After Joaquin Niemann went wire-to-wire to win last week’s Genesis Invitational, the PGA Tour is heading across the country to kick off the Florida Swing with the 2022 Honda Classic.
Some of the top players in the world will take on PGA National, one of the toughest non-major courses we see on Tour each year.
Defending champion Matt Jones will try to become the first player to repeat at the Honda since Jack Nicklaus, who also just so happens to be the architect of PGA National’s latest re-design in 2014 (more on that later).
After cashing a couple of props last week, let’s see if I can find an outright winner this time around as we dig into the odds.
Honda Classic Winner Odds 2022
Honda Classic winner PGA odds are current as of 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 22, and provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
- Sungjae Im (+1200)
- Daniel Berger (+1600)
- Joaquin Niemann (+2000)
- Brooks Koepka (+2000)
- Billy Horschel (+2200)
- Louis Oosthuizen (+2200)
- Tommy Fleetwood (+2800)
- Shane Lowry (+3000)
- Alex Noren (+3300)
- Keith Mitchell (+3300)
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Honda Classic Course Tips
PGA National (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
- Par 70 (7,125 yards)
- PGA National is one of the toughest tests on Tour. As you might expect with a difficult Florida course, water lurks on essentially every hole, and multiple sand traps defend most greens. Precision off the tee and on approach is required. Getting up and down from the sand will also go a long way, as par is generally a good score here.
- If you watch any coverage of the Honda Classic this week, you’ll likely hear a lot about “The Bear Trap." The famous three-hole stretch on the back nine, named after Jack Nicklaus, is a brutal challenge and often where this tournament is won and lost. Holes 15 and 17 are Par 3s that force you to take on the water. If you miss short, you’re wet. If you miss long, you’re probably staring down a terrifying bunker shot coming back towards the water. In between, the narrow Par-4 16th requires players to find a fairway protected by bunkers and water on the right. If you miss the short grass, an approach over water to an elevated green becomes even more challenging.
- Why is “The Bear Trap" so challenging? According to PGA Tour stats and info, 1,604 shots have found the water on just those three holes alone since 2007. If you can avoid disaster there, especially on Sunday, you’ll have a chance.
- We’re back on Bermuda grass greens, which we will see throughout the Florida Swing. The greens at PGA National are typically lightning quick, but the reads will be truer than they were last week on Poa Annua greens at the Genesis.
Honda Classic Field
As you can tell by looking at the odds, we’ve got a bit of a weaker field this week, especially when compared to the last two star-studded events.
That isn’t a surprise, as some of the game’s top players have opted for a rest with the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship coming up.
However, there’s still plenty of talent on the board to choose from. 2020 Honda Classic champion Sungjae Im is the current betting favorite at 12-1 and is closely followed by 2015 runner-up Daniel Berger and 2019 runner-up Brooks Koepka.
This week also marks the first Tour start of the year for some of the top players on the DP World Tour, as the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood, and others have made their way across the Atlantic.
Honda Classic Best Bets
Billy Horschel to Win Honda Classic (+2200) at Caesars
Horschel is trending up at the moment, having finished T-6 and T-11 in his last two starts.
Most recently in Phoenix, Horschel gained strokes in all four major categories, including 0.6 strokes on approach. While that might not sound like much, it was the first time the native Floridian had gained with his irons this season.
Given his proclivity for putting on Bermuda and strong short game in general, Horschel could contend this week if the iron play continues to heat up.
Jhonattan Vegas to Win Honda Classic (+5000) at BetMGM
Driving distance is one of the key stats this week, making Vegas an intriguing outright option.
One of the longer hitters in the field, Vegas should be able to club down off the tee at times to ensure he hits the fairway while still leaving himself an approach shot of a reasonable length.
Like Horschel, Vegas has also been trending well with the irons - he gained 3.9 strokes on approach last week at the Genesis - and does his best putting on Bermuda.
He’s got four Top-30 finishes here in his last five starts, including a T-4 in 2017, which isn’t a bad sign either.
Lucas Glover Top-5 Finish (+1200) at Caesars
Top-5 bets generally aren’t the best value, but I’ll take a stab at a longshot here with Lucas Glover.
Glover is an ideal fit for the course as a short, accurate player that is consistently gaining on approach. That’s been reflected over the years, as he’s finished T-21 or better in four of the last five years, including a T-4 in 2019.
The 42-year-old already has a top-5 finish at the Sony Open this year and won last year at the John Deere. His putter usually lets him down, but Glover should keep himself out of trouble and make it to the weekend at a course where par is a good score.
Alex Noren Top-10 Finish (+300) at Caesars
Noren is another player that has been trending up with his irons, gaining a season-best 3.9 strokes on approach last week at the Genesis.
His putter let him down en route to a T-48 finish, but we’ve seen that Noren is capable of spike putting weeks that can put him in contention.
Two weeks ago in Phoenix, the Swede led the field in putting, gaining 7.4 strokes with the flatstick.
His track record here is mixed, but he generally has success when the irons are cooking.
Brian Harman Top-20 Finish (+150) at Caesars
I couldn’t get myself to bet Harman to win outright at 33-1, but I can understand why that number has been dipping since it opened.
In Phoenix, the lefty gained 8.4 strokes from tee to green, which was good for eighth-best in a star-studded field. However, he struggled on the greens and finished T-14, five shots back of Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler.
That performance is atypical for Harman, who normally is one of the better putters on Tour. A return to his preferred putting surface will be a welcome one, and if the rest of the game comes along as well, he’ll be in the mix.
Top Asian Player: Sungjae Im (+110) at Caesars
You’ll never see me betting the favorite to win outright, but props are an excellent way to get a piece of top players without paying top dollar.
Sungjae generally plays his best golf in Florida, has started the season pretty well (two top-10s), and would be an outright bet at a better price.
Instead, I’ll bet the 2020 champion in this category against seven other golfers, none of which are in the same class of player.
Brendon Todd Over Patrick Reed & Martin Kaymer (+200) at Caesars
There’s no other way to put it: Patrick Reed has been really bad of late.
He’s only the favorite of these three on reputation, as he’s failed to gain strokes off the tee or on approach in each of his last three starts (MC, T-46, T-55).
Todd is a great fit for this course, as he falls into the same short, accurate golfer bucket as Glover. However, unlike Glover, Todd is more than capable with the putter, especially on Bermuda.
He’s never played here before, but his form coming is solid, having gained on approach in three straight events and finished T-26 and T-16 in his last two starts.
Honda Classic Event Details
- Dates: Thursday, February 24 - Sunday, February 27, 2022
- Course: PGA National
- Course Dimensions: Par 70 (7,125 yards)
- 2021 Honda Classic Winner: Matt Jones
- How to Watch: ESPN+/Golf Channel/NBC