Honda Classic PGA Best Bets
We've talked about it already, but ball-striking trumps everything at PGA National as the Tour heads back to Florida. Wind, deep rough, water, bunkers, and fast greens make life challenging from start to finish. All of these guys will struggle to make pars when they miss a shot, so I'm downgrading scrambling stats for this week. I'll be leaning heavily on SG: Tee-to-Green stats for my picks this week because history tells us that the best ball striker is almost always the winner here.
Below are three guys I'm looking hard at this week.
Russell Knox (+11000, top-10 +900)
If you can get those tasty top-10 odds, I'd suggest jumping on them, although I do think he's worth a sprinkle at triple-digits to win outright as well. He has a pretty mixed record at the Honda that dates back almost a decade. He lost in a playoff in his debut at this tournament in 2014, and has recorded a couple of other solid finishes. Lately, those results haven't been here for him though. That's why we're getting those odds.
Realistically, for a guy like Knox, you have to hope the wind blows. It's cliche, but the Irish and Scottish guys do just tend to play better generally when the conditions get really tough and favor creativity and shotmaking over the target golf that is typically demanded at most places.
The iron game is elite as he ranks 6th in SG: Approach, so we're just hoping that he can keep the tee ball dry. It's a big ask on this course, but guys are always going to have some flaws this deep down the board.
Hayden Buckley (+4500)
I talked about Buckley on our weekly pod, Clubhouse Picks, so I'll just drop that below for your enjoyment.
— Godzilla Wins! (@godzillawinsbig) February 24, 2023
Robby Shelton (+4500)
Shelton has been generating some betting interest this week and I've watched his odds drop from +5500-5000 depending on your book down to +4500. He's another guy who rates well, broadly, in ball striking categories, but he's especially good with his irons. Like Knox, he needs to be able to keep the driver in play and he should be able to compete.
He's stacked a half dozen top-25 finishes to his resume this season and this seems like the type of tournament he could be competitive in.
S.H. Kim (+5000)
This is the last guy I'll preview in depth, but this feels like the kind of place he should be good at. He played well at the Sony which is a course that tends to favor solid iron players when he finished t-12. It's interesting because his iron game hasn't been a huge strength this year. He's been driving it exceptionally and putting the daylights out of the ball.
If he can find some iron play, the rest of the game is right there.
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