Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Honda Classic based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
We knocked on the door with top-five finishers in each of the last two West Coast events but ultimately came away without a winner. We'll look to change that as the PGA Tour heads to Florida for a big-time challenge at the Honda Classic. PGA National is one of the toughest tracks on Tour year after year, and that grind has led to a step down in field quality over the past few years. As a result, we have a dearth of value options at the top of the board.
What we are looking for this week are golfers who do well on bermuda courses and on difficult courses. Ballstriking and approach factor in as usual, but we get very creative with our card this week as we embrace the chaos that comes with difficult conditions.
For more info on PGA National, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.
At the Top
Gary Woodland (+4500) - This is a get-right spot for Woodland, who is undervalued in an event that has seen some off-the-wall winners the past couple of years. He's played well here historically, making the cut in all seven of his trips since 2011 and finishing inside the top 10 three times, including a runner-up in 2017. According to stats from Fantasy National Golf Club, in Woodland's last 50 rounds on difficult courses, he ranks 18th in the field, and on bermuda courses, he ranks 30th.
Aaron Wise (+4600) - Wise was a popular name coming into the New Year after a strong fall and was supremely disappointing out West, missing two cuts and finishing T67 at the Genesis Invitational. But he thrives in difficult scoring environments, ranking sixth in the field in his last 50 rounds. He's also 23rd in total strokes gained on bermuda courses but way down at 125th in putting on those courses.
So we can deduce that he's striking it well at courses in the Southeast where bermuda is common but has just been giving it back with the putter. A good week on that front should have him fulfill the promise he showed at the end of 2020 at a nice price. He's played PGA National well so far in his career, finishing 33rd in 2018, 35th in 2020, and 13th in 2021.
Chris Kirk (+7000) - Kirk played well in Phoenix last time out, gaining in all facets and finishing T14. That finish continued a trend of quality performance on bermuda courses, and he ranks second on the field to only Daniel Berger (+1600) in total strokes gained on courses with bermudagrass.
His history at PGA National is mixed, with just one finish better than last year's T25, but he plays this event just about every year and he should know his way around PGA National. Kirk is 25th in his last 50 rounds on hard courses and 32nd in strokes gained: approach as well.
Brendon Todd (+8000) - The best bermuda putter in the field, Todd is getting into a groove with recent finishes of T26 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T16 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He has three missed cuts ages ago at PGA National, but his accuracy off the tee and excellent short game will serve him well this week. He can also contend with difficult conditions and wind, and his lack of distance won't hurt him at PGA National.
Alex Smalley (+12000) - Smalley managed to survive a few tough West Coast courses and returns now to the more comfortable bermudagrass. He had a decorated college career at Duke University, and he posted two top 15s in the fall on bermuda courses. He's found his way to contention at each of his mini Tour stops along the way last year, including the Mackenzie Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour.
His samples are still small, but on average strokes gained he ranks 19th on hard courses and 21st on bermuda courses, which portends well this week. At 120/1, this is a bet on a young golfer who has found progressive success at each of his prior stops and looks primed to breakthrough on the PGA Tour.