After a loaded field featuring all of the world’s premier golfers last week at The Players Championship, this week the PGA Tour heads to the Honda Classic at PGA National, which is one of the hardest courses on the Tour schedule annually.
PGA National is a par 70 course that measures just over 7,100 yards and features Bermuda-grass greens. Holes 15-17 are known as the Bear Trap, one of the toughest three-hole stretches on Tour and one that can end a player’s tournament on the first two days.
After Daniel Berger withdrew on Wednesday, the highest-ranked golfer in the field is defending champion Sungjae Im at 18 in the world. Right behind Im is arguably the hottest golfer in the world not counting wins, Lee Westwood. The 47-year-old mainstay has put together consecutive solo second finishes and has the kind of game to fit this course as well. Don’t be shocked if Westwood finds a way to pick up a victory and go 2-2-1 in back-to-back-to-back showings.
With winds set to be a major factor, there should be plenty of carnage on the course, so looking at some long shots that hit greens in regulation, avoid bogeys and hit approach shots well is going to be crucial when handicapping this tournament.
Here are my favorite bets in this tournament, odds courtesy of Superbook Colorado:
Russell Henley +3000 to win, +300 to finish Top 10:
Henley is a guy I love this week and with three consecutive Top 25s at the Honda Classic, there’s course history backing him. Ranked 26th in ball striking and second in bogey avoidance, Henley should be able to be right there on Sunday with the limited talent in this week’s field.
Jim Furyk +500 to Finish Top 20:
Furyk is a guy that probably won’t win another tournament at 50 years old but with Westwood showing his inner youth, who knows. I do however love Furyk to finish in the top 20 this week and with the loss of Berger (my original pick), that opens up a spot for a solid all-around player like Furyk to take advantage. He’s made 10/10 cuts this season so he’s a good bet to be there on the weekend, where anything can happen. Over his last eight starts, Furyk has an average finish of 16.5, so this is an amazing value on a guy that will be overlooked due to his age.
Sungjae Im +140 to finish Top 10:
With Berger withdrawing, the defending champion Im becomes the odds-on favorite to win at +1200. Im has been as steady as they come of late with a pair of Top 20 finishes over his last four starts and a 21st and 28th place finish to accompany that. It’s so tough to repeat on the PGA Tour but Im will have a great shot at doing so with the field this week. Take the safer bet with a Top 10.