Honda Classic Preview – PGA Tour 2019
The PGA Tour travels to south Florida this week as the players arrive at the PGA National Golf Club to compete in the 2019 edition of the Honda Classic.
The tournament was established in 1972 and has been sponsored by Honda since 1982, when Hale Irwin won the event. The Honda Classic has seen some big name winners over the years including Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy to name but a few.
The course was redesigned by two-time champion, Jack Nicklaus, in 1990 and has become well known on tour for being a demanding layout. The 15th ,16th and 17th holes have been nicknamed ‘The Bear Trap’ due to challenge they offer players.
The defending champion is Justin Thomas having won the 2018 Honda Classic in a playoff against Luke List. Having finished strongly in the final round of the WGC Mexico Championship by equalling the course record previously set by himself, Thomas has four top ten finishes in his last five starts this year.
However, you must go back to 1978 to find the last time a player successfully defended the Honda Classic and that was not played on this golf course. Interestingly, Thomas has missed the cut twice in his four attempts at the Honda Classic and this suggests his tournament could go one of two ways, either fantastic or very poor.
Thomas is the 5/1 favourite with Ladbrokes to win the 2019 Honda Classic.
Fowler in Contention
The second favourite with the bookmakers is Rickie Fowler at 10/1 with William Hill. The American won the Honda Classic by four strokes two years ago and has two other top ten finishes to his name at the PGA National Golf Club.
Fowler finished T36 last week and has three top ten finishes to his name this season, including victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Expect to see Fowler competing to win his second Honda Classic this week.
Scott Rediscovering Top Form
The 2016 winner of the Honda Classic was Adam Scott and the Australian has rediscovered his form in recent weeks, finishing second the Farmers Insurance Open and T7 and the Genesis Open a couple of weeks ago. The former world number one will have good memories of the PGA National and knows how to tame this layout.
Scott makes an interesting bet to win the 2019 Honda Classic at 16/1 with Betfair.
Simpson Has A Chance
Those looking for something of an outside bet could do worse than Webb Simpson. The 33-year-old recorded a T5 at this event last year and has two top ten finishes in five starts this year, with his worst finish being T39 in Mexico last week.
Simpson is inside the top twenty on tour for greens in regulation and scoring average, which makes him a dangerous player at this tournament. You can back Simpson to win the 2019 Honda Classic at 25/1 with Ladbrokes.