
Scott Piercy OUT / D.J. Trahan IN
Doc Redman OUT - Kiradech Aphibarnrat IN
The Field (link)
THIS WEEK on the PGA TOUR: The Honda Classic
COURSE: PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
ARCHITECTS: Tom Fazio
YARDS/PAR: 7,125 yards/Par 70
PRIZE Money/First Place Winnings: $7,000,000/$1,260,000
DEFENDING Champion: Sungjae Im - (Leaderboard link)
PAST RESULTS: (link)
PAST CHAMPIONS of Event: (link)
FEDEx CUP Points Available/Winner Share: 2,989/500
SOCIAL MEDIA: #PGATour #FedEXCup @TheHondaClassic
TV COVERAGE: Today, March 18 and Friday, March 19: 2:00pm to 6:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel. Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 - Early coverage on Golf Channel from 1:00pm to 3:00pm and the switch at 3:00pm to 6:00pm (ET) to NBC.
STREAMING: PGA Tour Live will offer streaming coverage of Featured Groups today and Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm (EDT); and on Saturday and Sunday from (7:15am-3:00pm EDT), PGA Tour Live will stream Featured Holes on Saturday and Sunday from (3:00pm to 6:00pm EDT).
PGA Tour is also offering its “Twitter” feed today and Friday from 7:30am to 8:35am EDT and on Saturday and Sunday from 7:15am to 8:30am (EDT).
PGA TOUR RADIO COVERAGE: Today, March 18 - Friday, March 19 - 12:00pm to 6:00pm (EDT); then Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21: (1:00pm to 6:00pm (EDT)) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. PGA Tour Radio is available on Sirius 208/XM 92) or online on PGATour.com.
Odds & Predictions:
A L👀K at the O👀S and A PREDICTION OR TWO:
The Honda Classic - odds (via William Hill)
Sungjae Im 14-1
Joaquin Niemann 20-1
Lee Westwood 22-1
Adam Scott 25-1
Talor Gooch 28-1
Shane Lowry 28-1
Russell Henley 28-1
Chris Kirk 35-1
Brendan Steele 40-1
Cameron Tringale 40-1
Cameron Davis 40-1
Rickie Fowler 45-1
Keegan Bradley 45-1
Martin Kaymer 45-1
Dylan Frittelli 50-1
Doug Ghim 50-1
Wyndham Clark 55-1
Byeong Hun An 55-1
Matt Wallace 55-1
Alex Noren 55-1
Ian Poulter 60-1
J.T. Poston 60-1
Brandon Wu 60-1
MacKenzie Hughes 60-1
Erik Van Rooyen 66-1
Russell Knox 66-1
Aaron Wise 70-1
Matt Jones 70-1
Adam Hadwin 70-1
Michael Thompson 70-1
Jhonattan Vegas 70-1
Kevin Streelman 70-1
Patton Kizzire 80-1
James Hahn 80-1
Luke List 80-1
Harold Varner 80-1
Ryan Moore 80-1
Keith Mitchell 80-1
Rory Sabbatini 80-1
Will Gordon 80-1
Zach Johnson 80-1
Chez Reavie 80-1
Richy Werenski 80-1
Phil Mickelson 80-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 80-1
Henrik Norlander 90-1
Lucas Glover 90-1
Maverick McNealy 100-1
Nick Taylor 100-1
Lucas Herbert 100-1
Matthew NeSmith 100-1
Adam Long 100-1
Mark Hubbard 100-1
Tom Hoge 100-1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 100-1
TL’s Wedge for an Edge: For the weekly PGA Tour Fantasy Game, my starting foursome will be: Lee Westwood, Jungjae Im, Talor Gooch and Joaquin Niemann. Back-ups on the bench for The Honda Classic are: Shane Lowry and Cameron Davis.
For PGA Tour One and Done? I’ll be going with Niemann.
If you used Niemann, don’t hesitate to try Westwood, Lowry or take a shot with Russell Henley.
I was shading Berger with the back pain issue and was on the ball since he WD.
Quick Look/Key Information:
Last Week’s Final Leaderboard from The PLAYERS Championship (link)
2020 Honda Classic Results (Sungjae Im was Champion) - (link)
Past Winners and Runners-Up at The Honda Classic (link)
What They’re Saying:
Tee Times and Pairings (GolfCom)
About “The Bear Trap” - (ProGolfWeekly)
Players Withdraw from The Honda with COVID-19+ (CBS Sports HQ)
#Sports Gambling News
A “Not so Bold Westwood Pick (GolfDigest)
CBS Sports Odds and Predictions (CBS Sports HQ)
Expert Picks (PGATourCom)
Sleeper Picks (PGATourCom)
On This Day in Golf History:
March 18, 2001- Hale Irwin won his 30th title on the PGA Champions Tour, breaking the record of 29 set by Lee Trevino. Irwin set the mark with a five-stroke victory over Tom Watson and Allen Doyle at the Siebel Classic in Silicon Valley, California. (Courtesy of Randy Walker), Author of On This Day in Golf History, available via Amazon.com and by clicking HERE