The Honda will be played over the PGA National Resort & Spa-Champion Course in Palm Beach County. The defending champion is World number one and new Nike member, Rory McIlroy. The course record was also set in 2012 by Brian Harman who fired a 61 in the second round.
Jack Nicklaus has won this event three times while there is no shortage of star power that has also won the Honda Classic. Ernie Els, Luke Donald, Fred Couples (record holder with six consecutive birdies), Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino have all tasted victory at least once in this event. Corey Pavin even holed out in 1992 to force a playoff in route to victory. Here are some memorable moments from the Honda Classic to jar your memory.
YouTube Video Courtesy of the pgatour
It would not be a PGA Tour event if charity was not involved. The Tour constantly attempts to give back and the theme at this week’s Honda Classic is children. The banner charity this week is the Children’s Health Care Charity. According to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation:
“CHC supports activities that advance and enhance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood diseases and disorders. We also support not-for-profit programs and projects aimed at pediatric health care and health-related services.”
If you want to learn more about the NCHCF or to contribute please check the NCHCF website.
The layout is a par 70 over a reasonable 7,110 yards. Over 160,000 spectators are expected to come watch the world’s best attempt to challenge the “Bear Trap” and take home the $1,054,000 first place check. The 2012 edition of the Honda Classic played three strokes easier than the 2011 edition of the event.
A key section of this course does not have same connotation as “Amen Corner” at Augusta or any other challenging group but holes 15-17 will probably go a long way in deciding the final outcome. 15 is not a long par 3 compared to others on tour as it covers only 179 yards but that does not paint the whole picture. Water runs down the whole right side and the green is diagonal running left to right towards the water. The front of the green will run away from the players towards a large bunker. From that bunker the green slopes towards the water and will make the players think twice.
16 will play as a par 4 managing 434 yards. Players will be forced to carry the water into an elevated green that is slightly shaped to mirror the water line. 17, another par 3, will play to 190 yards and is all carry over the water to a small green. A player that can manage to play these three at even par or better this week will probably be in contention on Sunday.
I will be the first to admit I was off with Schwartzel last week as he was eliminated in the first round of the match play championship but we have to move on. So who are the contenders this week in Palm Beach County at the “Bear Trap?” Let’s break some down.