Honda Classic – Gambling/DFS Preview 2020

PGA National Golf Club (Champion Course) – Palm Beach, FL

Course Breakdown

Par 70, 7140 yd, 2nd hardest course on the PGA Tour two years ago, coastal track so wind could be a big factor, 28 water hazards so water is a big factor and in play on 15 holes, 78 bunkers, harder than average fairways to hit (~60%), thick rough, very difficult greens to hit (~60%), average size and speed Bermuda greens, greens are elevated and contoured and false fronts, a lot of golfers will go mostly less than driver off the tee (one of lowest driving distance averages on tour at 272 yds vs. 283 average)

Tournament Notes

  • No player since Jack in 1978 has defended his title at the Honda Classic
  • The Bear Trap (holes 15-17) is the 3rd most difficult 3 hole stretch on tour, which will probably decide the winner on Sunday
  • Holes 5-7 here are the 4th most difficult 3 hole stretch on tour
  • 3 of the last 4 winners have a T12 finish here in one of the 2 years before winning
  • 7 of the last 8 winners here have had a finish of T13 or better in the previous year here before the win
  • All of the last 8 winners here had made the cut here before the win (so course history matters a bit)
  • No first round leader has ever won
  • 54 hole leader won here 8 of the last 13 years

Key Stats

SG Approach (over 50% more influence than OTT and ATG), Ballstriking, Par 4s Gained  

Main proximity distance range on approach: 175-200 yds.

Corollary Courses

  • Waialae Country Club (Sony Open)
  • Colonial Country Club (Charles Schwab Challenge)

Field

144 golfers, field got shittier because of schedule change, not great but a few stars are here

Defending Champion: Keith Mitchell (-9)

Runner Up Last Year: Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka (-8)

One and Done: Gary Woodland

Alternate: Billy Horschel

One and Done Considerations: Woodland, Horschel

Players

Woodland: 10300: +2000 – Plays good on harder course, plays good on less than driver courses, plays Par 4s well, good iron player

Billy Ho: 9200: +2000 – Ballstriking and approach has been fantastic lately, 5th is Par 4 efficiency (last 50 rounds), good history here and off two T10s his last 2 events, putts best on Bermuda 

Lowry: 9100: +3300 – Ballstriking was good in Mexico last week, T15 or better in 3 of 5 starts this year, good in the wind

Berger time: 8900: +2800 – 5,9,29,38 his last 4 events, decent history, good on approach, good at Par 4s

Mav McNealy: 7500: +10000 – 10th in SG: T2G, 1st in bogie avoidance, 1st in Sand Save %, 1st in Par 4 scoring, never played here before

Tom Hoge: 6900: +8000 – 7th in SG: Approach, 4th in Par 4 efficiency 400-450 yds, 6th in proximity from 175-200, T20 in bogie avoidance, T25 in SG: T2G and Par 4s gained over last 50 rounds

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