The PGA Tour heads East leaving behind the California portion of their regular season as they head to Palm Beach Gardens to face the Bear Trap and the tough course that hosts the Honda Classic every season. PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champion Course is one of the hardest par-70′s on the Tour and always provides plenty of drama.
Last week in the desert, the Accenture Match Play Championship also had plenty of drama and Jason Day emerged with the win. I picked him to win it all pre-tournament putting my bracket in the top 1,000 on PGATour.com. My picks have been on a roll lately, but the Fansided group on Yahoo! is so competitive that I haven’t made up much ground (details to join here). Hopefully this week my picks can avoid the Bear Trap and finish in the top ten of our 50-entry solid group.
Here are my picks for this week’s Honda Classic:
Adam Scott: Scott hasn’t played in a while, but has been in the top eight in his last eight starts overall. He missed the cut in his last trip to PGA National but his current form is good enough that he gets a roster spot for my team this week.
Rickie Fowler: Can Fowler carry over his success from last week’s Match Play? He rolled all the way to the semi-finals last week after a tough start to the season. He has been in the top 15 the last two seasons at this event and I’m rolling the dice with him as my second A-List pick. Yes, that means I’m leaving Tiger, Phil, and Henrik Stenson off my roster.
Keegan Bradley: Bradley was in the top five last year in this event and just keeps putting up top 20 after top 20. Before last week’s first-round exit, he had been in the top-20 in five of six tournaments this season. He’s a safe pick that could be in contention in any tournament he plays in.
Justin Rose: Rose hasn’t played much this season as he has battled a shoulder injury, but he warmed up in the desert last week and now returns to a course where he’s had a ton of success. In his last three trips to PGA National, he has been in the top-five every time. UPDATE: Rose withdrew from the Honda Classic early Tuesday morning. Follow this link for the details and three alternative picks.
Rory McIlroy: Rory won this event in 2012 but had to withdraw last year in the middle of the famous toothache issue. This year, he comes in on a roll with five straight top ten’s in his last five stroke play events.
Hideki Matsuyama: Although he claims to be not a huge fan of Match Play he had a solid week last week and has six straight top-25′s highlighted by a t4 in the Waste Management Pheonix Open. Other sleeper picks I like this week are last year’s champ Michael Thompson, former Gator Billy Horschel, Matt Jones, and Chris Kirk.
Graeme McDowell: McDowell made the quarterfinals last week in the Match Play Championships and put up a solid t7 in the AT&T National earlier this season in his only other stateside tournament this calendar year. He has been in the top ten in his last three trips to the Bear Trap.
Sergio Garcia: Garcia has been playing well in his international competitions including a win in each of the last two months. He doesn’t make a ton of PGA appearances, but he is worth a roster spot often when he does. A couple other C-List options I like are Charl Schwartzel and Cameron Tringale.