Honda Classic Past Winners and History

imageThe Honda Classic was founded in 1972 as Jackie Gleasons’ Inverrary Classic. Gleason was a marquee name, a staple of the television variety shows of the time, and best remembered today as bus driver Ralph Cramden in The Honeymooners tv series and Minnesota Fats in the Paul Newman movie, The Hustler. His was one of a number of celebrity hosted tournaments, including the Crosby Clambake (now the AT&T National Pro Am), the Bob Hope, and the Glenn Campbell (now the Northern Trust).

American Motors served as title sponsor for one year (1981). In 1982, Honda began its long-running sponsorship of the tournament.

The Gleason was originally held at the Inverrary Golf Club in Lauderhill, Florida. In 1984, it moved to the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Florida. From 1992 to 1995, it was held at the Weston Hills Golf and Country Club, then it was back to Eagle Trace for one year (1996). The TPC at Heron Bay hosted from 1997 to 2002. In 2003, the event moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, first at the Country Club at Mirasol through 2006, then starting in 2007 at PGA National Resort and Spa’s Champion Course. The move to PGA National was apparently in part an effort to attract more top players. That course is well regarded on Tour.

As of 2007 the tournament’s main beneficiary is the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which is chaired by Barbara Nicklaus, wife of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. Having the Nicklaus name attached to a tournament also can’t hurt.

Three men were multiple winners at the Honda:

Jack Nicklaus: 1977, 1978
Johnny Miller: 1980, 1983
Mark Calcavecchia: 1987, 1998

Nicklaus won three if you count his 1976 victory at the Players Championship which was held at the Jackie Gleason site at Inverrary.

Low round scores are held by Dan Pohl (1989), Hale Irwin (1979), Tim Herron (1996) and Jerry Kelly (2003)—all at 62.

Justin Leonard in 2003 holds the low 72 hole score at 264.

Honda Classic Past Winners
YearPlayerCountryScoreTo par1st Prize ($)Purse ($)
The Honda Classic
2014Russell HenleyUS272-91,080,000 ($)6,000,000 ($)
2013Michael ThompsonUS271-91,080,000 ($)6,000,000 ($)
2012Rory McIlroyIreland268-121026000 ($)5700000 ($)
2011Rory SabbatiniSouth Africa271-91026000 ($)5700000 ($)
2010Camilo Villegas Colombia267-131,008,0005,600,000
2009Y.E. Yang South Korea271-91,008,0005,600,000
2008Ernie Els South Africa274-6990,0005,500,000
2007Mark Wilson United States275-5990,0005,500,000
2006Luke Donald England276-12990,0005,500,000
2005Pádraig Harrington Ireland274-14990,0005,500,000
2004Todd Hamilton United States276-12900,0005,000,000
2003Justin Leonard United States264-24900,0005,000,000
2002Matt Kuchar United States269-19630,0003,500,000
Honda Classic
2001Jesper Parnevik Sweden270-18576,0003,200,000
2000Dudley Hart United States269-19522,0002,900,000
1999Vijay Singh Fiji277-11468,0002,600,000
1998Mark Calcavecchia United States270-18324,0001,800,000
1997Stuart Appleby Australia274-14270,0001,500,000
1996Tim Herron United States271-17234,0001,300,000
1995Mark O'Meara United States275-9216,0001,200,000
1994Nick Price Zimbabwe276-8198,0001,100,000
1993Fred Couples United States207*-9198,0001,100,000
1992Corey Pavin United States273-15198,0001,100,000
1991Steve Pate United States279-9180,0001,000,000
1990John Huston United States282-6180,0001,000,000
1989Blaine McCallister United States266-22144,000800,000
1988Joey Sindelar United States276-12126,000700,000
1987Mark Calcavecchia United States279-9108,000600,000
1986Kenny Knox United States287-190,000500,000
1985Curtis Strange United States275-1390,000500,000
1984Bruce Lietzke United States280-890,000500,000
Honda Inverrary Classic
1983Johnny Miller United States278-1072,000400,000
1982Hale Irwin United States269-1972,000400,000
American Motors Inverrary Classic
1981Tom Kite United States274-1454,000300,000
Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic
1980Johnny Miller United States274-1454,000300,000
1979Larry Nelson United States274-1454,000300,000
1978Jack Nicklaus United States276-1250,000250,000
1977Jack Nicklaus United States275-1350,000250,000
1976No tournament. Inverrary Golf Club hosts The Players Championship. See below:
1976Jack NicklausUnited States269-19$60,000
1975Bob Murphy United States273-1552,000260,000
1974Leonard Thompson United States278-1052,000260,000
Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic
1973Lee Trevino United States279-952,000260,000
Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic
1972Tom Weiskopf United States278-1052,000260,000

2 Responses to “Honda Classic Past Winners and History”

  1. Troy Vayanos on

    It’s hard to believe this tournament hasn’t been able to attract the big names in recent years. Especially given the history and the calibre of previous winners including Nicklaus, Miller, Els, Singh and Couples to name just a few.

    No doubt the organisers will be pleased to have both McIlroy and Woods on show this week.

    I’m looking forward to it.


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