Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: The Honda Classic
We finally saw Bubba Watson get back on the board at last week's Genesis Open, and it's always nice to see some of the game's best players remind us of what they're capable of.
This week, we'll see some more of the game's top options take on a tough PGA National course for the Honda Classic. What do you need to know about the course?
Course and Tournament Info
The par 70 -- located in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida -- runs around 7,100 yards and, based on scores relative to par, is always one of the toughest tests on the entire PGA Tour.
|Year||Difficulty Rank||Course||Par||Yds||Avg Score||Avg O/U Par|
|2017||16||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,140||70.556||0.556|
|2016||5||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,140||71.768||1.768|
|2015||4||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,140||71.832||1.832|
|2014||17||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,140||70.408||0.408|
|2013||5||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,110||71.318||1.318|
|2012||11||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,110||71.186||1.186|
|2011||2||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,158||72.540||2.540|
|2010||2||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,158||71.640||1.640|
|2009||7||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,158||71.389||1.389|
|2008||9||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,158||71.825||1.825|
|2007||8||PGA National (Champion)||70||7,241||71.958||1.958|
The greens are Bermuda, and the birdies are hard to come by. Sure, the Bear Trap (holes 15, 16, and 17) are notoriously difficult, but just four holes have played below par since 2007. Yikes.
The past five winners finished -12, -9, -6, -8, and -9. How do the contenders manage to score well -- or at least well enough to finish near the top?
Strokes gained: tee to green is pretty much undefeated, so you should always factor it into your decisions. But here are some of the more specific areas where your golfers should excel in order to do well here at PGA National.
|Key Stats for The Honda Classic at PGA National|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Putting (on Bermuda)|
|Greens in Regulation|
Per FantasyGolfMetrics.com, golfers finishing inside the top 25 here since 2007 gained an average of 0.808 strokes approaching the green. Those who missed the cut lost 0.749.
Factoring in the Bermuda greens is worthwhile, too. Golfers who missed the cut here since 2007 lost an average of 1.202 strokes on the greens, more than the usual lost strokes on the PGA Tour for those missing the cut.
Via FutureOfFantasy.com, the greens grade out as "very difficult" to hit, and that places an emphasis on greens in regulation and/or proximity to the hole.
And scrambling has also correlated well to finishing position at PGA National over the past 11 years.
Course History Studs
Rickie Fowler won here last year after finishing sixth in 2016. Prior to that, he was 41st, 24th, 13th, and 7th after a pair of missed cuts back in 2010 and 2011. It's safe to say he's figured this one out.
Sean O'Hair, like Fowler, has five top 25s at PGA National. His past five finishes were 18th, cut, 25th, 14th, and 11th.
Graeme McDowell also has really strong finishes here. Since 2010, he's played here all eight years and finished 31st, 6th, 9th, 9th, 46th, cut, 5th, and 14th. Goodness.
Sergio Garcia's racked up three top-15 finishes in the past four years (8th, 31st, 2nd, and 14th). Jason Dufner bookended a 61st in 2016 with a 17th and 14th in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
Luke Donald snapped a streak of three consecutive top 10s two years ago when he finished 61st in 2016, but he bounced back for a 27th last year.
Rory McIlroy won in 2012, withdrew in 2013, and finished 2nd in 2014. Since then, he's missed both cuts at PGA National. In his win, he gained 5.2 strokes putting. When he was second, he gained 4.9. McIlroy lost strokes on the greens in his two missed cuts.
Adam Scott finished 12th, 1st, and 14th since 2014 at PGA National. However, the recent form dilutes it all. Wesley Bryan (9th and 4th) and Billy Horschel (8th and 4th) have two straight top 10s each.