The PGA Tour returns to PGA National and “The Bear Trap” for The Honda Classic this week. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, including course information, players to watch and TV times.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: South Korean Sungjae Im claimed his maiden PGA Tour title here last year, shooting six-under-par 274 to defeat Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes by one shot.
COURSE: The Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, opened in 1981 and was originally designed by George and Tom Fazio. It was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2002 and features the three-hole stretch from holes 15 (pictured above) to 17 known as “The Bear Trap”. The course has hosted The Honda Classic since 2007 and was the site of the 1983 Ryder Cup, 1987 US PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship from 1982-2000.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Former World No.1 Adam Scott won here in 2016 and recorded top-15s in 2018, 2017 and 2014.
The Queenslander hasn’t had his best stuff with him since returning to the States last August, recording just four top-25s from 12 starts, however he has made every cut and is starting to show some promising signs.
Scott’s mind will already be on Augusta and the Masters, which kicks off in just under three weeks, there’s no doubt about that. But he typically plays fairly well in events leading up to the first major of the year, as he starts to fine tune his game.
In 2016, for instance, Scott finished runner-up at the Northern Trust Open, won the Honda Classic and WGC Championship, finished T12th at Bay Hill and shared 28th at the WGC Match Play prior to the Masters.
RIGHT: Sungjae Im won his first PGA Tour title here last year, carding rounds of 72, 66, 70 and 66. PHOTO: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.
You had to feel for Lee Westwood at The Players last week (despite the fact he pocketed more than US$1.6 million!) after he recorded his second runner-up finish on the PGA Tour in as many weeks.
The 47-year-old Englishman, who plies his trade on both sides of the Atlantic, owns two career titles on the PGA Tour. But he hasn’t won on the US circuit since claiming the St Jude Classic back in 2010. That could change at The Honda Classic this week, given his current form and track record at PGA National.
Westwood was T4th here last year – thanks in large part to his work on the greens – and has never missed the cut from his seven appearances.
72-HOLE RECORD: Justin Leonard fired 24-under-par 264 when he defeated his American compatriots Chad Campbell and Davis Love III by one shot in 2003.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Adam Scott (2016) and Stuart Appleby (1997).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Cameron Davis, Lucas Herbert, Matt Jones, Cameron Percy and Adam Scott.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 9am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 5am – 9am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 9am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 9am)
*AEDT, check local guides