2022 Honda Classic Odds & Betting Pick: Brooks Koepka Headlines Field, But Sungjae Im is Favored
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka.
2022 Honda Classic Odds
Odds via BetMGM.
|Charles Howell III||+6600|
|Dawie van der Walt||+50000|
The PGA TOUR transitions from the West Coast to Florida this week for the Honda Classic. The field doesn’t have the star power that the Waste Management or Genesis did, but there are plenty of potential breakthrough talents who will be in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., this week.
Last season, the Honda Classic was the week after THE PLAYERS, but this week it serves as the transition to Florida without a WGC event during this time of year on the schedule.
The field is headlined by Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka, who seems to be on a mission after calling his world No. 20 ranking “an embarrassment” before a strong showing at the Waste Management Open.
After breaking through at the Genesis Invitational, Joaquin Niemann is in the Honda Classic field. The 23-year-old Chilean was sensational in Los Angeles, getting to 16-under through two rounds en route to a comprehensive victory, his second on TOUR and first since September 2019.
Other noteworthy names in the field include former Honda Classic winners Sungjae Im (2020) and Rickie Fowler (2017), as well as household TOUR names Louis Oosthuizen and Matthew Wolff.
English trio Tommy Fleetwood, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood will also be making their 2022 TOUR debuts with the scene shifting to the East Coast.
Matt Jones won last year’s Honda Classic by a whopping five strokes at 12-under, but don’t expect to see that kind of number. Since 2010, only four winners have finished double digits under par. Prior to Jones’ win, only one winner (Fowler) in the previous eight years finished at 10-under or better.
Keith Mitchell is in the field this week and won back in 2019, as is Jones.
The Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens is not a bomber’s paradise. It measures less than 7,200 yards as a par 70.
Approach play will be most important this week at PGA National. Keeping the ball in the fairway will be hugely important, as well, with water all over the course.
“The Bear Trap” are three infamous holes at the end of a round that can go a long way in deciding the winner. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course has three holes toward the end of a player’s round (Nos. 15-17) that are among the toughest on TOUR, two of which are par 3s.
Early Betting Pick
Shane McNichol: Ryan Palmer: +5000
This week marks a key date in the PGA TOUR calendar. After a string of events on the West Coast, the PGA heads east for a group of events in Florida, all leading up to the Players Championship.
For some players, including many of the world’s best, that makes this week a time to pause and rest. None of the top-10 players in the world will tee it up at the Honda Classic, leaving the door open for some names further down the rankings to jump up and collect FedEx Cup points.
In searching for a name who could win this week, I looked for a player who checked a few different boxes, all of which point to Ryan Palmer.
In terms of past success at this course, Palmer fits the bill. He has made the cut in eight of his last nine appearances at this venue, with two top-five and six top-30 finishes in that span.
Also important: Palmer has been playing well of late from tee to green. Per DataGolf, Palmer has been the 12th-best player in the world tee to green by strokes gained over the last three months but hasn’t notched a top-five because of lackluster putting (106th in the world in that span).
With his swing in solid form, perhaps the jump to a new side of the country, with a different style of grass where he has played well before, is the answer for this long-time veteran of the TOUR.