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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: Honda Classic

Twofer Tuesday trades the psychological terror of TPC Sawgrass for the actual terror of the Bear Trap at the Honda Classic.

Defending champion Sungjae Im

The Champions Course at PGA National isn't the longest track on Tour but it is by far one of the hardest that players face each season. If the Jack Nicklaus redesign wasn't tough enough on its own, the aptly named 'Bear Trap' -- holes 15, 16 and 17 -- easily steals as much sleep from the field as the final three holes at Sawgrass. So much water...!

Last year Sungjae Im grabbed his first Tour victory by negotiating the treacherous layout better than anybody else, finishing at -6. (Note that the Honda was played before THE PLAYERS in 2020.) It's anybody's guess who might avoid the Bear's claws this year.

Of course, that won't stop me from making my own guesses.

  • My first pick is Lee Westwood. It's possible that he's getting a bit tired given his excellent play over the last few weeks, but I think a shorter tricky layout like PGA National suits his current form. He has a good record here as well, so why not?
  • And my other pick is Brandon Wu. Wu was quite the player on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, with a lot of Top10s. He's only played two events this year, posting a T14 at the LECOM on the KFT but posting a T7 in Puerto Rico. That T7 got him into the Honda, and I think he's ready to make the best of this start.

GC's live coverage officially begins at 2pm ET Thursday but they'll be peeking in on the action pretty often with PGA TOUR LIVE's help starting at 10am ET. It's frightening to realize that, with the WGC-Dell Match Play, the Bear Trap is what passes for a breather between big events!

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