2017 The Honda Classic Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Adios West Coast and hello Florida Swing (and hooray for EST tee times for early morning score checking purposes!).  Ah yes, I can smell the Bermuda and crocodiles all the way up here in the suddenly balmy and muddy SoDak.  The PGA Tour’s Florida Swing used to be Bay Hill and Doral, and then everything else. Now, with a venerable host course and perfect timing in the schedule allowing for stacked fields each year, The Honda Classic has become one of the main attractions in the Florida swing.

“The Honda” is held at PGA National Resort & Spa on the Champion Course, a ball-striker’s delight of a track, sitting at 7,140 yards and a par 70.  It’s definitely one of those events where an even par round actually means something, especially if (and most likely when) the wind blows.  In fact, any player who shot even par or better for the week has finished top 20 or better in seven of the past nine years.  Major-like venue, you betcha.  Word is that Johnny Miller already had to already change undershirts three times this morning due to excessive sweating just thinking about the carnage.

My picks last week at the Genesis Open at Riviera were solid, as my Lockzilla on Dustin Johnson cruised to a five stroke victory and *Streak Alert*- my Hosel-Rocket BUST pick was nails again, as I accurately pegged Charl Schwartzel to miss the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: DJ 1st)

Paul Casey
Paul Casey
– Decent current form = check.  Very solid course history = you betcha (4 appearances = t-43rd, t-3rd, t-12th, t-4th).  No reason for hesitation here, roster up some Casey this week and thank me later.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Keegan t-34th)

Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari
– A surprising missed cut last week at Riviera, but he was on the wrong side of the draw, so I’ll easily write that one off as a one week anomaly.  Prior to last week, he came in on a roll, going t-12th at the CareerBuilder and t-14th at Torrey Pines, so despite his not-so-stellar record here (t-65th, MC), I’m back aboard this 5’8″ Italian train this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Schwartzel MC)

Thomas Pieters
Thomas Pieters
– Not gonna lie, I’ve been red hot lately with these BUST picks, nailing Charl Schwartzel, Matt Kuchar and Justin Thomas to all miss the cut in three straight weeks.  So, who’s getting the black spell this week?  None other than last week’s Sunday runner-up darling Thomas Pieters.  Looking through his scorecards for the week at Riviera you’ll see a plethora of birdies, but lots of bogies and doubles too.  He’s wickedly talented, absurdly long off the tee and will be a force to reckon with all year on Tour.  But, for his first trip to the Bear Trap with that brash game I’m calling for too many black numbers on the scorecard and a weekend off.


Danny Willett
Danny Willett
– Remember him?  You know, the English dude who donned the green jacket last April?  Haven’t seen him stateside since his pathetic performance at the Ryder Cup, and when I say pathetic I mean all out chop-city.  I was there at Hazeltine watching in person and man, I can tell you that his body language said he didn’t want to be there and it showed.  But, this is a new year, a new tourney and all that is well in the rearview mirror and I expect him to flash some of the brilliance that had him on top in Augusta last year.  I am a bit worried that this is his first go round the Bear Trap, but his t-5th at the Maybank Championship two weeks ago on the Euro Tour show me he’s back in form, and I feel we’ll soon be reminded of why he’s ranked #13 in the OWGR.


Joel Harrington


  1. Mike Miesch says:

    I miss golf happy hour

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