The Honda Classic odds, preview, and course notes

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March 17th, 2021

With back-to-back second-place finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and last week’s Players Championship, Lee Westwood will enter the Honda Classic in exceptional form.

A +2200 choice to win this weekend, Westwood is no stranger to the arduous test found at PGA National’s Champion Course. Last year, the 47-year-old landed fourth at the par-70, 7,125-yard Tom Fazio design (later renovated by Jack Nicklaus), and boasts three more top 10s at the Honda Classic.  

2021 Honda Classic odds

Daniel Berger
Joaquin Niemann
Sungjae Im
Adam Scott
Lee Westwood
Shane Lowry

Among those competing with Westwood for a win are 2021 Pebble Beach winner Daniel Berger, the +1000 favorite, and defending Honda Classic champion Sungjae Im (+1200).

Adam Scott (+2500), Russell Henley (+2500), Rickie Fowler (+4500), and Keith Mitchell (+9000) are also recent Honda Classic winners in the 144-player field, which is a bit lighter on star power for the final leg of the Florida Swing.

Honda Classic layout and relevant statistics

Similar to Riviera and The Concession, this Florida course will provide a steep, all-around challenge, particularly along the infamous three-hole stretch known as "The Bear Trap," on the par-3 15th, par-4 16th, and par-3 17th.

Those two par 3s measure between 175 and 179 yards, while the two par 3s on the front nine stretch to 217 and 226 yards. Only two par 5s come into play, at Hole 3 (538 yards) and Hole 18 (556 yards), and 12 par 4s range from 365 yards to 508.

Greens are massive (around 7,000 square feet), play fast, and are comprised of TifEagle Bermudagrass. Nearly 70 bunkers line the course, in addition to water that comes into play on 15 of 18 holes.

Weather should also affect the field, particularly on Thursday, when wind speeds could reach 19 mph.

Of the past three winners (Im, Mitchell, and Justin Thomas), all three ranked in the top five in scrambling, the top seven in strokes gained approaching the green, and the top 13 in strokes gained off the tee. They also ranked in the top six in par-3 scoring at this event in the year they won.

All of the past 12 champions ranked inside the top 60 on Tour for adjusted scoring average, while 10 of the last 12 winners ranked in the top 60 in strokes gained tee to green.

Most importantly, strong iron play will determine the top of the leaderboard, as both Mitchell and Im gained more than six strokes on approaches and more than 3.5 strokes around the greens at the time of their victories.  

Best bets at the Honda Classic

Berger is a promising contender, based on his recent form and course history, but to find better value on the odds board, look to Henley (+2800).

Though he missed the cut last weekend, the 31-year-old has excelled at PGA National in recent appearances. Aside from his win via playoff in 2014, Henley has two top-25 finishes and a top 10 (last season), dating back to 2018.

He also ranks sixth on Tour in strokes gained approaching the green and scrambling, 10th in scoring average, and 17th in strokes gained tee to green.

Also look to Cameron Tringale (+2800) to rise up the leaderboard. The 33-year-old ranks 19th in par-3 efficiency from 175-200 yards, 20th in scoring average, and finished 27th at last year's Honda Classic.

For a longshot, John Huh (+9000) may surprise the field with a high finish. A frequent participant of this tournament, Huh landed 14th back in 2016 and 17th the year prior. He also ranks 27th on Tour in strokes gained tee to green, 32nd in scoring average, and 44th in strokes gained approaching the green.

How to watch the Honda Classic

The winner of the Honda Classic will receive $1.26 million of a $7 million purse and 500 FedEx Cup points.

You can catch all the action Thursday and Friday, 2 to 6 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m. ET, on the Golf Channel. NBC will present live coverage on Saturday and Sunday, from 3 to 6 p.m. ET.