written by: Jerod Kieler
The Honda Classic returns to PGA National Golf Club's Champion Course for the ninth consecutive year. Sixteen of the top-25 players in the world are set to take on the “Bear Trap”, including Rory McIlroy, who will be making his 2015 PGA Tour debut. Russell Henley returns as your defending champion. Last year, Henley defeated Rory McIlroy, Russell Knox, and Ryan Palmer on the first playoff hole for his second career PGA Tour victory.
Starting this week with the Honda Classic, I will providing my weekly TourCouncil.com Fantasy Golf picks through the Tour Championship. In (), will include the number of times that I have used that particular golfer on the season.
1) Rory McIlroy (0) – I debated on whether or not to use Rory this week, but in this format, the early tournaments count just as much as the Majors and WGC’s. In his last two worldwide starts, McIlroy has a win and a runner-up finish. McIlroy won this event in 2012 and lost in a playoff last year.
2) Keegan Bradley (1) – Bradley has been playing better as of late and finished off last week with a final round 68. Playing at the tough Riviera Country Club, Bradley’s final round moved him into a share for 4th. In three career starts at PGA National, Bradley has not finished outside the top-12.
1) Brooks Koepka (2) - I am a little worried that I am going to run out of picks for Koepka. However, the former Florida State star will be playing close to home and is playing so well. In his second to last start, Koepka captured the title at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Koepka tied for 33rd here last year.
2) Louis Oosthuizen (0) – This is somewhat of a boom or bust pick as Sweet Lou has never made the cut at PGA National. However, in his last five worldwide starts, Louis has not finished outside the top-14. In his most recent start, Oosthuizen finished solo 2nd at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
1) Lee Westwood (0) – I actually could not believe that Westwood was in Tier C. The 27th ranked player in the world has a win and two additional top-10’s in his past three worldwide starts. In five career trips to PGA National, Westwood has three top-10 finishes.
2) Ryan Palmer (0) – I felt Palmer was another solid value pick in Tier C. Palmer did miss the cut in his most recent start, but finished in the top-20 in his other three 2015 events. Last year at PGA National, Palmer lost in the four man playoff won by Russell Henley.
Other Golfers Considered:
Justin Rose (Tier A): Rose withdrew last year, but has top-5 finishes in each of his last three starts at PGA National.
Nick Watney (Tier B): Watney faded last week, but still shared 22nd after finishing solo 2nd the week before at Pebble Beach.
Paul Casey (Tier C): Casey lost in a playoff last week at the Northern Trust Open. Casey has top-12 finishes in two of his past three trips to PGA National