Dates: February 25 -March 3, 2013
Where: PGA National; Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Field: 144 players
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
Purse: $6,000,000; Winner’s Share: $1,026,000
A look back at 2012
A week after his runner-up finish at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, Rory McIlroy’s final round, 1-under 69 to finish 12-under 268 proved good for a 2-stroke win over Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis. With the win, McIlroy overtook Luke Donald for No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career. In pursuit of McIlroy, Woods closed at PGA National with an 8-under 62, the low final round of his PGA TOUR career.
More on McIlroy:
Fifth consecutive international winner of The Honda Classic.
Youngest winner of The Honda Classic (22 years, 10 months).
Victory came in his fourth consecutive start at The Honda Classic.
Is seeking to join Jack Nicklaus (1977-78) as the second player to successfully defend Honda Classic title.
Was one of just two players, Tom Gillis the other, to post all four rounds in the 60s at the 2012 Honda Classic.
With four victories in 2012, was voted PGA TOUR Player of the Year by his peers.
Finished second in the FedExCup standings in 2012.
A look at the field
Six of the top 10 and 19 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings.
Five of the top eight ranked players in the world; Rory McIlroy (No. 1), Tiger Woods (No. 2), Louis Oosthuizen (No. 5), Justin Rose (No. 6) and Lee Westwood (No. 8); in total, 19 of the top 50 in the OWGR.
Five of the eight winners in 2013: Dustin Johnson (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), Russell Henley (Sony Open in Hawaii); Brian Gay (Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation); Tiger Woods (Farmers Insurance Open); and John Merrick (Northern Trust Open).
2012 major champions Ernie Els (British Open) and Rory McIlroy (PGA Championship).
Past Honda Classic champions in the field (9): Rory McIlroy (2012), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Camilo Villegas (2010), Ernie Els (2008), Mark Wilson (2007), Justin Leonard (2003), Jesper Parnevik (2001), Stuart Appleby (1997) and Tim Herron (1996).
Ten players from the 2012 Ryder Cup matches: U.S.; Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Europe; Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Unrestricted sponsor exemptions include Branden Grace (South Africa) and Matteo Manassero (Italy).
Top rookies in the field include Russell Henley, winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii, and James Hahn, who is 15th in the FedExCup standings thanks to top-5 finishes at the Humana Challenge and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The first re-shuffle for the Qualifying School/Web.com Tour graduates took place after the completion of the World Golf Championships and the top five are as follows:
- James Hahn
- David Lingmerth
- Brian Stuard
- Billy Horschel
- Scott Langley
With the victory at the 2012 Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy moved to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, taking over the top spot from Luke Donald. Since the OWGR began in April 1986, McIlroy (22 years, 10
months) became the second-youngest player to achieve the top spot. Only Tiger Woods was younger, moving into the No. 1 position on June 15, 1997 at age 21 years, 24 weeks.
In 2012, Rory McIlroy became the fifth consecutive international winner of The Honda Classic and the seventh overall since 2005, joining Padraig Harrington (2005), Luke Donald (2006), Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010) and Rory Sabbatini (2011). The only American winner during that time was Mark Wilson in 2007.
Eleven players have made The Honda Classic their first career TOUR title. Since 2000, four players have achieved the feat; Matt Kuchar (2002), Padraig Harrington (2005), Mark Wilson (2007) and Y.E. Yang (2009) .
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).
The four winners on the 2012 Florida Swing finished among the top 10 in the final FedExCup standings: Rory McIlroy – The Honda Classic/2; Justin Rose – WGC-Cadillac Championship/6; Luke Donald – Tampa Bay Championship/9 and Tiger Woods – Arnold Palmer Invitational/3. All but Donald are in this year’s Honda Classic field.
The last five winners of The Honda Classic have all finished the season of their win inside the top 30 in FedExCup standings.
Making his first start at The Honda Classic as a professional in 2012, Tiger Woods posted the best final-round score of his PGA TOUR career with a bogey-free 8-under 62, good enough for his 28th runner-up finish. The bogey-free round was his first since the first round of the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open. The 62 was his best round on TOUR since a third-round 62 en route to winning his last TOUR title, at the 2009 BMW Championship. The only time he has gone lower in his TOUR career were 61s carded at the 1999 Byron Nelson Championship (first round), 2000 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational (second round) and the 2005 Buick Open (second round).
With eagles on Nos. 3 and 18 in the final round of the 2012 Honda Classic, Tiger Woods posted two eagles in a round for the 18th time in his career. It was the first time he has performed the feat since the final round of the 2010 Masters.
Tom Gillis birdied the 72nd hole at the 2012 Honda Classic to join Tiger Woods as runner-up, two strokes behind Rory McIlroy. It marked his best showing on the PGA TOUR, topping a third-place finish at the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Lee Westwood made a Sunday charge at the 2012 Honda Classic with his career-low round on the PGA TOUR, an 8-under 62 to move from tied for 27th to fourth place. His previous-best round was 63, set twice and most recently during the first round of the 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
PGA TOUR Wives Association
Earlier this month, the PGA TOUR Wives Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with the launch of a commemorative book entitled “Beyond the Fairways and Greens; A Look Inside The Lives of PGA TOUR Families.”
The 384-page, hardbound book offers readers a rare glimpse into the lives of TOUR families, through the telling of stories and inclusion of pictures.
The book also features 134 treasured recipes submitted by the families of generations of golfers, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler.
The book retails for $50, with all net proceeds benefiting PTWA-designated charities. Players and wives associated with the book will be available for interviews all week at The Honda Classic.
Astellas Presents Executive Women’s Day
In partnership with Astellas, the PGA TOUR’s Women’s Initiatives program kicks off at the 2013 Honda Classic.
The first Executive Women’s Day of 2013 will be held Tuesday of tournament week, featuring renowned sports agent Molly Fletcher.
The day-long summit invites female business leaders from the community to be a part of a forum which focuses on professional, health-related and personal development discussions.
Components include high-profile panelists, topic-specific breakout sessions, a keynote speaker and networking opportunities. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company, with a primary focus in the area of urological wellness.
Source: PGA TOUR