The Honda Classic Preview 2020

The Honda Classic Preview 2020

The Honda Classic Preview 2020

Dates: February 24 – March 1, 2020
Where: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Course: PGA National (Champion; 35-35—70/7,125)
Defending champion: Keith Mitchell
Purse: $7,000,000 ($1,260,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Field size: 144 Format: 72-hole stroke play

For a complete Honda Classic history and list of Honda Classic Winners, follow the link. Did you know that the Honda Classic began life as the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic?

Things to Know – Honda Classic Preview

  • Field headlined by World No. 3 Brooks Koepka, a resident of Jupiter, Florida
  • 2017 The Honda Classic champion Rickie Fowler poised to make 11th tournament start; finished T2 in 2019
  • Last week’s Puerto Rico Open champion Viktor Hovland makes first start at The Honda Classic
  • Justin Rose, who owns three top-fives at The Honda Classic, returns to the event for the first time since 2015
  • The Bear Trap (Nos. 15-17) ranks as the third-toughest, three-hole stretch on TOUR since 2007 (among courses played at least 10 seasons, non-majors)

A look back at 2019 The Honda Classic

Pos. Player R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1 Keith Mitchell 68 66 70 67 271 (-9)
T2 Rickie Fowler 67 72 66 67 272 (-8)
T2 Brooks Koepka 67 69 70 66 272 (-8)
T4 Lucas Glover 66 69 72 66 273 (-7)
T4 Ryan Palmer 70 71 69 63 273 (-7)
6 Vijay Singh 70 69 65 70 274 (-6)
  • After beginning the final round one stroke off the lead, final of six birdies came at the 72nd hole to give Mitchell a one- stroke win over Jupiter residents Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler
  • At 9-under 271, Mitchell posted the first single-digit winning score in a non-major since Justin Thomas won The Honda Classic in 2018
  • With his first career PGA TOUR victory, Mitchell moved from 102nd to 17th in the FedExCup standings
  • Mitchell would add two additional top-10 finishes to his 2018-19 campaign and finish the season No. 50 in the FedExCup standings

Honda Classic Preview: Field Notes

  • 81 PGA TOUR winners combining for 267 total victories
  • 16 major championship winners combining for 24 major victories, led by Brooks Koepka (4)
  • Four FedExCup champions in the field: Vijay Singh (2008), Jim Furyk (2010), Billy Horschel (2014), Justin Rose (2018)
  • Nine past champions: Vijay Singh (1999), Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015), Luke Donald (2006), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Michael Thompson (2013), Russell Henley (2014), Rickie Fowler (2017) and Keith Mitchell (2019)

The Honda Classic and the FedExCup

  • The Honda Classic is the 21st event in the FedExCup season
  • Eight of the 13 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) and Justin Thomas (2018)
  • 2008 FedExCup champion and 1999 Honda Classic winner Vijay Singh’s sixth-place finish marked his only made cut in six starts last season

Current FedExCup standings

The top 10 in the FedExCup at the conclusion of the PGA TOUR Regular Season will be recognized through the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 program and be well-positioned entering the FedExCup Playoffs

Position Player Points Wins Top-10s Points Behind Starts
1 Justin Thomas 1,403 2 5 8
2 Rory McIlroy 1,083 1 5 320 5
3 Webb Simpson 1,083 1 4 320 5
4 Brendon Todd 1,066 2 3 337 13
5 Patrick Reed 1,024 1 4 379 7
6 Lanto Griffin 1,009 1 3 394 15
7 Sebastian Munoz 1,006 1 3 397 14
8 Hideki Matsuyama 864 4 539 10
9 Kevin Na 809 1 2 594 11
10 Cameron Smith 787 1 2 616 10

Player Notes – Honda Classic Preview 2020

Brooks Koepka

  • World No. 3 will be making his sixth start at The Honda Classic with best result a T2 in 2019, his seventh runner-up finish on TOUR
  • Making fourth start of the 2019-20 season; has been limited due to knee injury
  • Finished T43 in his most recent PGA TOUR start at 2020 The Genesis Invitational
  • Jupiter resident earned PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors for the 2017-18 season
  • Winner of seven PGA TOUR titles, three of which came in the 2018-19 season

Rickie Fowler

  • Making 11th consecutive start at the event (won in 2017)
  • Finished T2 in last year’s event with Brooks Koepka, his 14th runner-up finish on TOUR
  • Claimed fifth and most recent PGA TOUR title at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open
  • Owns 72 top-10s in 240 career PGA TOUR starts
  • Making fifth start of the 2019-20 season with top-10 finishes at the Sentry Tournament of Champions (T5) and The American Express (T10)

Viktor Hovland

  • PGA TOUR rookie birdied the 72nd hole at last week’s Puerto Rico Open to claim his first career PGA TOUR title
  • With the win in Puerto Rico, became the first player from Norway to win on TOUR
  • Making his first start in The Honda Classic
  • In first start of his rookie season, finished T10 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier last September. Ended his 2018-19 campaign with a solo-fourth at the 2019 Wyndham Championship

Justin Rose

  • World No. 13 is scheduled to make his 10th start in The Honda Classic and first since 2015 (MC)
  • His three top-10 finishes at PGA National that came in consecutive starts (3rd/2010, T5/2012, T4/2013)
  • Making fourth start of the 2019-20 season, with a T28 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions his best showing
  • Winner of 10 PGA TOUR titles (most recent; 2019 Farmers Insurance Open)
  • Winner of the 2013 U.S. Open

Gary Woodland

  • Reigning U.S. Open champion is scheduled to make his eighth start at The Honda Classic, where he has not missed a cut and has collected top-10 finishes in 2017 (T2) and 2011 (T6)
  • Following a 3-over 73 in last year’s final round at PGA National, finished T36
  • In addition to the 2019 U.S. Open, also won the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, 2013 Barracuda Championship and 2011 Valspar Championship

Sungjae Im

  • Has collected three top-10 finishes in 12 starts this season and 10 in 49 total starts
  • Among this season’s top-10 finishes was a playoff loss to Sebastian Munoz at the Sanderson Farms Championship
  • Comes into the week ranked 12th in the FedExCup standings
  • Held the 36-hole co-lead with Keith Mitchell in his first start at The Honda Classic last year en route to a T51 finish

Honda Classic Preview Tournament Notes

  • Thirteen players have made The Honda Classic their first career TOUR title, including seven since 2000: Matt Kuchar (2002), Padraig Harrington (2005), Todd Hamilton (2004), Mark Wilson (2007), Y.E. Yang (2009), Michael Thompson (2013) and Keith Mitchell (2019)
  • 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 nine of the last 15 years; Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015), Luke Donald (2006), Ernie Els (2008), Y.E. Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010), Rory Sabbatini (2011), Rory McIlroy (2012) Adam Scott (2016).
  • In the 2018-19 season, the par-70 Champion Course ranked as the second-toughest course on TOUR (by scoring average to-par) outside of the majors, with a scoring average of 1.016-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 combined average of 3,629 strokes over par (4,934 over on the other 15)

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)

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 39th year.

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

The Honda Classic Preview 2020 is via PGA TOUR

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