- The Honda Classic is the final tournament of the "Florida Swing"
- Sung-jae Im is the defending champion
- Im and Daniel Berger are the favorites going into this event
- PGA National is one of the toughest non-major venues
The “Florida Swing” usually starts with the Honda Classic. However, in this era of COVID-19, there have been some changes to the schedule. Instead, this tournament now wraps up the “Florida Swing”, so now it’s time to check out some Honda Classic odds at your favorite sports betting book.
The Honda Classic has been played at the PGA National Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens since 2007, and it is one of the hardest non-major venues that the pros will visit this season. It is a par-70 that is 7,125 yards. That is short by today’s standards, especially considering how far players hit the ball now. However, PGA National annually ranks as one of the toughest tests the PGA pros face. PGA National is highlighted by the “Bear Trap”, which are holes 15-17. These holes, a par-3, a par-4 and another par-3, can wear players out by the time they get to the par-5 18th.
You can watch the Honda Classic on The Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday from 2:00 PM ET to 6:00 PM ET. The Golf Channel has the weekend action on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET. NBC picks up the action on both days from 3:00 PM ET to the final swing of the club.
Honda Classic Odds – The Favorites
Daniel Berger (+1100)
Berger is coming off a solid T-9 at The Players Championship, which was won by Justin Thomas (who isn’t playing this week, but won this tournament in 2018). The Florida native (one of many in the field this week) finished T-4 here in 2020. He’ll need a big week with the putter as Berger is 21st in Shots Gained (SG): Putting. That can save you at PGA National.
Sung-jae Im (+1400)
The defending champion has been steady with four straight finishes between T-17 and T-28. He finds a lot of fairways (10th in driving accuracy), which will always give you a chance for a good finish. Im, from South Korea, is a very steady player who never gets too high or too low, which serves him well.
Joaquin Niemann (+1600)
Chile’s Niemann has missed the cut here the last two years running. However, he’s off to a good start this year posting runner-up finishes in both Hawaii events, then T-43, T-28 and T-29 since. However, Niemann is 13th in SG: Tee to Green, and he is 11th in final-round putting.
Lee Westwood (+2000)
The veteran Englishman has posted back-to-back solo second-place finishes at two hard courses, Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass. He also loves this course as Westwood was T-4 here in 2020, which is his fourth top-10 in seven trips here. If he could just make a few more Sunday putts (103rd in final-round putting), Westwood would have won one of the last two events.
Shane Lowry (+2200)
The Irishman finished eighth at The Players Championship with a typically stellar performance. He finished T-21 here in 2020. However, Lowry’s putting (148th in SG: Putting) has been brutal, particularly in the first three rounds. That has to change for him if Lowry wants to win his first event since the 2019 Open Championship.
Adam Scott (+2500)
The 2013 Masters champion from Australia was T-48 at The Players Championship, where he went pin-seeking at the Island Green 17th hole. He birdied it the first three days, but came up short (and wet) on Sunday. Strangely, Scott’s tee-to-green game has been rough (125th in SG: Tee to Green), but his putting is holding up well (38th in SG: Putting).
Jhonattan Vegas (+10000)
Vegas, from Venezuela, finished solo second in Puerto Rico, which was the same week as the WGC Workday Championship. He followed that up with a solid 61 at TPC Sawgrass. Vegas can get hot in a hurry, and could shoot one really low round. He was T-27 here in 2020 and Vegas finished T-4 here in 2017.
Zach Johnson (+10000)
Johnson finished T-41at The Players Championship, and he hasn’t had a top-20 finish in his last five starts (and only four in his last 14 starts since last year’s PGA Championship). But Johnson’s putter (11th in SG: Putting) can save him, and if he could put together three solid rounds of fairways, two-putt pars and birdies, the 2007 Masters’ champion’s Honda Classic odds could pay off handsomely.
Charl Schwartzel (+12500)
The South African finished T-17 here in 2020, and he might need another good start to spark his season. Schwartzel has missed the cut in three of his last four starts, and he finished T-62 in the other start. It hasn’t been good times for the 2011 Masters champion, but you never know.
Honda Classic Best Bets
Im to win (+1400)
- Jack Nicklaus is the only player to go back-to-back at this event, back in 1977 and 1978. Im will join him in that esteemed group as his tee-to-green game is just so good.
Im Top Rest of World Player (+330)
- If you don’t want to take him to win as your golf betting pick, take him for this.
Westwood Top Euro (+400)
- Westwood will come up short again, but he’s too good at PGA National to not make any bets on him.