New Balance Men's 880
Course form: 1 70 40 13
Honda betting guide
World ranking: 1
This could be a good week for the overseas born players as just one American has captured the New Balance Gray And Blue
As usual, Sky Sports will have live coverage of all four days' action, with the first broadcast at 8pm on Thursday. soil. The 7,110 yard par 70 is best known for the tough three hole stretch from 15 17 called the Bear Trap (named after Jack Nicklaus the 'Golden Bear'). Since this event moved to PGA National in 2007, the Bear Trap (par three 15th, par four 16th and par three 17th) has accounted for 24 percent of all bogeys, 56 percent of all double bogeys and 74 percent of all triple bogeys.
The Champion Course at Palm Beach Gardens was opened in 1981.
used to his new Nike clubs. Before he won this tournament last year he'd had a couple of iffy finishes at the Champion Course so maybe if he's not on his game he'll struggle again although it must be a plus that he's now living near the course. It's all a bit of a guessing game at the moment with Rory although those who sport "form is temporary, class is permanent" t shirts will no doubt be backing him at this price.
The leading contenders (and Sky Bet odds)
Many in the field will be glad to return to strokeplay after early exits in last week's WGC Match Play while the two finalists in Arizona, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan, sit this one out.
Although Honda has sponsored this event since 1982, the Champion Course at PGA National is relatively new to the schedule.
Tiger Woods (8/1): This event didn't used to be on Woods' schedule but he added it when he moved to neary Jupiter Island in 2011. And it was almost a "home" win straight out of the gate New Balance Men's 880 for Tiger after his storming final round 62 gave him a tie for second. Earlier in the week he'd endured an awkward press conference after being repeatedly questioned about Hank Haney's book about him so maybe that was part of the reason behind his muted play early on. Tiger has been feast or famine so far in 2013 with a win at Torrey Pines sandwiched between early exits in Dubai (MC after a two shot penalty) and a R1 defeat in the Match Play.
Charl Schwartzel (12/1): He can give the ball a big tonk but it wasn't too much of a surprise to see the rather frail, used to the sun South African struggling in the cold and snow in Arizona. Before his first round exit he was on fire with an unlucky near miss on his debut at Riviera and a second place on home soil in the Joburg Open. Those two finishes added to his massive 11 and 12 shot wins pre Christmas so he really is one of the most in form players on the planet. Schwartzel is yet another of the big guns who resides in Florida and he's had two good performances in this event with a 14th in 2011 and a top five last year. Definitely one for the shortlist here.
The Sunshine State of Florida welcomes the PGA Tour for the first time in 2013 as a top class field, including Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, contest the Honda Classic.
Florida form: MC 4 5 26
First thing to note is that there won't be any snow this week! However, the course is due to be hit by rain in the build up and the wet stuff could come down again in Sunday's final round. Thursday Saturday should see the usual Florida sunshine with temps in the low 20s. The big factor though on this exposed course is wind and players are likely to face some gusts, especially on the final day.
Course form: 2
and a first round World Match Play exit in his only two starts this year. The world number one says it's just a timing issue; the cynics say he can't get New Balance White Football Boots
Florida form: 40 1 WD 2
World ranking: 14
2013 form: L64 3 2
Rory McIlroy (12/1): There might not be many opportunities to back Rory at this sort of price in 2013 especially at a tournament where he's the defending champion. The price, of course, is due to his current form which shows a missed cut New Balance Trail Shoes Mens
2013 form: L64 MC
2013 form: L64 1 MC
title in the past eight years.
Florida form: MC 3 1 10
Charl Schwartzel: Strong course record
This year's tournament will be the seventh at the Tom and George Fazio designed layout that was given its most recent facelift by Jack Nicklaus in 2002.
Course form: 5 14
Justin Rose (12/1): Unlike Wood, McIlroy and Schwartzel, Rose avoided a first round Match Play exit although his tournament didn't last much longer as he went down 4 to Nicolas Colsaerts in round two. Prior to that he was 16th in Qatar and a lip out from reaching a play off in Abu Dhabi. This is the Florida based Englishman's fifth start in this event and he's had some excellent results with a third in 2011 (he closed with a 64) and a fifth last year after two 66s gave him the halfway lead. A winner of the WGC Cadillac Championship in Florida in 2012, Rose said of the Champion Course last year: "This is definitely a limit the mistakes kind of golf course. I think it rewards good ball striking. I think it rewards good thinking, and I like to play that style of golf."
In a storyline almost too good to be true, Rory McIlroy won the tournament to go to world number one for the first time after holding off the man who used to call that position his own Tiger Woods. Tiger had started the day nine shots behind McIlroy but shot a stunning final round 62 to put pressure on the young Irishman. However, despite Woods getting to within a shot, McIlroy closed the tournament out in impressive style to record a two shot victory. Tom Gillis shared second place with Woods.
World ranking: 2
New Balance Men's 880
New Balance Men's 730