Honda Classic Winners and History

The Honda Classic

The 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.

Jackie Gleason At The Gleason Inverrary Classic now the Honda Classic

 

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 one of the tournament’s main beneficiaries 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.

Four men were multiple winners at the Honda:

Jack Nicklaus: 1977, 1978
Johnny Miller: 1980, 1983
Mark Calcavecchia: 1987, 1998
Pádraig Harrington: 2005, 2015

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

Honda Classic Records

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

A list of Honda Classic winners follows.

YearPlayerCountryScoreTo par
The Honda Classic
2020Im Sung-jaeS. Korea274-1
2019Keith MitchellUnited States271-9
2018Justin ThomasUnited States272-8
2017Ricky FowlerUnited States268-12
2016Adam ScottAustralia271-9
2015Pádraig Harrington (2)Ireland274-6
2014Russell HenleyUS272-9
2014Russell HenleyUS272-9
2012Rory McIlroyIreland268-12
2013Michael ThompsonUS271-9
2010Camilo VillegasColombia267-13
2009Y.E. YangSouth Korea271-9
2008Ernie ElsSouth Africa274-6
2007Mark WilsonUnited States275-5
2006Luke DonaldEngland276-12
2005Pádraig HarringtonIreland274-14
2004Todd HamiltonUnited States276-12
2003Justin LeonardUnited States264-24
2002Matt KucharUnited States269-19
Honda Classic
2001Jesper ParnevikSweden270-18
2000Dudley HartUnited States269-19
1999Vijay SinghFiji277-11
1998Mark CalcavecchiaUnited States270-18
1997Stuart ApplebyAustralia274-14
1996Tim HerronUnited States271-17
1995Mark O’MearaUnited States275-9
1994Nick PriceZimbabwe276-8
1993Fred CouplesUnited States207*-9
1992Corey PavinUnited States273-15
1991Steve PateUnited States279-9
1990John HustonUnited States282-6
1989Blaine McCallisterUnited States266-22
1988Joey SindelarUnited States276-12
1987Mark CalcavecchiaUnited States279-9
1986Kenny KnoxUnited States287-1
1985Curtis StrangeUnited States275-13
1984Bruce LietzkeUnited States280-8
Honda Inverrary Classic
1983Johnny MillerUnited States278-10
1982Hale IrwinUnited States269-19
American Motors Inverrary Classic
1981Tom KiteUnited States274-14
Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic
1980Johnny MillerUnited States274-14
1979Larry NelsonUnited States274-14
1978Jack NicklausUnited States276-12
1977Jack NicklausUnited States275-13
1976No tournament. Inverrary Golf Club hosts The Players Championship. See below:
1976Jack NicklausUnited States269-19
1975Bob MurphyUnited States273-15
1974Leonard ThompsonUnited States278-10
Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic
1973Lee TrevinoUnited States279-9
Jackie Gleason’s Inverrary Classic
1972Tom WeiskopfUnited States278-10
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1 thought on “Honda Classic Winners and History”

  1. 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.

    Reply

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