After a week freezing in the desert for the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, the PGA Tour resumes its regular format as it kicks off the Florida swing this week with The Honda Classic at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The course is most famous for its three-hole stretch known as “The Bear Trap.” Holes 15, 16, and 17 take a bite out of most players scores and a good round can turn disastrous very quickly.
Due to unique format last week, the Yahoo! golf game that our group plays took a week off. You can still join us by using the info you can find by clicking here or by emailing me at fantasycpr at yahoo.com. In the last week of our competition (the Northern Trust Open) the entry titled Bushwood took the win with 194 points and moved into third so far in the segment. My entry is 29 points ahead of his in second with Eagle’s Nest still holding the lead 13 points ahead of me.
This week, my picks stocked up with plenty of international players who have a good history at PGA National and won’t play as many total events stateside meaning there’s less of a need to preserve their starts. Here’s the players I’m rolling with this week:
Graeme McDowell: G Mac looked good last week after missing the cut at the Northern Trust in his first competitive action in a while. He made the elite eight in Tuscon before losing to Jason Day. McDowell finished in the top ten last year at the Honda after a t6 in 2011. McDowell has the game to win at PGA National and he would be my one pick to win this week.
Tiger Woods: Tiger has won every stroke play event he’s entered on the PGA Tour and didn’t look horrible in last week’s first-round loss to Charles Howell III. CH-III just outplayed Tiger at the end, but Woods overall game was solid. He doesn’t have a long history here but did finish as runner-up to Rory last year after a closing 62. He can win any tournament he enters to be sure, but I’ll start with him on my bench to save the start if possible.
Fredrik Jacobson: Jacobson has three top ten’s in his last three events after losing in the sweet 16 last week. He’s made the cut in all of his four trips to the Bear Trap and has a pair of top ten finishes.
Louis Oosthuizen: Oosty made an early exit last week going out in round 2 even though he was a one-seed. He hasn’t finished a Honda after being forced to withdraw due to illness after making the cut in each of the last two seasons. He’s already won this year taking the Volvo Golf Champions in his native South Africa on the European Tour.
Justin Rose: Rose always seems to enjoy the Tour’s Florida swing including the Honda where he has top 5’s in each of his last two visits. He’s also playing well with top 25’s in his last 10 starts around the world.
Ernie Els: Els won this event five years ago and has always made the cut. He’s coming off a nice t13 in his first PGA Tour event this year at the Northern Trust although he did lose in the first round in the Match Play Championship
Jason Day: Day’s run to the semi-final last week may have been surprisingt to some given his seeding, but if you’ve been paying attention to his play lately you kned he’s refocused and playing well. He hasn’t made a cut here in the past, but I expect him to emerge throughout the rest of this season as a solid option.
Charl Schwartzel: Schwartzel lost in extra holes in round 1 to Russell Henley after I picked him to win the Accenture last week. This week he’ll look to rediscover the stroke play groove that led to top five’s in his last seven international starts. He also had a top 5 last year at this event.