The Honda Classic marks the start of the PGA’s Florida swing. Played at PGA National, the course offers a level of difficulty that could cause chaos for a weaker field. Anyone can win, which makes predicting an outright winner that much more challenging. You can opt for the head-to-head market instead to manage risk.
Here are two matchup options, including a first-round matchup.
Ben Griffin +100 > Cameron Davis
Griffin might not have Davis' distance, but he might not need it on this course. I’m backing the player with the better iron play and short game. Griffin is top-20 in the field for strokes gained on approach. Plus, he’s a negative putter, except on Bermuda greens, the only surface on which he gains strokes.
We’re catching plus money fading a player who has back-to-back missed cuts. In Davis’ past two tournaments, the American Express and Farmers Insurance Open, he lost strokes in every single category. Perhaps a few weeks off can give him a surge, but until proven otherwise, Griffin at +100 is a solid option.
Robby Shelton +105 > Billy Horschel
The Alabama native has a nice string of recent results. This year, Shelton has played in four events with two top-20 finishes, including a T6 in the American Express. While he lacks off the tee, Shelton is fifth in the field for his iron play and top-30 around the greens.
Horschel, known for his short game, has been less than stellar in that area, losing strokes in three of his past four tournaments. Known for doing one thing well and then no longer doing that thing well makes for a good fade opportunity. Horschel is the better Bermuda putter, but with the course so penal, Shelton’s ball-striking gives him the edge.