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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Honda Classic - Preview

The West Coast Swing is in the books and the Florida Swing is up next on the PGA TOUR, with the Honda Classic batting leadoff. Here is a preview to get you off and running with your research.

The setting is PGA National's Champions Course, and it features the famed Bear Trap. The Bear Trap  is the par-3 15th, par-4 16th and par-3 17th holes, and pays homage to Jack Nicklaus, who redesigned the course as recently as 2002. 

It is a par-70 layout that stretches out to 7,140 yards. As is the case with virtually every course in Florida, it features Bermuda greens. For the advanced golf fan, you know that there are players that thrive on Bermuda and others that don't. Those that do are generally locals to the Southeast U.S, and specifically Florida.

There are just two par 5s, so par-5 scoring isn't a big deal here. The four par 3s are a big part of the story, so a look at par-3 scoring average could be wise. With 12 par 4s, make sure to take into account par-4 scoring average. 

Here is a look at the winners and runners-up since the tournament moved to the Champions Course in 2007:
  • 2007: Winner: Mark Wilson (5-under 275) over Jose Coceres, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley (playoff)
  • 2008: Winner: Ernie Els (274) over Luke Donald (275)
  • 2009: Winner: Y.E. Yang (271) over John Rollins (272)
  • 2010: Winner: Camilo Villegas (267) over Anthony Kim (272)
  • 2011: Winner: Rory Sabbatini (271) over Y.E. Yang (272)
  • 2012: Winner: Rory McIlroy (268) over Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis (270)
  • 2013: Winner: Michael Thompson (271) over Geoff Ogilvy (273)
  • 2014: Winner Russell Henley (272) over Russell Knox, Rory McIlroy and Ryan Palmer (playoff)
As alluded to earlier, I will take a hard look at par-3 and par-4 scoring average. Any time Boo Weekley pops up on a list, it's probably a good idea to take a hard look at ball-striking. There is also the need to avoid bogeys / scramble over racking up birdies (par breakers).

We will take all of this into account and spit out a power ranking later on this week.

Until then, best of luck to all!

1 comment:

  1. It would be great to list the players that you mention are Bermuda experts. That is the kind of data that could give me an edge in my league. Thanks