Honda Classic Golf Betting Tips
Rob Cobley’s Honda Classic Betting Tips
The Champion Course, PGA National Resort & Spa - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA - Par 70, 7125 Yards
The PGA Tour continues in Florida this week at one of its most challenging and most enjoyable venues. Some 80 miles north of Miami - home of Tiger Woods and one of the toughest tests in modern golf lies the Tom Fazio designed PGA National.
The course was previously relatively benign before it underwent a series of changes in 1990 & 2014 under Jack Nicklaus’s stewardship to toughen it up and turn it from resort course into one of the most feared tracks on the PGA Tour circuit. With tight fairways, 107 bunkers, and water in play on 13 of the 18 holes, a winning score of anywhere between 6 and 13 under is typically sufficient to take home the trophy.
Whoever prevails Sunday night will have had to negotiate holes 15-17, more widely known as the "Bear Trap", following the redesign from the Golden Bear (Nicklaus). There is a premium on straight driving, and wind players are often successful at PGA National. Last year's winner Sungjae Im was followed home by a host of British challengers who enjoyed the harsh conditions and expected a similarly strong challenge from the home contingent this year.
Last Five Winners
The Market Leaders
The turnout in Jupiter this week is undeniably disappointing, with few of the big names making the short trip from Sawgrass, most likely in preparation for next week's WGC World Matchplay at the Austin Country Club. Of those that have made the journey, Daniel Berger (10/1) leads the market. At initial glance, the price seems peculiarly short, and looking deeper, only affirms that view. Berger is a great player when on form, but his aggressive play won't always suit venues like this, and if he is a tiny bit off, it could be a long week for Dan. He does have 2nd and 4th placed finishes here in his six starts, as well as a couple of missed cuts, and he did edge his way into the top 10 last week, but overall the price is easy for me to leave alone on the favourite.
Sungjae Im (12/1) won in impressive style last year, and I expected him to lead the market this time. With so much separation between him and the third favourite, he does stand out and, following a couple of back to back top 20s, and in a weak field, I can see why. Sungjae has the perfect long game for this course and performs well on Florida’s greens, so I anticipate a good week. I think there is better value down the market, though, away from the two stand out favourites, and that is where I will be looking.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
Headline Betting Tip
Lee Westwood: 20/1 To Win
I am almost loathed to select Lee Westwood for the second week running, but the Englishman is in such good form and so well suited to PGA National that he is my stand out market favourite, and I simply cannot pass up the opportunity to back him at this price. Coming into the year, Westwood would never have been foreseen as this price here in Jupiter, but his game is in such excellent shape that it even seems big.
As we know, Lee has a great long game, and if he is competing at tournaments where the winning scores are -15 and better, he is primed for a tough, windy challenge like that, which will be posed here this week. In seven appearances here, Lee has four top 10s and finished 4th last year, making it his strongest venue on the PGA Tour in terms of results. The similarities are stark with Bay Hill, where only an in form (and slightly fortunate) Bryson Dechambeau could stop him from beating a field infinitely stronger than this one. For me, he is one of the clearest bets of the season at the price, and I have had 3 points e/w at 20/1.
Other Betting Tip
Keegan Bradley: 45/1 To Win
Keegan Bradley has been in the golfing doldrums for quite some time. However, lately, he has been popping up at the head of leaderboards at various points during tournaments, although generally not sustaining it through 72 holes. At the Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill, he was in the third last two ball and managed a 10th placed finish in the end after a poor start to round 4, but there are strong signs that the former Major Champion, who finished 4th here in 2013 is getting his groove back. Bradley is another that thrives in the more demanding conditions, and with the forecast this week for wind and heavy showers, I want him in my stable with 2 points e/w at 45/1
Following a rolling profit of 300 points for the 2019 & 2020 seasons, I am looking for a great 2021 and have some great bets lined up for events throughout the year on both the PGA and European Tours. Each week I will pick between two to four selections at each event and suggest a suitable staking plan.