Perry’s 2021 Honda Classic Betting Picks & Preview: Ghim, Reavie and Wallace Can Handle PGA National
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Chez Reavie
It’s been a while since we’ve actually got a winner to the house, but I’m sure there are a lot of readers out there who got to cash in on Justin Thomas’ win at THE PLAYERS.
The ball-striking was probably as good as we’ve ever seen from JT and that just goes to show that even though the odds had drifted, the signs were there that his game was trending back toward the his usual elite level.
Now we’ve hit a bit of a soft spot in the schedule this week with the Honda Classic. With the WGC Match Play and The Masters on the horizon, a lot of star players are taking the week off. Let’s dive in.
PGA National is about as difficult as they come for a regular TOUR stop. This par 70 measures 7,140 yards and presents danger at basically every turn. Water is in play on almost every hole and that forces players to utilize a more conservative style.
If the wind picks up at all this place can play as hard as any track we’ve seen. There’s a reason why the winner of this tournament has broken -10 just once in the past eight years.
A lot like TPC Sawgrass, irons and Bermuda putting tend to be the key. Four of the last nine winners (Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott) all have wins at Sawgrass as well while two other PLAYERS champs (Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia) were runners up in that same timeframe.
Daniel Berger and Sungjae Im are essentially co-favorites at +1100 and +1200, respectively. Berger has had some success here, losing in a playoff in 2015 and finishing fourth last year, and he’s also coming off a solid week at Sawgrass where he took ninth.
Im is the defending champion and will draw a lot of interest this week. It’s also worth noting that a few sportsbooks offered odds for each player to repeat as the champion of the tournament they had won in the previous year. Im was among the most popular selections of that market at +3300 and it appears to be good value at least heading into the week.
Lee Westwood and Joaquin Niemann are next in line at +2000. Not much really needs to be said about Westwood. He’s playing great golf during The Florida Swing and was fourth here a year ago when the form wasn’t near the level we’re seeing now. Niemann played great in Hawaii to start 2021, but took an extended break following that success and has yet to recover that level of form.
Adam Scott and Shane Lowry close out this range at +2500 and +2800, respectively. Scott is a former champ here, but the ball-striking has taken a dip this season. Lowry is probably the guy I’d be most interested in from this range. He had a great tournament last week where he finished eighth, but the irons are just too inconsistent for me at this price.
We’ll start the card out here with Doug Ghim at +6000. Ghim obviously wasn’t ready for that final round at The PLAYERS, but his game as been trending toward something big for quite a while. In fact, Ghim has only lost strokes on his approach once in his last 13 events.
Ghim is a young player with a big-time amateur pedigree, so I’m willing to chalk his Sunday performance at THE PLAYERS up to a learning experience and see if his form can continue in a spot where the lights aren’t nearly as bright.
I’ll also tack on Matt Wallace in this range at +6600. Wallace was absent last week, but played well two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, gaining strokes across the board. He was also 20th here two years ago, so he can play well on the course if the game is good shape.
Wallace has been a prolific winner in Europe when he’s at his best and this will be a good spot for him to try and carry over those winning ways in the U.S.
I’ll go with Kevin Streelman at +8500. His ball-striking has been solid for the past few months as he’s gained stroke both off the tee and with the approach four of his last five events.
Streelman’s coming off an MC last week, but that was all short-game related, as he lost nearly three strokes in the two rounds. Shorter courses tend to be where he’s more likely to pop up as well with his two career wins coming at River Highlands and Innisbrook to go along with some good results at Pebble Beach.
I like Chez Reavie in this range at +12500. He’s gained ground off the tee and with his approach for four straight events, but been a short game issue lately with him. He lost six strokes putting in two rounds last week.
Like Streelman, Reavie is another player whose game is better suited to take on a shorter course like PGA National.
I’ll close out with Bo Hoag at +20000. Hoag is another guy who’s usually driving the ball well and picking up ground with the irons. If his short game shows up, he’s usually good enough to give us a top-20 sweat.
It’s probably too much to ask him to win since he’s never finished better than ninth on the PGA TOUR in his short career, but we’ll gamble here on a course that has a history of producing longshot winners.
The Honda Card
- Doug Ghim +6000 (.55 units)
- Matt Wallace +6600 (.5 units)
- Kevin Streelman +8500 (.39 units)
- Chez Reavie +12500 (.26 units)
- Bo Hoag +20000 (.17 units)
Total Stake: 1.87 units