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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: The Honda Classic Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of The Honda Classic.

The PGA TOUR tees it up for one more tournament in the Sunshine State before leaving Florida for the WGC-Match Play in Texas and the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic next week. While the field at The Honda Classic isn’t nearly as elite as we’ve enjoyed the past few weeks, there should still be some compelling golf to watch at PGA National, one of the most difficult stops on the PGA TOUR each year.

Each week this season, this post has examined two of the key factors to consider when building your DraftKings fantasy golf teams. You can find the most notable course history and current form for those teeing it up this week at PGA National in the charts below.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]

Course History

Editor’s note: Daniel Berger (rib) has withdrawn from The Honda Classic.

While the Honda Classic dates back to 1972, it settled on The Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa as the annual host back in 2007. Every year since then, players have been challenged to survive “The Bear Trap,” a fabled stretch of three difficult holes featuring plenty of water and risk-reward opportunities. Here is a look at the players who have fared the best over the past five years:

Course History

Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Sungjae Im $11,000 -- -- -- 51 1
Daniel Berger $10,800 89 101 29 36 4
Adam Scott $10,100 1 14 13 86 --
Russell Henley $9,800 95 43 24 20 8
Rickie Fowler $8,900 6 1 86 2 71
Brendan Steele $8,700 14 14 -- 140 4
Wyndham Clark $8,000 -- -- -- 7 11
Byong Hun Am $8,000 -- -- 5 36 4
Jhonattan Vegas $7,300 -- 4 72 16 27
Lucas Glover $7,000 81 21 17 4 84
Patrick Rodgers $7,000 143 136 33 30 21
Jason Dufner $6,700 61 14 17 75 25
Scott Brown $6,500 10 57 46 20 105

Last year’s champion, Sungjae Im ($11,000) is the most expensive golfer on DraftKings this week, and he claimed the win last season by picking up two birdies in the three holes of The Bear Trap. He edged Mackenzie Hughes ($7,800) by a stroke after the Canadian picked up a costly bogey through that pivotal three-hole stretch.

Those three holes aren’t the only ones that make PGA National difficult, though. Originally designed by Tom Fazio, the course was reshaped by Jack Nicklaus on multiple occasions and now includes water in play on just about every hole. Accuracy is critical, so players usually sacrifice distance for precision off the tee. Bogey avoidance is a key stat to look at along with excellent scoring on par 3s, which are usually the trickiest holes on the course. With just two par 5s, players will need to score well on par 4s as well, as is typically the case on par 70 layouts. As far as shots gained statistics, the primary indicator for success in recent years has been SG: Approach with SG: Putting coming in a close second.

There are some players who have had success here across the salary spectrum, and typically they’re players who have the endurance to grind out tough rounds on difficult courses. Adam Scott ($10,100) won this event in 2016 and posted four top-15 finishes before missing the cut in 2019 and passing on the event last season. Keith Mitchell ($7,200) claimed the title in 2019 but missed the cut in his two other appearances at the tournament. Rickie Fowler ($8,900) is another former champion playing this week, and he added a runner-up finish in 2019 finishing just behind Mitchell. Fowler has made the cut in seven of his nine career appearances at PGA National with six top-25 finishes. His recent form has been disappointing, but if there’s a place for him to get things turned around, PGA National seems like the place.

There are some non-winners with strong track records at this event as well including Russell Henley ($9,800), who has posted three straight top-25 finishes and Wyndham Clark ($8,000) who has finished in the top 15 in each of the past two years. Brendan Steele ($8,700) and Lucas Glover ($7,000) are PGA TOUR veterans who have put together solid finishes here, and even cheap options like Jason Dufner ($6,700) and Scott Brown ($6,500) have posted some good past results by avoiding trouble and making cuts.

Current Form

The field this week isn’t nearly as strong as we have seen the past few weeks since many of the stars on the PGA TOUR are taking a break between THE PLAYERS and the WGC-Match Play next week. There are still some options with good form coming into the event, though, including the following options:

Current Form

Player Name Salary Sentry TOC Sony Open The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS
Player Name Salary Sentry TOC Sony Open The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS
Sungjae Im $11,000 5 56 12 32 17 -- -- 28 21 17
Daniel Berger $10,800 10 7 -- -- CUT 1 -- 35 -- 9
Lee Westwood $10,600 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 61 2 2
Joaquin Niemann $10,400 2 2 -- -- -- -- 43 28 -- 29
Talor Gooch $9,300 -- CUT 21 48 CUT -- 23 -- 43 5
Cameron Tringale $9,100 -- -- 56 18 17 7 26 -- 31 CUT
Chris Kirk $9,000 -- 2 16 -- CUT 16 -- -- 8 48
Doug Ghim $8,800 -- CUT 5 37 -- 21 CUT -- 36 29
Keegan Bradley $8,400 -- CUT CUT -- 22 -- 60 -- 10 29
Adam Hadwin $7,700 -- -- 32 18 50 -- 26 -- CUT 29
James Hahn $7,300 -- 41 32 CUT 10 CUT 15 -- -- 41
Richy Werenski $7,200 -- CUT 21 60 22 -- 57 -- 4 CUT
Tom Hoge $6,900 -- CUT CUT CUT CUT 12 52 -- CUT 22
Cameron Percy $6,900 -- -- CUT 48 -- 21 -- -- CUT 29

No player comes in any hotter than 47-year-old Lee Westwood ($10,600), who has finished runner-up the past two weeks to Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau. He also tied for fourth at this course last season. That was Westwood’s first trip to The Honda Classic in five years, but he did make the cut every year for six years before that including three more top-10 finishes. Westwood has hit over 70% of greens in regulation in each of the past two weeks and should continue to flourish if he stays so accurate on his approaches.

So far in 2021, Chris Kirk ($9,000) has shown good form making five of six cuts, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Joaquin Niemann ($10,400) tied with Kirk in that second-place finish after also posting a runner-up finish the week before at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Niemann has made the cut in all six of his 2021 events with back-to-back top-30 finishes in his two Florida events—the WGC-Workday and THE PLAYERS.

Cheap options with consistent form are tricky to find, but Tom Hoge ($6,900) seems to have turned things back around after a tough start to the year, posting top-25 finishes in two of his past four tournaments. Adam Hadwin ($7,700) is also back in his typical consistent form with five made cuts in his past six tournaments. Richy Werenski ($7,200) was also sharp before a letdown at TPC Sawgrass with top-25 finishes in four of his past five events before missing the cut last week.

Taking a look at some players who have excelled in the key stats identified in the section above: Keegan Bradley ($8,400), Matthew NeSmith ($7,300) and Chez Reavie ($7,000) are the only three players in the field this week that rank in the top 10 in SG: Approach this season. Talor Gooch ($9,300) ranked fourth in that category last week at TPC Sawgrass and vaulted to a T5 with a 67 on Sunday.

As far as Par 3 performance, Stewart Cink ($6,500) leads the PGA TOUR but has missed the cut in three straight events. Cameron Percy ($6,900), Niemann, and Daniel Berger ($10,800) are also in the top-10 in that category and come in with better form. Last week, Gooch, Hadwin and two other players not in the field tied for the best performance on par 3s, playing them at four-under for the week. Westwood led the field last week in Bogey avoidance, posting only six bogeys all week, while Shane Lowry ($9,200) and Doug Ghim ($8,800) were the only other players with fewer than nine bogeys at THE PLAYERS who will tee it up again this week.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: PGA TOUR $750K Flop Shot [$200K to 1st]

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