2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National 2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National
Dustin Johnson won last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship at 21 under par. I can guarantee you that will not be the winning score at this... 2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National

2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National

Dustin Johnson won last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship at 21 under par. I can guarantee you that will not be the winning score at this week’s tough Honda Classic at PGA National. This tournament has suffered a bit because of the new schedule (more on that below), but there are still plenty of big names — including last year’s defending champ — making appearances.

Let’s take a look at this week’s contest.

Event information

What: Honda Classic | When: Feb. 28 – Mar. 3
Where: PGA National — Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Ranking the field (odds)

  • Justin Thomas (5-1): The defending champ coming off his fourth top 10 in five starts and a course-record 62 at the WGC-Mexico Championship? Sure.
  • Rickie Fowler (10-1): Won this event in 2017, and no Johnny Miller breathing down his neck this year!
  • Adam Scott (14-1): Why do I trust Adam Scott over a 5-foot putt more than I trust Tiger Woods right now? (Update: Confirmation bias going on here. Scott is 214th on the PGA Tour on putts from 4 to 8 feet. Tiger is T96).
  • Sergio Garcia (16-1): He was pretty awesome last week in his second PGA Tour event of the season, and he finished second here to Scott a few years ago. Kind of a sneaky good pick at that number.
  • Brooks Koepka (12-1): Interesting note by Rob Bolton here: Koepka doesn’t have a top 25 at this course in four tries. Still, if he’s in the field, he’s probably in my top five or 10.
  • Gary Woodland (18-1): T2 behind Fowler two years ago, and has arguably been playing the best golf of anyone in this field not named Thomas. 
  • Cameron Smith (25-1): He’s in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in strokes gained with guys like Justin Rose, Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. Preposterous ball-striker.
  • Alex Noren (40-1): Perfect for PGA National. He strikes the crap out of it, and finished one shot out of a playoff last season. No full field top 10s since winning the French Open last summer, though.
  • Billy Horschel (33-1): Two top 10s here in the last three seasons, and had a top 10 at Torrey a few weeks ago.
  • Michael Thompson (50-1): A buddy brought him up as a one and done, and I almost spit out my coffee. But it’s a good take! Thompson won in 2013 and has four straight top-15 finishes (including Riviera!)
  • Field strength — B-: It’s certainly not great! Only six of the top 25 in the world are playing this week, which, as Golfweek pointed out, is only half as many as last year. It’s still interesting because of the Fowler-Thomas-Koepka trio (not to mention the Adam Scott resurgence), but it’s not what it was when Tiger Woods was trying to run down Rory McIlroy in 2012.

    Three things to know

    1. J.T.’s history: Thomas is trying to join Jack Nicklaus as just the second back-to-back champion here and first since it moved away from Inverrary in 1984 (or longer than I’ve been alive).

    2. Bear Trap numbers: I know it’s overplayed and tiring, but the three-hole close on Nos. 15-17 at PGA National really is insane. Two of those holes were among the 10 hardest on the PGA Tour last season, and No. 17 ranked as the toughest non-major championship hole all year (+0.533 strokes over par). No lead is safe going to the end, and that’s part of what makes this event great.

    3. Adam Scott’s Masters odds: The Australian has been playing some terrific golf but is still 35-1 to win the Masters in April. Does he contend again this week and see that number drop to where it should be (around 25-1)? I don’t really know why I’m so interested in this story, but he’s been one of my top storylines through the first two months of the new year. 

    Story I’m following

    Two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton, who has dropped to No. 697 in the world and hasn’t competed in a PGA Tour event since 2016, Monday qualified into the tournament. He finished T4 here in 2013.

    Tiger watch

    Woods is taking this week off, even though he lives close by. He’s is resting up for the next two events as he’ll play the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship in consecutive weeks. This follows a two-week stretch where he played the Genesis Open and WGC-Mexico Championship.

    Past winners

    • 2018: Justin Thomas
    • 2017: Rickie Fowler
    • 2016: Adam Scott
    • 2015: Padraig Harrington
    • 2014: Russell Henley

    Honda Classic picks

    2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National

    Adam Scott

    Winner:  Somebody please stop me from doing this!        

    2019 Honda Classic picks, predictions, odds: Ranking the field at PGA National

    Justin Thomas

    Top 10:  An auto top-10 pick for me at this point. His odds should actually probably be even lower than 5-1.    

    Graeme McDowell

    Sleeper: A Rob Bolton special! McDowell has four top-10 finishes in his last eight starts here, with the most recent coming in 2016 when he finished solo fifth.    
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