This week the PGA Tour is in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for The Honda Classic, kicking off the Florida swing portion of the PGA Tour Schedule. The players will be tested at PGA National which is the site of the infamous Bear Trap, a daunting 3 hole stretch from 15-17 named after Jack Nicklaus. This tournament is never short on entertainment value with 8 of the last 15 events needing a playoff to determine a champion.
This year is setting up to be a very competitive tournament with 16 of the Top 25 players in the world in the field including World Number 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making his 2015 PGA Tour debut. Among those in this star studded field are some Cowboys. Morgan Hoffmann, Charles Howell III, Bo Van Pelt, and Scott Verplank are back in action after participating in last week's Northern Trust Open, as well as Rickie Fowler, who is back after a couple weeks off. These guys are looking to put the Swingin' Pete stamp on the trophy for the first time as we have never had a winner at The Honda Classic.
Rickie comes into this week's event as the highest ranked Cowboy at number 12 in the world. He'll be playing with last year's champion, Russell Henley, as well as number 21 in the world, Graeme McDowell, in the first two rounds. The three should feed off of each other for these two rounds resulting in some low scores from this group. This will bode well for Rickie heading into the weekend, and I expect him to be in the hunt on Sunday.
Morgan will get things started early this week, teeing off first off number 10 at 6:45 AM. The good thing about being a dewsweeper is being able to put up a low number early. The bad thing...having to warm up with a flashlight. That shouldn't bother Morgan, though...coming off his good finish at the Northern Trust Open, he will be eager to get back out on the course and have another good week.
Charles Howell III
Howell has made 6 consecutive cuts, most recently last week at the Northern Trust Open, and hopes to continue that streak this week. Last year at this event, he made the cut and finished tied for 55th. In order to improve on that finish, he will need to shoot a couple of low scores on the weekend. He has proven that he is a near lock to make the cut each week, making 9 of 10 cuts this year, so we should see him on the weekend here this week.
Bo Van Pelt
Bo is back in action this week looking to bounce back from missing the cut last week at Riviera. Van Pelt has missed the cut in 4 of his last 5 tournaments which is unusual for him. During that stretch he has posted a lower score in the second round than in the first 4 times, but he has come up just short of making the cut. In order to get back on track this week, Bo will need to get off to a good start in the first round.
This week is Scott Verplank's first trip to The Honda Classic since 2009. He finished tied for 13th that year, and we hope that we can see that again this week. Verplank has had a subpar year, especially by his standards, but maybe a visit back to the Honda Classic will be just what he needs to get his mojo back. I think I speak for everyone when I say I'm pulling for this Cowboy to get back to his old form this week and carry that momentum through the rest of the season.
- One Cowboy has the low score on moving day
- Two Pokes finish in the Top 20
- Rickie wears orange on Sunday (I need to guarantee myself one)
- There will be yet another playoff to determine the champion
How To Watch
- THUR - 2/26: Golf Channel- 1-5 PM (CST)
- FRI- 2/27: Golf Channel- 1-5 PM (CST)
- SAT- 2/28: Golf Channel- 12-2 PM, NBC- 2:30-5 PM (CST)
- SUN- 3/1: Golf Channel- 12-2 PM, NBC- 2-5 PM (CST)
With Rory McIlroy in the field, all the attention will be on him, but don't count out any of the Cowboys this week. Be sure to watch as they try to become the next champion of The Honda Classic!
Go low, Pokes!