2014 Honda Classic - Vegas Odds, Free Picks + Tee Times
It will be a much different golf course to tackle for those in the field at the 2014 Honda Classic than what they will have seen in the tournaments leading up to the first round action. The Honda Classic begins the Florida Swing, and PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens will provide players will little undulation, plenty of water, and 'the Bear Trap'.
This Jack Nicklaus designed golf course is a typical Florida course where the length and the water hazards will be the biggest defense. Golf Channel will bring the first two rounds of coverage of the tournament, which gets underway on Thursday, February 27th. Weekend coverage will be picked up by CBS, concluding on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014.
The finishing holes are the ones that fans will certainly keep an eye on, with the final three on the golf course often making or breaking a round. This stretch has definitely made for many exciting finishes in the past and certainly has the potential to create more memories going into 2014.
PGA National - Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
If any golf course can truly be called prestigious, surely it is the PGA National. For one thing, this course is the official home of the Professional Golfer's Association of America, which says much about the caliber of players typically found here. Moreover, the PGA National—which is located in the Palm Beach Gardens, Florida area—was initially designed by the famed George and Tom Fazio, and later redesigned by the iconic Jack Nicklaus. As far as pedigree, this course is unimpeachable.
The resort was established in 1980, and has a total of 90 holes between its several distinct courses. The most famous of these courses is The Champion, which has been home to the PGA's Honda Classic since 2007. There is a particularly brutal set of holes—the 15th, 16th, and 17th—that is widely known as the Bear Trap; this is a reference to Nicklaus himself, who was long ago christened the Golden Bear. The Champion is a par-72 with total yardage coming in at 7,048. It is both a true challenge and a favorite destination among many PGA players.
The betting odds to win the 2014 Honda Classic are pretty interesting at the top. That's because Woods is not alone. Typically, when Woods is entered into a tournament he is the clear favorite, even if he enters not playing well. But this betting line comes at a time when Woods is the clear No.1 ranked player in the world, albeit a missed cut at Torrey Pines leaves the door open for questions.
Look below for the full list of golf odds to win the Honda Classic in 2014:
Top-5 Favorites To Win 2014 Honda Classic
Tiger Woods 8/1 (+800) - Woods has played just once in 2014. That came at Torrey pines for the Farmers Insurance Open. The term 'secondary cut' was made known by many who had never heard of it. That's because Woods made the 36-hole cut, but did not make the 54-hole secondary cut thanks to a third-round 79. He hasn't played a round in competition since, but has said that he doesn't put much stock into that performance and expects to play well. That's good enough for us for now. At 8/1, this is one of the higher payouts you will see on Woods.
Rory McIlroy 8/1 (+800) - McIlroy may have lost in the second round of the Accenture Match Play, but he is not the same player he was in 2013; he is far better. His ball striking is much better, his putting is much better, and his psyche seems to be much better. A year ago, McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic mid-round to his own regret. This is a chance at redemption, and you have to think he really wants to play well.
Adam Scott 16/1 (+1600) - You can see the betting line jump up after Woods and McIlroy. Scott is the No.2 player in the world, but his payout is twice what the two favorites are on top. Scott hasn't teed it up since the opening two events in Hawaii. He tabbed a pair of top-10 finishes, so there is only reason to suspect he is playing very consistent. The time off could be an issue, but would only rear its head in the opening rounds, if at all.
Sergio Garcia 20/1 (+2000) - Garcia received plenty of attention for his 'noble action' during the Match Play last week. He halved a hole with Rickie Fowler where it looked like Garcia would have the win unless Fowler made a long putt. Garcia did this to make up for what he believed cost Fowler a win on the hole before. At the time, Garcia was 3UP. Fowler went on to birdie the next hole, and win the match on the back-nine.
Charl Schwartzel 20/1 (+2000) - Schwartzel in the top-five favorites is a bit surprising. He did record a top-10 finish at PGA National last year, but was seven shots behind winner Michael Thompson. He exited in the first round of match play, but obviously oddsmakers like something about him this week.
PGABettingOdds.com Pick To Win This Week - The field this week at the Honda Classic is deep. One player that we didn't talk about is Rickie Fowler, who lost in the semifinals to Jason Day at the Accenture Match Play Championship. Fowler is revamping his swing and it's looking real good right now. We think the confidence gained with the great performance at Dove Mountain will continue at PGA National. At 28/1, Fowler is receiving a great margin of profit and will be a big winner for those who decide to wager on him this week.
Darkhorse Value Bet - Billy Horschel showed some signs of life that he is back to playing well. Horschel is receiving a 55/1 payout heading into Thursday. The former Florida Gator should feel at home in the state he has played a lot of golf. Horschel knows how to play Florida courses, and could be that dark horse to get a big win early in 2014.
Expect the PGA Tour to put together some great pairings for this week at the Bear Trap. There will be at least two or three groups where some of the top players in the world will be playing together. This section will talk a bit about some of the best pairings at the start of the week. There will also be 3-ball betting odds for the groupings formed daily, so even after Round 1 there are plenty of lines formed.
2013 Honda Classic
One of the hardest things to do on the PGA Tour is to break through with that first victory. That was what stared Michael Thompson in the face at the 2013 Honda Classic. The 54-hole leader slept on the lead for the first time in his career, and came out firing Sunday. He ended with a final round score of 1-under, 69 to win by two shots over Geoff Ogilvy.
The win was definitely something that no one had predicted, probably not even Thompson. In four previous events leading up to the 2013 Honda Classic, Thompson missed the cut at the Sony Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, and the Northern Trust Open. He had made one cut, and finished T78 at the Farmers Insurance Open. That just goes to show that any given week a player can turn it around.
2013 Honda Classic - Leaderboard
- Michael Thompson -9 (271)
- Geoff Ogilvy -7 (273)
- Luke Guthrie -5 (275)
- David Lynn -3 (277)
- Lucas Glover -3 (277)