The PGA Tour returns to strokeplay action this week and the Honda Classic at the PGA National Champion Course at Palm Beach Gardens.
Rory McIlroy is the defending champion but, after his first round exit in the WGC Matchplay last week, he cannot be trusted at cramped odds of 10/1. Nor can Tiger Woods at 7/1 after suffering a similar fate at Dove Mountain, so both are opposed.
Non-Americans have won all bar one of the six renewals of this event since it switched to its current venue – a layout that has regularly ranked as one of the toughest on tour. And it’s with that in mind that those who play under the Stars and Stripes banner are swerved.
Justin Rose gets the headline selection at 14/1. The Florida-based Brit has a fantastic record in the Sunshine State, with six top-five finishes in his last 15 starts. In that sequence he has twice rewarded each-way backers in the Honda Classic. His form has been good in recent months, with three top-four finishes in his last four strokeplay starts, suggesting his work with swing coach Sean Foley and putting guru David Orr is paying off.
The stats tell us that good scrambling is imperative at PGA National, and few have been getting up and down when needed as often as Fredrik Jacobson this term. The Swede made the last 16 in Arizona after a couple of successive top tens heading into the event. He’s twice made the top six at this week’s track and is a solid choice on course and current form at 25/1.
As is Charl Schwartzel, who can boast six top-five finishes including two wins in his last seven starts, while fifth in this event 12 months ago is another tick in the right box. He is 14/1.
My three off the tee – Rose, Jacobson and Schwartzel.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.