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Honda Classic 2018 betting tips: 3 from the tee at PGA National

Jon Wilde 20 Feb 2018
Anirban Lahiri (credit:Credit by bettingpro)'s Jon Wilde provides outright betting tips for the 2018 Honda Classic and a guide on how to bet on this PGA Tour event from February 22-25.

Background to the Honda Classic

The Honda Classic was inaugurated in 1972 and traditionally marks the PGA Tour circuit’s annual switch from the west coast events that begin the calendar year to the east coast and the build-up to the season’s first Major, the Masters, in April.

That is because the Honda Classic is played in Florida at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, where it has been held since 2007. Previously, it took place at other venues within the ‘Sunshine State’.

Only four players have won the Honda Classic twice and they were all Major champions – Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Mark Calcavecchia and Padraig Harrington, the latter being in the field again this year with his latest triumph occurring in 2015.

Three from the tee

Here are the trio we are backing for the 2017 Honda Classic:

1) ANIRBAN LAHIRI @ 100/1 with Paddy Power (paying 1/5 odds first 7 places for each-way bets)

Anirban Lahiri (Getty Images)

Lahiri finished just outside the top 10 at this event last year and there is plenty of evidence to suggest he could improve significantly on that result as he returns for a third appearance, having missed the cut on his 2016 debut.

The Indian was runner-up at the Memorial Tournament in June, which is a similar style of test to this, and showed his current wellbeing with a prominent display at the Genesis Open a week ago. He certainly has the quality to make a mockery of his three-figure odds this week.

2) LUCAS GLOVER @ 150/1 with Coral (paying 1/5 odds first 7 places for each-way bets)

Lucas Glover (Getty Images)

Glover is a real Florida specialist and all of his three PGA Tour victories have come on the east coast, which is not surprising considering he hails from South Carolina, so he should enjoy the circuit returning to his native part of the world.

The former US Open champion’s recent form is nothing to write home about, but this is a tournament where he has thrived before with a top-four finish and a solid full week’s play last year – and in his last five Florida outings he has never finished worse than 27th.

3) PATTON KIZZIRE @ 70/1 with SportingBet (paying 1/4 odds first 5 places for each-way bets)

Patton Kizzire (Getty Images)

Kizzire has made remarkable progress in the last few years – perhaps not quite Jon Rahm-esque but two wins in the current season is certainly not to be sniffed at.

The 31-year-old late developer has yet to make the breakthrough in the Honda Classic, but this is a venue that should be right up his street and a 64 in the second round two years ago shows what he is capable of – especially now he has become a multiple winner at this level.

Course Guide

The Champion Course at PGA National is a par-70 that measures 7,140 yards and was opened in 1981, hosting the Ryder Cup two years later which was won by the United States team before Europe began their run of success over the following decades.

It also staged the 1987 US PGA Championship in which Larry Nelson was the winner, plus the Senior PGA Championship every year from 1982-2000. 

The most famous feature on the Champion Course is the ‘Bear Trap’, the tough stretch of three holes from the 15th to the 17th which is named after the course’s designer Jack Nicklaus (nicknamed the Golden Bear).

Renovations took place in the autumn of 2014 with the 14th hole, which leads up to the ‘Bear Trap’, being redesigned with the addition of more water and bunkers while four other holes were lengthened.

Previous winners

Honda Classic results: Past winners of the Honda Classic

YearWinnerScoreTo ParRunner-Up
2005Padraig Harrington274-14Vijay Singh/Joe Ogilvie
2006Luke Donald276-12Geoff Ogilvy
2007Mark Wilson275-5Camilo Villegas/Boo Weekley/Jose Coceres
2008Ernie Els274-6Luke Donald
2009Y-E Yang271-9John Rollins
2010Camilo Villegas267-13Anthony Kim
2011Rory Sabbatini271-9Y-E Yang
2012Rory McIlroy268-12Tiger Woods/Tom Gillis
2013Michael Thompson271-9Geoff Ogilvy
2014Russell Henley272-8Rory McIlroy/Russell Knox/Ryan Palmer
2015Padraig Harrington274-6Daniel Berger
2016Adam Scott271-9Sergio Garcia
2017Rickie Fowler268-12Morgan Hoffmann/Gary Woodland

Honda Classic in-play betting tactics

Those close to the top of the leaderboard throughout are the ones to focus on at the Honda Classic, albeit 2016 winner Adam Scott was seven shots off the pace after the first round – but he is the exception to the rule.

The reason is the toughness of the course – it will not be a birdie and eaglefest and therefore ground is hard to make up, so being in a strong position from an early stage is a big advantage.

And as mentioned in the Course Guide above, the ‘Bear Trap’ can sort the men from the boys. Plenty can change at holes 15, 16 and 17 on Sunday when the pressure is on and even though the 18th is a par-five, it is by no means a guaranteed birdie opportunity especially if a player in contention has struggled over those three previous tests.

Honda Classic markets

Bookmakers are offering a good range of markets on this tournament including the staples of Winner, Top 5, Top 10 and Top 20 Finish, plus First Round Leader.

Those happy to bet on a single nationality or continent of player can choose from nine such markets including Top Englishman, Top Irishman and Top Rest of the World. These can be a good way to bet if you fancy a certain player to go well, or at least better than his compatriots, but not necessarily feature right at the top of the leaderboard.

There are also several special bets on offer including whether there will be a play-off or a hole in one, as well as the margin of victory.

Bookmaker promotions on the Honda Classic

For details of all the ongoing golf promotions available with the bookmakers, click here

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Honda Classic 2018 betting tips: 3 from the tee at PGA National's Jon Wilde provides outright betting tips for the 2018 Honda Classic and a guide on how to bet on this PGA Tour event from February 22-25.

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