It's back to the normality of 72 hole stroke play this week as a top class field lines up for the Honda Classic. Rory and Tiger are involved as well as other top names so the six places with Stanjames is recommended. The golf tipster comp 2013 in association with Stanjames also kicks off this week (see below) with a £400 free bet prize for 1st plus weekly and monthly prizes.
The PGA National at the Honda Classic plays one of the hardest par 70s on tour year in, year out and key this week will be experience, patience and intelligent play. Course management skills will be high on the list of priorities and look for the cream to once again rise to the top over four rounds. Scrambling will be the premium, especially through the infamous "Bear Trap" (holes 15,16,17) and pars are the brief around the PGA National track.
Honda Classic Picks (all prices from Monday email)
Pick #1: 1.5u ew Graeme McDowell @ 33/1(PP 1-6) a little skinnier than I'd have hoped but the six places on offer just swayed me on a player that thrives in events such as the Honda Classic. With course form reading 31, 6, 9, McDowell has just begun his season and by all accounts was driving the ball very impressively for the majority of the WGC last week - important at the PGA National. McDowell ranked 9th in par four performance in 2012 and the major champion tends to excel in stellar fields.
Pick #2: 1u ew Charles Howell @ 50/1 (Stanjames 6 places) A man who regularly comes into events priced sub 40/1, Howell is now at a more backable price, possibly due to his early exit last week. He did beat one Tiger Woods however in round 1 without carding a bogey so his game is in decent shape. Howell posted a top ten at the Honda Classic in 2011 and I think the course may suit.
Pick #3: 0.75u ew Jeff Overton @ 80/1 (Stanjames 6 places) Jeff stood out to me in terms of course form with a 9th, 6th and 18th place finish here at the Honda Classic in the last four years. This surprised me really as he is the total opposite to the criteria we are looking for. However; he was quite upbeat on Twitter earlier in the week "looking forward to playing near his new home" and also mentioned he'll be looking to make a lot of birdies (for charity) this week. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing around a dangerous track like PGA National but at 80s, is worth a pop.
Pick #4: 0.75u ew YE Yang @ 90/1 (Sporting bet) Horses for courses and no doubting PGA National is Yang's favourite track on Tour. The major champion has recorded a win and a 2nd here in the last few years and - albeit not in the best current form - returning to venues with good memories often sparks a season and 90/1 looked to good to ignore.
Pick #5: 0.5u ew SM Bae @ 125/1 (StanJames 6 places) A player who has been on my one to watch list for quite some time and I think we could see big things from him now that he's got one PGA Tour season under his belt. Bae posted a T8 finish at the NT Open after a disaster in the third round, which cost him a shot at the title. His stats so far this season look solid in most departments and he could prove a real sleeper at a big price this week.
Pick #6: 0.5u ew G.Chalmers @ 150/1 (Stanjames 6 places) One that has sneaked onto my radar gradually over the last few weeks, the Aussie grabbed us a nice winner not so long ago in his home country and he simply fits the profile this week in every area. Chalmers has posted two recent top 25s at the Honda Classic and comes into the event off the back of progressive T36 / T10 finishes. 15th in scrambling and 16th in total putting, Chalmers could go well again this week.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks for more tips and updates
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