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Honda Classic: Preview, Props, Best Bets

The final edition of the Honda Classic kicks off on Thursday as the car company ends its 42-year run as a title sponsor on the PGA Tour.

PGA National is an iconic tour venue, although only three of the top 20 players in the world are in this week’s field. That presents terrific opportunities for the full field, and our golf experts break down the event along with their favorite props and best bets to win this week.


–Adam Svensson to Beat J.T. Poston (+100 at DraftKings): Poston used a T6 and three consecutive T21s to rocket up to a career-best 47th in the world. He then promptly missed his next two cuts. Svensson, who is the highest-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings this week, earned his first career Tour title at this season’s RSM Classic and is coming off a T9 at Riviera. Svensson also has sneaky history at PGA National, where he finished T9 last year and won the 2015 Korn Ferry Tour Q-School Finals by seven strokes.

–Sungjae Im Top 5 Finish (+188 at BetMGM): Im missed the cut here last year but did win his first tour event at PGA National in 2020. Already playing in his seventh event of 2023, Im posted a pair of top-10s before settling for T56 last week.

–Harris English to Make Cut (-210 at DraftKings): On the surface, this is an odd choice on a player who has missed three of his past four cuts. But English, who has been inconsistent since returning from hip surgery last year, is coming off a T12 at the Genesis Invitational. That was against a far superior field and the four-time PGA Tour winner is an excellent ball striker who should fair well in the unpredictable conditions PGA National can throw at players.

2023 Prop Picks Record: 8-10-1


–Sungjae Im (+850 at BetMGM) is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 18 and won the event in 2020. The heavy pre-tournament favorite hasn’t won since the Shriners two years ago, but he’s still the sportsbook’s second-biggest liability this week. After opening at +900, Im leads the field with 15.8 percent of the money backing him to win. –Shane Lowry (+1600) finished second last year and rebounded with a T14 last week after consecutive missed cuts. He’s first with 7.5 percent of the total bets backing him to win, and Lowry is BetMGM’s third-biggest liability this week.

–Denny McCarthy (+2500) is a career-best 62nd in the world rankings as he seeks his first career PGA Tour title. His T14 at Riviera included a 64 on Saturday, which tied the low round of the tournament, but McCarthy doesn’t have a great track record in the Florida swing.

–Matt Kuchar (+2500) is showing signs of life after a dismal 2021 on the course. Coming off a solo eighth at Riviera and posting a T7 in Honolulu last month, Kuchar is fourth at BetMGM with 4.9 percent of the total bets.

–Billy Horschel (+2800) enters at No. 19. He has sandwiched a T32 in Phoenix with two missed cuts in his past three starts. The Florida native admits winning in his home state is a massive personal goal. Horschel is the biggest liability this week as he has drawn 5.5 percent of the total bets and 7.3 percent of the money — both third at BetMGM.

–Adam Svensson (+2800) is streaky — a pair of top-10s to go with three missed cuts and no other top-35 finishes in his past 11 events. But he clearly likes this track and is coming off a strong week at Riviera. Svensson opened at +4000 but has been a popular pick with 4.2 and 6.0 percent of the action, respectively.


–Straka seeks to become only the second player to successfully defend at The Honda (Jack Nicklaus in 1977-78). He came from five strokes back in last year’s final round to become the first Austrian to win on tour.

–Nicklaus reworked the Tom and George Fazio designed course in 2002, 2014 and 2018, with hole Nos. 15-17 known as “The Bear Trap.” There has been a “bunkerage reduction” on the final two holes since last year’s event.

–Parker Coody earned a spot via the Monday Qualifier and will be in the field along with his twin brother, Pierceson, who is in on a sponsor exemption. Parker will be making his second PGA Tour start while Pierceson, the top player in last year’s PGA Tour University, will make his first. Their grandfather, Charles, won the 1971 Masters as one of three career tour victories.

–Two-time event winner Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015) is making his first PGA Tour start of the season, and Ryder Cup captains Zach Johnson and Luke Donald are also in the field.

THE HONDA CLASSIC Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Feb. 23-26 Course: PGA National Resort – The Champion (Par 70, 7,125 yards) Purse: $8.4M (Winner: $1.512M) Defending Champion: Sepp Straka FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm

HOW TO FOLLOW TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC) Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Sunday: 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. ET Twitter: @TheHondaClassic

–Field Level Media


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