Honda Classic Betting Tips - £130
Location: Champion Course, PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens. A parkland course with water in play on 13 holes and lots of bunkers - accuracy is rewarded this week.
Field: Only Sungjae Im (18), Billy Horschel (19) and Shane Lowry (20) appear in the top 20 this week as the Honda Classic is sandwiched between 3 tournaments with elevated status and double the prize money so almost all of the big names are taking a break after the Genesis and before the Arnold Palmer and the Players.
Horses for courses: Im (69.64), Straka (69.64), Ben An (69.71), Lowry (70) and Cam Davis (70.08) top the stroke averages at the Honda Classic for the last 5 years.
Previous winners: Straka (2022), Im (2020), Padraig Harrington (2015) and Camilo Villegas (2010) are the past champions to tee it up this week and with no disrespect to Harrington and Villegas they won’t be featuring in my staking plans this week.
This week I’m looking for great ball striking as accuracy tee to green will be rewarded, with a sprinkling of recent form.
If you’ve played well the last few weeks and there’s an absence of the biggest names it has to be circled as an event you can pick up a win and enjoy all of the benefits that come with that so the guys 20-50 in the world should fancy their chances.
Whilst I’ll be avoiding Im because 11/1 is too skinny for a player that has only won twice on tour and struggles to convert rafts of top 10s into W’s, there’s some good value on offer this week particularly in the 40-100/1 bracket.
Denny McCarthy has teased me with a T4 at the AT&T and he’s poised to convert this week and claim his first PGA Tour win. £50 at 40 on the Exchange returns £2000 and the solid effort at the AT&T was followed by a T14 at Riviera and he’s placed T3 in 2021 at this event. Will the stars align and reward a very strong player with their first win - I hope so!
Ben An (£30 at 65 returning £1950) and Sepp Straka (£30 at 70 returning £2250) haven’t set the world on fire this week but both sit in the top 3 for stroke averages at the Honda and will be in the group of strong players looking for that spark to ignite their season - both have the game and talent to win this week and offer strong value considering their form here.
Webb Simpson (£20 at 100 returning £2000) is my wildcard purely based on value - 100/1 I can’t avoid and whilst that can be supported with very poor performances of late (57, MC, MC) in his 3 starts this season, Webb will surely have a couple of Majors to his name by the end of his career and would need 50% of his ability to win this week. This form can’t last much longer and we’ll see the old Webb soon, hopefully it’ll be this week.
I’m colouring outside the lines slightly this week with a £130 stake but I really like McCarthy plus the 3 savers - all four players sit in the 40-100/1 bracket and with returns of around £2000 each that -£1030 could be +£1000 for the season by the end of the week!