Honda Classic Preview 2018

Honda Classic Preview 2018The Honda Classic Preview 2018

Dates: February 19-25, 2018
Where: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Course: PGA National (Par/Yards: 70/7,140)
Field size: 144
2017 champion: Rickie Fowler
Purse: $6,600,000 ($1,188,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @thehondaclassic

Honda longest-running title sponsor on PGA TOUR

  • Title sponsor of The Honda Classic since 1982, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. is the longest-tenured title sponsor on the PGA TOUR, now in its 37th year.
  • Since its inception, the tournament has contributed more than $40 million to national and local charities, including the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
  • The Foundation’s mission is to provide charitable support for activities that advance and enhance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood diseases and disorders.

Longest-running title sponsors

Tournament First year as title sponsor
The Honda Classic 1982
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 1986
John Deere Classic 1999
Sony Open in Hawaii 1999

A look back at the 2017 Honda Classic

  • Coming into last year’s Honda Classic, his fourth start of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season, Rickie Fowler had already collected a pair of top-10 finishes (T6/World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, T4/Waste Management Phoenix Open).
  • After back-to-back, 4-under 66s in rounds one and two, Fowler posted a 5-under 65 in round three to build a lead of four strokes over Tyrrell Hatton at 13-under 197.
  • Despite a 1-over 71 in Sunday’s final round, Fowler won by the same amount over local resident Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland.

More on Rickie Fowler

  • Following his win at last year’s The Honda Classic, his fourth on the PGA TOUR, Fowler would go on to claim an additional seven top-10 finishes on the PGA TOUR, bringing his season total to 10 (in 21 starts). The 10 top-10 finishes matched his record for most in a season (2014).
  • En route to a seventh-place-finish in the FedExCup standings, Fowler advanced to the TOUR Championship for a fourth time (2017, 2015, 2014, 2012).
  • Fowler is poised to make his ninth start in The Honda Classic. Prior to last year’s victory at PGA National, he claimed top-10 finishes in 2016/T6 and 2012/T7.
  • So far this season on the PGA TOUR, Fowler has collected two top-5 finishes in four starts (2/OHL Classic at Mayakoba, T4/Sentry Tournament of Champions). In his last start before this week, he finished T11 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The Honda Classic and the FedExCup

  • The Honda Classic is the 16th event in the PGA TOUR’s wraparound schedule that bridges two years with 47 official events. Over the span of 43 weeks, players vie to become the FedExCup Champion, which distinguishes the one player who not only performs well during the PGA TOUR Season, but also excels through the four-event FedExCup Playoffs, culminating with the 2018 TOUR Championship.
  • Seven of the 11 winners of The Honda Classic have finished the season inside the top 30 in the FedExCup standings in the FedExCup era: Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory McIlroy (2012), Russell Henley (2014), Adam Scott (2016) and Rickie Fowler (2017).

Last chance to qualify for the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship

  • The week of The Honda Classic offers the final opportunity for players to qualify for next week’s World Golf Championships event, the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec.
  • Players not previously eligible can qualify by being inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking or the top 10 of the FedExCup standings following The Honda Classic.

Notes On The Field

  • 15 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings, led by No. 1 Patton Kizzire.
  • 18 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by No. 4 Justin Thomas.
  • Seven different winners of the FedExCup; Tiger Woods (2007, 2009), Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Billy Horschel (2014), Rory McIlroy (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017).
  • Nine past champions of The Honda Classic; Rickie Fowler (2017), Adam Scott (2016), Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015), Russell Henley (2014), Michael Thompson (2013), Rory McIlroy (2012), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Camilo Villegas (2010), Luke Donald (2006), Vijay Singh (1999).

Player Notes

Justin Thomas

  • 2016-17 FedExCup Champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year to make his fourth career start at The Honda Classic (2017/MC, 2016/T3, 2015/MC).
  • Claimed five PGA TOUR wins in 2016-17 season (12 top-10 finishes in 25 starts).
  • Won the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea last fall for his seventh TOUR win.
  • Ninth in the FedExCup standings through the Genesis Open.

Sergio Garcia

  • 2017 Masters champion making 2017-18 PGA TOUR debut.
  • Making eighth career start at The Honda Classic; finished runner-up finish to Adam Scott in 2016 Honda Classic. Also finished inside the top 10 in 2014 (T8).
  • A 10-time winner on the PGA TOUR, has collected 30 worldwide wins. Most recently won the 2017 Andalucia Masters in October.

Tiger Woods

  • Poised to make his fifth start in The Honda Classic; 2014/WD, 2013/T37, 2012/T2, 1993/MC (Weston Hills)
  • Will be making his third start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season; T23/Farmers Insurance Open, MC/Genesis Open.
  • Searching for first win since the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and first top-10 since the 2015 Wyndham Championship.
  • Of 79 PGA TOUR wins in 330 starts, 16 have come in the state of Florida (more than any other state).

Rory McIlroy

  • 2012 Honda Classic winner is poised to make ninth start in The Honda Classic.
  • Also finished inside the top 10 in 2014 (T2).
  • Has missed last two cuts in the event (2015 and 2016).
  • A 13-time PGA TOUR winner, is in search of first TOUR title since 2016 TOUR Championship.
  • With 2016 TOUR Championship victory, claimed FedExCup title.
  • Will be making third start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season (MC/AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, T20/Genesis

Patton Kizzire

  • PGA TOUR’s only two-time winner in 2017-18 through the Genesis Open, having captured the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the Sony Open in Hawaii.
  • FedExCup leader took over the lead in the standings after win at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba; only relinquished for one week since (following the Sentry Tournament of Champions).
  • Four top-10 finishes in nine starts for the former Tour Player of the Year.

Daniel Berger

  • Local favorite returns to PGA National for a fourth straight year. In rookie year of 2015, succumbed to Padraig Harrington on the second playoff hole (No. 17).
  • Missed the cut in last two starts at The Honda Classic in 2016 and 2017.
  • Two PGA TOUR wins came at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in 2016 and 2017.
  • Will be making sixth start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, where he has finished outside the top 25 just once (T54/THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES)

Tournament Notes

  • Twelve players have made The Honda Classic their first career TOUR title. Since 2000, five players have achieved the feat; Matt Kuchar (2002), Padraig Harrington (2005), Mark Wilson (2007), Y.E. Yang (2009) and Michael Thompson (2013).
  • Since 1980, only four players have won The Honda Classic in their first attempt: Tim Herron (1996), Matt Kuchar (2002), Todd Hamilton (2004) and Padraig Harrington (2005).
  • Jack Nicklaus (1977-78) is the only player to successfully defend his title at The Honda Classic.
  • International players have won nine of the last 13 Honda Classics, with wins by Padraig Harrington (2005), Luke Donald (2006), Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012), Harrington (2015) and Adam Scott (2016). Mark Wilson (2007), Michael Thompson (2013), Russell Henley (2014) and Rickie Fowler (2017) are the only United States natives to win since 2005.
  • PGA National continues to rank among the toughest layouts on TOUR. In 2017, the par-70 Champion Course ranked as the 12th-toughest course on TOUR outside of the majors, with a scoring average of 70.556.
  • Since 2007, the “Bear Trap” (Nos. 15-17) continues to rank among the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA TOUR. These three holes rank as the fourth-toughest, three-hole stretch on the PGA TOUR of courses that have been played in each of the last 10 years. The field has played that stretch of holes in a combined average of +0.644 strokes over par since 2007. Since 2007, the field is 2,973 over par on those three holes (4,143 on the other 15).


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