Honda Classic Preview and Picks
The PGA Tour ended its west coast swing last week with Matt Kuchar capturing the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship over Hunter Mahan. They head east for the Florida swing as it is time to start gearing up for the Masters which is coming up quick, just five weeks away. This week it is The Honda Classic from the Champion Course at PGA National which is a Jack Nicklaus re-design and this will mark the seventh year it has hosted the event.
Four years ago, PGA National ranked as the second hardest par-70 course on tour of the non-Major layouts as players averaged 1.4 shots over par. In 2010 and 2011, it was ranked as the hardest par-70 course on tour of the non-Major layouts as players averaged 2.54 shots over par. Last year it was the second hardest of the par-70 non-Majors. National is known for the "Bear Trap" which consists of holes 15, 16 and 17 and is one of the toughest three-hole stretches on tour.
This is true test of golf and a lot of the players who have won here have gone on to bigger and better things. Since 1990, five different winners of the tournament have gone on to later win a major championship in their careers and twice, the winner has gone on to win a major in the same year. Four years ago, it was Y.E. Yang who brought home the over $1 million prize and he went on to win the PGA Championship as he held off Tiger Woods in a classic duel on Sunday.
Even with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship taking place last week, we have a very strong field in Palm Beach Gardens. Rory McIlroy is back to try and defend his title as he won by two shots over Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis. Woods is also back this year, just his second career start at the Honda and both of these players will be chomping at the bit to avenge last week's first round exit. Other notables include Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood.
Last year, McIlroy and Woods were co-favorites at +800 and this year only Woods has the honor at +700. He won his only other medal play event this year, the Farmers Insurance Open, and despite playing well here last year, there is little to no value taking him. McIlroy is just not right whether it be the new irons or something else but he is not playing like the top ranked player in the world by any stretch. McIlroy is +1,200 along with Charl Schwartzel, another first round exit victim last week.
Justin Rose (+1,500) will be our choice of the top favorites. He lost in the second round last week to Nicolas Colsaerts but he looks to redeem himself at the Honda where he opened 66-66 last year on his way to a T5. In his previous start at PGA National, he closed with a 64 to finish solo third in 2010 so he certainly likes it here. It doesn't hurt that he led the tour in GIR last season, the only player above 70 percent.
Lee Westwood (+2,500) is a superb ball striker which is the name of the game at National. After a T22 at the Northern Trust, he was taken down in the first round at Dove Mountain last week but he is now back home, literally. He moved to this area in the off season which could add some extra spark, not that he needs it though after two top tens in his last three starts at the Honda including a solo fourth a year ago.
Fredrik Jacobson (+2,500) is no longer flying under the radar nor should he be. After a T7 at Pebble Beach and a T3 at Riviera, he won his first two matches last week before losing to Robert Garrigus in the third round. He finished T16 at the Honda last year and prior to that, had a T6 in 2010 and a T5 in 2009. If his putter his on, he can go low and capture his first tour win since the 2011 Travelers.
An American has not won this event since 2007 when Mark Wilson won his first ever PGA Tour event in a playoff. One player that can break that streak is Rickie Fowler (+3,000). He was ousted in the first round last week so the extra rest could benefit. He finished T7 at the Honda last year after missing the cut his first two starts here. A pair of T6 finishes to open the season show he is playing well.
Charles Howell III (+5,000) will be the longshot call. He has cooled off after a fast start to the season with a T3, T2 and T9. His win over Tiger Woods last week was impressive and he should have a lot of confidence coming in here. He has never missed the cut at the Honda in six starts, three at Country Club at Mirasol and three here at National where he has two T26 finishes to go along with a T10 in 2011.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Honda Classic - All for 1 Unit
Justin Rose (+1,500)
Lee Westwood (+2,500)
Fredrik Jacobson (+2,500)
Rickie Fowler (+3,000)
Charles Howell III (+5,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 8 events: +23.16 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
- LA Dodgers
- Larry Ness
- June 30, 2015 - 9:40 PM
- Offered at:
- williamhill @ -115 LA Dodgers
I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA (12.50 ERA in two tries TY) or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the L30 meetings...
My free play is on the LA Dodgers at 9;40 ET.
The Dodgers scored six runs on 10 hits Monday night but Arizona overcame deficits of 4-0 and 6-4 to win 10-6. LA had been 26-1 when scoring at least six runs. LA had allowed just 11 runs during the first seven games of its 10-game road trip but the D'backs almost equaled that total in the opener of a three-game set Monday, as Arizona pushed across 10 runs over its final four at-bats in the 10-6 victory, halting a stretch of SEVEN straight losses to the Dodgers.
The teams are back at it tonight, as Carlos Frias (5-5, 4.31 ERA) squares off against Rubby De La Rosa (6-3, 4.69 ERA). De La Rosa has faced off with all four of the Arizona's divisional opponents in his last four outings. He's had no problems with San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado from June 14-25, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in that span. Opposing batters hit just .222 over those three contests with a .547 OPS and De La Rosa walked only one in seven innings while allowing one run Thursday in a 6-4 loss at Colorado.
However, back on June 8, De La Rosa (a former Dodger) got 'rocked' in Chavez Ravine, allowing 10 hits, one walk and nine ERs is just five innings of a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. It was reminiscent of his May 1 start in LA, when he allowed three hits, five walks and five ERs over five innings on an 8-0 loss to the Dodgers. That's 10 IP, 13 hits allowed, four walks and 14 ERs for a 12.60 ERA against his former team in two meetings this year!
I want NO part of De La Rosa here or for that matter the D'backs, as prior to last night, the Dodgers had won SEVEN straight and 23 of their previous 29 against Arizona. Frias had gone 0-3 during a four-start stretch before defeating the Chicago Cubs in his last outings, when he pitched five shutout innings against Chicago and allowed seven hits and three walks to land his second victory (4-0) in his last nine starts.
Frias pitched opposite De La Rosa in the May 1 meeting and also took down Arizona on June 9, 3-1. His 'line' is 12 IP, with one ER allowed for an 0.75 ERA In the two starts vs the D'backs here in 2015. A concern here is with Frias' endurance, as he has gone more than six innings in only THREE of 11 starts this season and has not reached 90 pitches in any of his last four appearances. That could become a problem considering LA's fatigued bullpen, as SIX Dodgers relievers combined for 107 pitches and allowed all 10 runs Monday after Mike Bolsinger exited after four innings with flu-like symptoms.
That said, I repeat, I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the last 30 meetings!
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