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The PGA Tour will return to the sunshine state for its 2023 Florida swing. Starting at PGA National Resort & Spa, per usual, the Honda Classic field will take on the 7,125 yard par 70 Champion Course. Despite the weaker field the Honda Classic has become, the Champion Course at PGA National is known as one of the most challenging courses on the PGA Tour. Last years champion Sepp Straka (+5000) returns to the field to defend his title, while 2020 champion Sungjae Im (+1000) is the favorite in this years field. Other top contenders by listed odds are Shane Lowry (+1600), Aaron Wise (+2200), Billy Horschel (+2500) and Matt Kuchar (+2800).
Sungjae Im (+1000) – I’ve maintained optimism in regards to Sungjae winning an event this season. I would have preferred a better price but 10-1 is more than I expected coming into this week, anyway. He’s won the event before & is surely the most talented golfer in the field. Collapsed on Sunday at Riviera but has been in great form besides that.
Denny McCarthy (+2800) – 72 hours ago I would have told you I’d never have a McCarthy outright ticket in my life. Feel like I’m left with no choice here, as McCarthy has too good of a price for this strength of field. He has a 3rd place finish here back in 2021 as well as a strong recent history too. Top 20 finish at Genesis and a Top 5 finish at Pebble.
Harris English (+3500) – It’s been a long time since Harris English has been in contention but he made a late push at Riv to secure a T12 finish last week. Hasn’t played here since 2020 where he secured his second consecutive Top 20 finish at PGA National. Health issues have kept him out of contention for over a year but he knows how to win.
Cam Davis (+4600) – I’m certainly not excited about this, but I’m without an option. The talent with Davis is undeniable – he’s long off the tee and precise with his irons, which the ladder is necessary at PGA National. Hasn’t played well as of late but does have a T8 finish under his belt in this event.
Top 5 Finishes
Shane Lowry (+360) – The second favorite behind Sungjae, he’s really the only person in the field who can stack up with him if Sungjae is on. Finished runner up last year to Sepp Straka and coming off a solid performance at Riviera.
Chris Kirk (+700) – Hasn’t played outside of a missed cut at Waste Management since his back-to-back T3 finishes between Sony and American Express, but looked to be in great form during that run. Has plenty of experience in the event as well as a T7 finish last year. 7-1 is a good price.
Top 10 Finishes
Sungjae Im (+130) – I don’t see many scenarios in which Sungjae doesn’t win this week, but I definitely don’t see any where he is unable to secure a Top 10 finish. 3 unit max play at plus money.
Adam Svensson (+320) – T9 finish at Genesis and a T9 finish in this event last year. The stars align.
Hayden Buckley (+450) – Buckley was so close to his first career win on Tour back at the Sony Open as he came up just short to Si Woo Kim. Doesn’t have a great history at PGA National but should have some confidence based on his recent play. Struggled last week but made the cut and competed in Phoenix.
Top 20 Finishes
Sepp Straka (+230) – I’d be curious to know what the statistically likelihood of a defending champ finishing outside the Top 20. Straka is a bit of an outlier as he won the event at 100-1 odds coming in last season. Made the cut at Genesis and seems to be in decent form.
Joseph Bramlett (+230) – Bramlett has played in the event twice and failed to make the cut both times. But he should be fresh coming in as he hasn’t played since his Top 10 finish at Pebble which followed a T13 finish at Farmers. If he’s still in that same form this week, Top 20 will be no problem.