PGA Golf Bets: Backing the Aussies at $41 and $81

Honda Classic
Honda Classic

The PGA Tour hits Florida for the Honda Classic.

Honda Classic

The Honda Classic started out in 1972 as “Jackie Gleason’s Inverary Classic” and has been a regular feature on tour ever since (usually as the lead event in the “Florida Swing” before recent calendar reshuffles). The event has been played in several locations around the state during its 50 year history, but has been at the current venue, Palm Beach Gardens, since 2007. It’s not the most prestigious tournament in this section of the rotation, but one that always draw a great interest from the abundance of pro golfers who make Florida their home base.

Prizemoney $8m ($1.26m to the winner)

Field 156

72-Hole Record 264: Justin Leonard (2003).

18-Hole Record 61: Brian Harman (2012) & Matt Jones (2021)

Course winners taking part Matt Jones, Sungjae Im, Keith Mitchell, Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington, Michael Thompson, Rory Sabbatini, Camilo Villegas, Luke Donald.

Highest-ranked OWGR players in field Oosthuizen (13), Koepka (15), Niemann (20), Berger (21), Horschel (22), Im (24), Reed (28).

2021 result
-12 Matt Jones (80/1)
-7 Brandon Hagy (100/1)
-6 George Sieffert (250/1)
-6 Brendan Steele (40/1)
-6 Denny McCarthy (140/1)
-6 Russell Henley (28/1)
-6 CT Pan (200/1)

Honda Classic: The Course

We’re at the PGA National Champion course located in West Palm Beach, just up the coast from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It’s a par-70 course which measures 7125 yards. Originally opened in 1981, the facility was later re-designed by Jack Nicklaus whose name is checked on the 15th/16th/17th holes… known as “the Bear Trap”. Now a tougher course, with plenty of water hazards and bunkers to catch out the players, recent winning scores have been between 6-under and 13-under-par.

Honda Classic: The Weather

A clear, dry week is forecast with a daily precipitation forecast of 20%-10%-10%-10% over the course of the tournament. Temperatures will be in the high 70s, with partial cloud cover during the week. Maximum wind speeds will be highest at the weekend, reaching 12-14mph.

Honda Classic: Outright Value Bets

These are two value bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.

Matt Jones ($41 with Betfair)

Jones comes into this week as the defending champion, something which can work one of two ways – weighed down by the burden of trying to defend, or inspired by the scene of past glories. I’ll go for the latter option in backing the 41-year-old Aussie. Besides winning last year he has form on the PGA National course, and he’s also got some wind in his sails after posting a Top 20 last week at Pacific Palisades. For a player who finished the ToC by shooting 62-21, Jones clearly has the game to go well, and he looks an interesting bet for me here this week.

Lucas Herbert ($81 with TopSport)

We know Herbert can win on the PGA Tour – his 66/1 win for us in the Bermuda Championship back in October is still fresh in the mind. And this week we have another low-grade tournament where the market is wide open and the lists aren’t dominated by the tour’s best. Now besides that recent win, Herbert is also a dual winner on the European Tour in 2020/21, so the 26-year-old from Victoria is no slouch. He’s played here once before, making the cut, but Herbert is a much more accomplished player now. A great putter, if he can hit those GIR then he represents excellent value IMO.

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020…

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, John Catlin $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21