The Honda Classic at PGA National Golf Club kicks off the Florida swing this week. The 144 players in the field will face one of the toughest challenges on tour, known as the Bear Trap, at Holes 15-17. Each ranks among the toughest holes every year. A good round can turn terrible with one swing as 35-40% of the double bogeys or worse occur at the Bear Trap.
PGA National is a Par 70 course that plays 7,110 yards. In the past two years the course has played close to a stroke and a half above par per round, making it one of the five toughest on the PGA Tour.
Pricing looks to be back to normal on DraftKings this week, so we will go back to our normal top plays and value plays.
Key Stats: Birdie or Better % (BoB%), Bogey Avoidance (BA), Approaches 175-200 yards, Par 3 Scoring, Par 4 Scoring, Putting 10'-20'
Adam Scott ($12,200)
Scott is the highest-priced golfer in the field this week and rightfully so. The Aussie is the best golfer in the tournament (No. 7 in the world) and will look to defend his title this week as the Honda was his first of two titles last season. We wrote Scott up in our article last week and he finished 11th with a great finish of birdie-birdie in the final round. He is great in just about all of our key stats (seventh BoB%, 23rd Par 4 Scoring, 37th BA) and checks the recent form and course history boxes as well. He should be a top priority this week.
Sergio Garcia ($10,900)
Garcia loves this course and Florida in general. In seven events of the Florida swing in the last five years, Garcia has an average finish of 24th and that includes a missed cut. He has two top 10 finishes in the last three years at The Honda with a 31st-place result wedged in between.
Garcia finished 49th last week as he was getting used to being back stateside after his win in Dubai. He ranks 17th on tour in Bogey Avoidance, mainly due to his No. 10 ranking in GIR. He is one of the best ball strikers in the world year in and year out and this is one those "ball strikers" golf courses. If Garcia can get his putter rolling, he will find his way to the front page of the leaderboard this weekend and contend for the title. He is the perfect pivot off Scott and can also be paired with him as we see some hidden value this week.
Value Picks and Sleepers
Charles Howell III ($7,800)
Chuckie 3 Sticks should be auto played every week his price is under $8,000 until he fails to meet value on DraftKings. The Florida resident played in four events in the last six weeks, finishing no worse than 15th, with his best finish coming at The Farmers (runner-up).
Hopefully the DFS course history truthers stay away from Howell this week; he missed the cut here last year (by 1 stroke) and only has one top 25 finish in the last seven years. Howell is playing some of the best golf in his career this season and is looking to make his first Masters in four years. He currently sits at 64th in the World Golf Rankings and needs to move inside the top 50 in the next four weeks. Being born and raised in in Augusta, Georgia, the Masters sits atop his wish list. Howell is ranked atop most of the key stats in our projection model at The Fantasy Fanatics, notably fourth in BA, 12th in GIR, 10th in Par 4 Scoring and 11th in Par 3 Scoring. A good finish will put him in a great spot to make it back to Augusta.
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Brendan Steele ($8,100)
Another great ball striker, Steele will look to rebound from his worst finish of the year last week (39th). With a win and two top-six finishes this season, Steele is ranked fifth in the Fed Ex Cup.
Steele is coming off two top-15 results at The Honda Classic after renovations of the PGA National course in 2014. Like Howell he ranks atop most of our rankings this week with the best being BA (sixth), Par 4 Scoring (15th), and Approaches 175-200 yards (16th). Steele hasn't been the best putter this season, but where he does putt well from is 10' to 20'. Steele is a great value this week and will look to continue his great start to the season.
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