With no event scheduled on the DP World Tour this week, we focus all our attention on the PGA Tour for the Honda Classic at PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
The 144 field (top 65 make cut) will all be competing around this stunning par 70, parkland track for a share of the $8m prize pot with the winner collecting the title and $1.26m.
This George Fazio designed layout, with some help from Jack Nicklaus, is one of the toughest tests on the PGA calendar. The Bear Trap from holes 15-17 is usually where this tournament gets exciting. If you can successfully negotiate The Bear Trap over the four days then you're on track to become the champ here at the Champion Course.
Don’t expect a birdie-fest this weekend where Matt Jones returns to defend his crown. Jones hit twelve under at last years event and was five shots clear of the field.
The weather is forecast to be sunny and warm throughout with only gentle breezes to contend with.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf with live coverage starting at 11.45am GMT on Thursday morning.
So let’s move on with this weeks selections for the Honda Classic in the sunshine state of Florida.
For my first and main selection I’m really liking the look of Mackenzie Hughes 50/1 EW Bet365.
The 31 year old Canadian is currently lurking just outside the World's Top 50, he’s ranked 52nd so he will be more than keen to get inside that Top 50 bracket with all its privileges.
Hughes has three Top 20 finishes at his last six attempts but also has two missed cuts in there for concern. However, two of those Top 20 finishes were Top 5s, 4th at the Zozo Championship and an even more impressive performance when finishing runner-up at The RSM Classic.
Before missing the cut at last weeks Genesis Invitational, Hughes was 16th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am so he has got some decent recent form too go on. Hughes was also runner-up at this event in 2020 so has already proved he can get around this tough test and challenge the next in the world.
He is already a PGA Tour Champion when winning The RSM Classic but that was back in 2016 so he’ll be thinking there’s no better time than this weekend to double up and get back in the winners enclosure with a victory at the Honda Classic.
For my next pick I’m going to advise Sungjae Im 12/1 EW Betfair.
The 23 year old from South Korea has been all over my radar recently and he’s going to bag another PGA crown soon, possibly this weekend.
With six Top 20 finishes at his last eight events it’s easy to see why he’s flashing up on the radar.
But hold on, it gets even better… Four of those finishes were Top 10s with a victory at the Shriners Children’s Open.
This talented youngster won his maiden PGA Tour Title here at this event in 2020 so has all the credentials to succeed at this venue. He has also gone on to win a second title when claiming the Shriners as mentioned above.
His best performances this year include 6th at The Farmers Insurance and he was 11th at The American Express. Im won this event in 2020 and was 8th last year so he clearly enjoys this testing track so I’ll be backing him once again to prevail in the sunshine state this weekend.
For my next suggestion I’m going to include Daniel Berger 16/1 EW Bet365. The talented 28 year old is a native to Florida and will be looking for his first victory since winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in 2021.
Berger would love to win this event in his home state. He came ever so close in 2015 when finishing runner-up so will be aiming to go one better this time around.
Already a four-time champion on the PGA Tour, having bagged the Fed Ex St Jude Classic twice, the Charles Schwab Challenge and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.
Berger has three Top 10 finishes in his last five attempts and is clearly enjoying a good run of form. His best performance this year was 5th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and it would come as no surprise to see Daniel Berger triumph in his own backyard on Sunday evening.
Louis Oosthuizen v Tommy Fleetwood
For my final selection it’s the customary matchbet Nap and this week I’m going to make it another 5pts banker. Louis Oosthuizen to get the better off Tommy Fleetwood over 72 holes looks good at 10/11 Nap Bet365.