The PGA Tour heads down to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for the 2018 Honda Classic starting this coming Thursday, February 22. It’s another strong field that will be headed by Rickie Fowler, the defending champion at this event. We will also get another look at Tiger Woods as he tries to work his way back into form and fitness this season. We are going to take a look at some of the favorites for this event, pick an overall winner, and suggest how some players might match-up against others in hopes that you will have a better idea on how to play this event and make some money.

Tournament Information

What: The Honda Classic
Where: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
When: Feb 22–25, 2018
Established: 1972
Course: PGA National Golf Club, Champion Course
Par: 70
Length: 7,140 yards (6,529 m)
Organized by: IMG
Tour: PGA
Prize fund: $6.6 million
Current Champion: Rickie Fowler

Field and odds

Rickie Fowler: 15-2
Justin Thomas: 10-1
Rory McIlroy: 10-1
Sergio Garcia: 16-1
Tommy Fleetwood: 25-1
Tyrrell Hatton: 25-1
Gary Woodland: 28-1
Alex Noren: 28-1

Last 10 Champions

2017: Rickie Fowler
2016: Adam Scott
2015: Pádraig Harrington
2014: Russell Henley
2013: Michael Thompson
2012: Rory McIlroy
2011: Rory Sabbatini
2010: Camilo Villegas
2009: Yang Yong-Eun
2008: Ernie Els

Rickie Fowler

The defending champion at the Honda Classic is the favorite to win it all again, and for a very good reason. Fowler has started this season on fire, landing in the top 4 in 2 different tournaments. While he has yet to pick up a win on tour this season, you get the sense that it is only a matter of time, which is why I like him to repeat this weekend. With that in mind, let’s go with Fowler to knock off Justin Thomas in head to head action.

Rickie Fowler PGA Open

Justin Thomas

While we like Fowler to win and get the edge on Thomas, this is not to say that Justin cannot make some noise this weekend. He is certainly among the favorites in this group and may well be a very good bet to land in the top 5 once all is said and done in Florida. Thomas already has a win and a pair of top 10 finishes under his belt this season, so he is definitely in the sort of form that could see him challenge all the way through to Sunday afternoon.

Justin Thomas PGA Open

Rory McIlroy

The Irishman is still trying to work his way back into form after dealing with some niggling injuries last season. He would certainly have hoped for better than a T20 finish at the Genesis Open last weekend, but after missing the cut at Pebble Beach, it may be a sign that he is heading in the right direction. A top 10 could be in the cards for McIlroy this weekend, but I do think that he will fall behind Justin Thomas in head to head competition.

Rory McIlroy PGA Open 2018 Honda Classic

Sergio Garcia

While he is among the favorites coming into the Honda Classic, I still think that Garcia needs to be viewed as a bit of a dark horse this weekend. This will be his first start of the 2018 season, so there is the possibility that he may need to shake off a little bit of rust, especially on the opening day. That said, if he plays at or near his best, he has the ability to make some noise this weekend. I would certainly take him over Gary Woodland here.

Sergio Garcia PGA Open 2018 Honda Classic

Tyrrell Hatton

The Englishman has just one start on the PGA Tour this season, but it was a respectable one, as he finished 11th at the World Golf Championships. He tied for 4th at this event in 2017, his best finish of the season, so the signs are there that he might be able to take a run at the leaderboard this weekend. Head to head against Garcia, though, I see him coming up short.

Tyrrell Hatton PGA Open