The Money List: Best bets for the Honda Classic
We make our win and each-way picks for this weekend's event at PGA National in Florida.
Back to win: Justin Thomas –
Thomas has been hit-or-miss in his three previous Honda Classic starts, with a T3 in 2016 sandwiched between missed cuts in 2015 and 2017.
His form in 2018 – he has three top-20s, including a T9 at last week’s Genesis Open – means this should be one of the 24-year-old’s better weekends at PGA National.
Thomas, last year’s FedEx Cup champion, had regular caddy Jimmy Johnson – who had been injured – back on the bag at Riviera last week, and put in an encouraging performance, with three under-par rounds leaving him within five shots of winner Bubba Watson.
Five of Thomas’ seven PGA Tour wins have been preceded by a top-10 finish, so his T9 at the Genesis suggests he’s in the kind of form to triumph this weekend.
Each-way shout: Alex Noren –
After an excellent 2017 on the European Tour, Noren has opted to play in the US more in 2018.
He has made a fine start, with four consecutive finishes of 21st or better on the PGA Tour. That includes a T2 at the Farmers Insurance Open last month, in which he lost to Jason Day in a Monday playoff.
The Swede has only played at this event once, missing the cut in 2013, but that was when he only had three European Tour wins to his name.
Ranking 11th in shots gained on the PGA Tour this season – and having won six times since that last appearance five years ago – Noren is a different player now. He has a real chance of winning this week, particularly with Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth absent.
The 35-year-old looks a great each-way bet, and can also be backed to finish in the top five at the boosted price of
Outside shot: Louis Oosthuizen –
Oosthuizen is a big price to triumph after his slow start to the season, but the 2010 Open champion is the kind of player who can pull a win out of nowhere.
The South African doesn’t play particularly often, but still picked up six top-10 finishes last year, including a T2 at the PGA Championship and Players Championship respectively.
Oosthuizen is one of the best ball-strikers around, and this course is set up perfectly to suit his strengths.
Only seven players have more wins in Florida since 2012 than the 35-year-old, and he’s a specialist on the Bermudagrass greens used at PGA National.
Woods has played in the Honda Classic just four times in his career, finishing nowhere on debut in 1993, second in his next appearance 19 years later, 37th in 2013 and withdrawing in 2014.
The 14-time major champion appears to be healthy and has shown flashes of his best this year, but he’s really struggled with the driver. It’s hard to see him contending – or even threatening to – at an event he isn’t familiar with.