PGA Tee To Green – The Honda Classic

PGA Tee To Green
The Honda Classic
By DfsDudes

The Honda Classic
February 27th – March 1st

Course

The Honda Classic is played at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. PGA National is a Par 71 track and plays at 7,310 yards. The course is made up of 11 par 4’s, 4 Par 3’s and 3 Par 5’s. The famed “Bear Trap” known as probably one of the more nerve wrecking three hole stretches in golf, is made up of holes 15, 16 and 17. The 15th begins the Bear Trap, a 160 yard Par 3 over water. The 16th is a 443 yard Par 4 dogleg right, the toughest par 4 on the course. The 17th, once again, a 156 yard Par 3, over water with the wind in your face, and a green sandwiched between water and a deep bunker behind it. Oh, yea, by the way, once you make it through the bear trap you arrive at the 18th tee, where you can reach this double dogleg in two.

Weather

Wednesday is supposed to bring warm weather and thunderstorms, this could soften the course up a bit and make for a very long and soft golf course on Thursday Morning. Tuesday the high is 84 degrees and so is Wednesday. After the thunderstorm’s Wednesday, the weather will still be nice for the weekend, but, much cooler. Mid 60’s to Low 70’s cap of the rest of the week. WIND… we are going to see some pretty windy conditions over the weekend, Thursday’s forecast calls for winds steady at 11mph climbing to 15mph on Friday and peaking at 18mph Saturday before calming back down to 15mph on Sunday for the final round.

Field and Cut

Missing this week is a majority of the Top 15 players in the world. The Cut this weekend is “The Top 65 and ties after the first two rounds”.

2. Brooks Koepka
11. Tommy Fleetwood
17. Louis Oosthuizen
18. Shane Lowry
19. Gary Woodland
26. Rickie Fowler
30. Lee Westwood
32. Sungjae Im
40. Billy Horschel
41. Matt Wallace
42. Sergio Garcia
50. Byeong Hun An

Recent Winners

2019 Keith Mitchell
2018 Justin Thomas *Not in the field this week.
2017 Ricky Fowler
2016 Adam Scott *Not in the field this week
2015 Padraig Harrington

What The Oddsmakers Say

Tommmy Fleetwood +1200
Brooks Koepka +1200
Ricky Fowler +1400
Gary Woodland +2200
Justin Rose +2500
Louis Oosthuizen +2500
Billy Horschel +2500
Viktor Holland +2800
Sungjae Im + 3300
Daniel Berger +3300

*Patrick Reed was +3300, last weeks winner at the WGC Mexico Championship.

Key Stats To Consider

Ball Striking
Bogey Avoidance
Strokes Gained Putting – Patrick Reed picked up almost 12 strokes on the field putting last week.
Strokes gained Approach – There are some difficult shots into greens that are awkward and sandwiched between trouble.
Greens In Regulation

The Bottom Line

My gut feeling here it that weather is going to play a key role in deciding this week’s winner. Yes, its Florida, the weather will be nice, but, the winds will be a-blowing. There is potential for thunderstorms on Wednesday that will soften this course up and make it longer and slower also. Im looking For Ball Strikers who can control ball flight, hit fairways and greens and make up strokes on the field on the green. Gary Woodland is 2nd in Ball striking. Harris English leads the field in Bogey Avoidance. Louis Oosthuizen leads the field in Strokes gained putting. Jim Fuyrk is 8th on tour in Shots gained on approach, but that is good enough to be the best in the field in this category this week. Fuyrk is number one on tour in greens in regulation at 78.76% and leads the field this week in GIR, and Shots gained on approach.

Be Sure to check out our PGA Core Plays and Derek Hill’s Weekly Podcast “Playing The Tips”

This week for our VIP Members, Be on the look out for our PGA Cash Game Lineup. 

 

PGA Core Plays – WGC Mexico Championship

PGA Core Plays – WGC Mexico Championship
February 20-23, 2020
By Derek Hill

 

 

 

The beloved west coast swing is now behind us and we head south of the border for a week before heading to Florida for the next month. The WGC-Mexico Championship is being hosted at the Club de Golf Chapultepec for the 4th consecutive year. It is a really fun and unique event. A solid field of 72 players will all get 4 rounds to try to bring home the title as there is no cut this week.

The course sits at an elevation of 7,500 feet which brings a lot of added distance to these players who already hit it a mile. This week the course will be playing at 7,345 yards and par 71. The course has smaller than average greens and has trees lining the fairways. That means that ball striking and SG:Tee-to-Green will be important this week. Just for reference, here are some notable players in the field this week who rank in the top 10 in SG:Tee-to-Green. Don’t be surprised to see these names at the top of the leaderboard.

1. McIlroy
2. Schauffele
3. Simpson
4. Matsuyama
5.
6. Thomas
7.
8.
9. Morikawa
10. Garcia

Here are the guys I like this week:

Top-End Pick: Dustin Johnson
$12,000FD/$11,000DK

There’s not much not to like about DJ this week. In the 3 WGC-Mexico Championship events held at Club de Golf Chapultepec he has finished 1st, T7, 1st. His victory last year was completely dominant. Rory had an amazing week and still finished 5 strokes behind DJ. For reference, the 3rd place finishers were 10 shots behind DJ. In his 12 rounds at this course, he has shot 66 or better 5 times. While he hasn’t won so far in 2020, he has 3 top 10s in 4 starts.

Other guys I like:

Justin Thomas: While he missed the cut last week at Riviera, that doesn’t change the fact that he has been playing extremely well. Regardless of how he is playing, his track record at Club de Golf Chapultepec makes him a good pick this week. He holds the course record of 62 which he has shot on 2 separate occasions. He has made 64 birdies in 216 holes. He has finished inside the top-10 in all 3 starts on this course. Ranks 6th in SG: Tee-to-Green.

Rory McIlroy:
Rory is looking to complete his WGC slam by winning the last of 4 WGC events. Last year he led after the first round when he shot a scorching 63. He led the field in birdies. Unfortunately he just made more bogeys (or worse) than DJ. He also had a top 10 here in 2017. Although he faded last Sunday, he still finished in the top 5 for the 5th consecutive start. Ranks 1st in SG: Tee-to-Green.

Others to consider: Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama

Mid-Tier Pick: Tommy Fleetwood
$11,000FD/$9200DK

I know he is a bit of an expensive mid-tier pick, but there are a lot of top-end plays with a smaller field and many of the top ranked players in the world. That being the case, I would consider Fleetwood more of an upper Mid-Tier pick rather than a cheap top-end. We haven’t seen him play an official PGA Tour event since the WGC-HSBC Champions event last November. However, he has been playing, and playing well. He has a win, 2 seconds, and a T11 in worldwide competition. He has 3 top-20 finishes at this course including a 2nd place finish in 2017. He has gone low frequently here with 5 of his 12 rounds coming in at 64 or better.

Other mid-tier guys I like:

Sergio Garcia: Garcia has been good here, and has gotten better each year. He finished 12th here in 2017 then followed that up with a 7th and 6th place finish over the next 2 years.

Tyrrell Hatton: Similar to other international players, it has been a while since he has played a tour event. Hatton has a strong track record on this course. He has finished 10th, 3rd, and 19th at this event since it moved to Mexico. 11 of his 12 rounds here have been under par.

Others to Consider: Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Colin Morikawa

Value Play: Carlos Ortiz
$8,800FD/$6,600DK

A common pick for me lately largely due to his consistent play. He has only missed 1 cut in his last 10 starts on tour. Not only does he get to play in his native Mexico this week, but the course fits him pretty well as he is a solid player from tee to green. I like his chances in his first appearance at this event.

Other guys I like:

Cameron Smith:
Smith has been a rollercoaster as of late. Had a win in January and followed it up with 2 consecutive missed cuts in February. Has the short game to convert on birdie chances if he is hitting fairways.

Others to consider: Danny Willett, Branden Grace, Kurt Kitayama, Lucas Herbert

 

 

Derek Hill Grew up in rural Utah. Married my his wife, Krista in 2010. Derek and Krista have 2 young daughters. Derek earned an undergrad degree from UVU, a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Weber State University, and Masters in Nursing Anesthesia from Samford University. Derek