Honda Classic Preview 2021

The Honda Classic Preview 2021

The Honda Classic Preview 2021

For a list of Honda Classic Winners, follow the link.

  • Dates: March 15-21, 2021
  • Where: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Course: PGA National (Champion; 35-35—70/7,125)
  • Defending champion: Sungjae Im
  • Purse: $7,000,000 ($1,260,000/winner)
  • FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
  • Field size: 144
  • Format: 72-hole stroke play

Things to Know

  • Lee Westwood, runner-up in each of the last two weeks on TOUR, has made the biggest jump in the FedExCup during the Florida Swing beginning at the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession (131 spots)
  • Defending champion Sungjae Im enters the week in the top 20 in both the FedExCup and Official World Golf Ranking
  • World No. 15 and Jupiter resident Daniel Berger has two top-fives in six prior starts at The Honda Classic
  • 2016 champion Adam Scott makes ninth start at the event
  • The Bear Trap (Nos. 15-17) ranks as the fourth-toughest three-hole stretch on TOUR since 2007 (among courses played in at least 10 seasons, non-majors)

Field Notes

  • Seven of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings, led by Joaquin Niemann (No. 12) and Daniel Berger (No. 14)
  • Six of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by Berger (No. 15), Sungjae Im (No. 18) and Lee Westwood (No. 19)
  • 83 PGA TOUR winners combining for 326 total victories
  • 16 major championship winners combining for 26 major victories, led by Phil Mickelson (5)
  • Three FedExCup champions: Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010) and Henrik Stenson (2013)
  • 11 past champions: Vijay Singh (1999), Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015), Luke Donald (2006), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Michael Thompson (2013), Russell Henley (2014), Adam Scott (2016), Rickie Fowler (2017), Keith Mitchell (2019) and Sungjae Im (2020)

A look back at 2020 The Honda Classic

1Sungjae Im72667066274/-6
2Mackenzie Hughes71726666275/-5
3Tommy Fleetwood70686771276/-4
T4Byeong Hun An76666867277/-3
T4Daniel Berger69706969277/-3
T4Brendan Steele68677171277/-3
T4Lee Westwood67697170277/-3
  • South Korea’s Sungjae Im birdied four of his first five holes in the final round en route to his first career PGA TOUR victory in his 50th TOUR start
  • 6-under was the highest winning score in relation to par on TOUR in a non-major since the 2016 Farmers Insurance Open (6-under/Brandt Snedeker)
  • The 2020 Honda Classic marked the first non-major on the PGA TOUR since 1996 without any players posting a score of 5- under or better in a round
  • After his win at PGA National, Im would collect three more top-10 finishes on the season and made his second consecutive appearance in the TOUR Championship

The Honda Classic and the FedExCup

  • The Honda Classic is the 24th of 50 events in the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season
  • Nine of the 14 winners of The Honda Classic have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship in the FedExCup era: Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory McIlroy (2012), Russell Henley (2014), Adam Scott (2016), Rickie Fowler (2017), Justin Thomas (2018) and Sungjae Im (2020)
  • Rory McIlroy owns the best finish in the FedExCup by a champion of The Honda Classic in that season (No. 2/2012)

Current FedExCup standings

PositionPlayerPointsStartsWinsTop-10sPoints Behind
1Bryson DeChambeau1,555825
2Justin Thomas1,497101558
3Patrick Cantlay1,2341014321
4Viktor Hovland1,2041114351
5Dustin Johnson1,114714441
6Xander Schauffele1,1101005445
7Harris English1,0001215555
8Tony Finau9801105575
9Brooks Koepka960914595
10Jason Kokrak9121314643

Player Notes

Lee Westwood

  • Featured in Sunday’s final pairing each of the last two weeks, finished solo-second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard and last week’s PLAYERS Championship
  • Has made the biggest jump in the FedExCup standings during the Florida Swing beginning at the World Golf Championships- Workday Championship at The Concession (131 spots from No. 153 to No. 22)
  • Is making his ninth start at The Honda Classic and comes off a T4 in 2020; also finished inside the top five in 2012 (4th) after posting a final-round 7-under 63
  • Two PGA TOUR wins: 1998 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic

Joaquin Niemann

  • With his P2 at this season’s Sentry Tournament of Champions and T2 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, became the first player to finish runner-up in consecutive weeks on TOUR since Webb Simpson in 2019; Xander Schauffele and Lee Westwood have done so since
  • Has made his last 13 cuts (last missed cut: 2020 THE NORTHERN TRUST)
  • T29 at last week’s PLAYERS Championship
  • Third start in The Honda Classic (2019/T59, 2020/MC)
  • One PGA TOUR title: 2019 A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier

Adam Scott

  • 2016 The Honda Classic champion scheduled for a ninth start in the event; in addition to his victory, has four top-15 finishes at the event
  • Comes into the week on the heels of 12 consecutive made cuts; last missed cut was the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
  • Seeks his 100th top-10 finish on the PGA TOUR this week
  • Most recent of 14 career PGA TOUR titles came at 2020 The Genesis Invitational

Phil Mickelson

  • World Golf Hall of Fame Member scheduled to make his seventh appearance in The Honda Classic and first since 2016 (T37)
  • Best of six previous starts at The Honda Classic: T11/2002/TPC Heron Bay
  • Among 44 PGA TOUR titles are five major championship victories
  • Comes off a T35 at last week’s PLAYERS Championship

Tournament notes

  • 14 players have made The Honda Classic their first career TOUR title, including eight since 2000: Matt Kuchar (2002), Todd Hamilton (2004), Padraig Harrington (2005), Mark Wilson (2007), Y.E. Yang (2009), Michael Thompson (2013), Keith Mitchell (2019) and Sungjae Im (2020)
  • 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 the event 10 of the last 16 years; Padraig Harrington (2005), Luke Donald (2006), Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012), Harrington (2015), Adam Scott (2016) and Sungjae Im (2020)
  • In the 2019-20 season, the par-70 Champion Course at PGA National ranked as the third-toughest course on TOUR (by scoring average to-par) with a scoring average of 1.904-over-par
  • Since 2007, the “Bear Trap” (Nos. 15-17) has ranked among the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA TOUR (among courses played at least 10 seasons, non-majors); since 2007, the field has played that stretch of holes in a collective 3,906 strokes over par (5,466 over on the other 15); last season, the field was a combined 277 strokes over par on Nos. 15-17 alone

Tournament records and history

  • 18-hole score: 61 (Brian Harman/R2/2012)
  • 72-hole score: 264 (Justin Leonard/2003)
  • Largest margin of victory: 5 (Jack Nicklaus/1977, Camilo Villegas/2010)
  • Best come-from-behind win: 7 (Padraig Harrington/2005)
  • Playoffs: 9 (most recent: Justin Thomas def. Luke List/2018)
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