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2020 Honda Classic

Honda Classic
Photo Copyright Steve Haag

2020 Honda Classic Preview

Last week’s WGC event ended in spectacular style, with seven players flirting in and out of contention.

It was a magnificent start to the WGC roster, showing just how unpredictable the upcoming Major season will be.

With the West Coast Swing well and truly over, the tour moves to Florida for the Honda Classic. Poa Annua greens will give way to Bermuda and you may see this reflected in upcoming leader-boards.

PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Garden is the brainchild of Tom and George Fazio – reworked by Jack Nicklaus in 1990.

Last season it was ranked the most difficult non-major Par 70 on tour. Only three of the four winning scores here have reached double digits.

While not a links course, this is an exposed design that is wind-affected. Three Open Champions have tasted success here.

I find it somewhat bizarre to see Tommy Fleetwood leading the markets ahead of Brooks Koepka regardless of recent form. Fleetwood’s only victory for the better part of two years came at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Defending champion Keith Mitchell will be hoping that a return to Florida can see some reversal in his recent fortunes.

Ricky Fowler is a former champion here while both Justin Rose and Louis Oosthuizen should feel comfortable.

Past Winners

2019: Keith Mitchell (-9)
2018: Justin Thomas (-8)*playoff
2017: Ricky Fowler (-12)
2016: Adam Scott (-9)
2015: Padraig Harrington (-6)*playoff

Outright Betting

Tommy Fleetwood (10/1)
Brooks Koepka (11/1)
Rickie Fowler (12/1)
Gary Woodland (20/1)
Justin Rose (25/1)

Value Bets

Daniel Berger
To Win (33/1), To Place (7/1)

Berger lost in a playoff here in 2015, though he has little form here since that close call.

Daniel’s career has been in decline over the last few seasons.

But Berger seems to have found something again in his game, with back-to-back top 10’s at the Phoenix Open and Pebble Beach.

At Pebble, his stats were encouraging, finishing fifth in shots gained tee to green and seventh in the scrambling analysis. Let’s not forget he’s a Florida native.

Dylan Frittelli
To Win (125/1), To Place (25/1)

This one just looks very enticing in the place markets.

The Champion course is riddled with 400-450 yard par 4’s. These are exactly the type of holes that Frittelli can score on.

The pure ball-striker missed the cut here last season but finished 11th the season before.

Since then he has broken through with his maiden PGA Tour victory at the John Deere Classic.

Frittelli hasn’t started this season in scintillating form but does have a couple of top 10’s to his name; at Sanderson Farms and the Safeway Open.

The Man to Beat

Billy Horschel
To Win (28/1), To Place (6/1)

I have a positive feeling about the amicable American this week.

Like this week’s favourite Tommy Fleetwood, Horschel is a highly accomplished long-iron player who can tame this beast.

He finished in a tie for 10th last year and has a further top-five finish to his name around The Champion course.

Horschel enters this event in brilliant form, having secured back-to-back T9 finishes at the WGC Mexico and Phoenix Open.

The former FedEx Cup Champion is playing some of his most consistent golf in years and will be comfortable under-the-radar.

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