Adam Scott took home the hardware after the 2016 Honda Classic and returns this week for a chance to defend his title at PGA National's Champion Course.
World No. 7 eased into his victory last year, opening with an even-par 70 to find himself T23 after day one. From there he posted rounds to 65-66-70 to land one clear of runner-up Sergio Garcia and four clear of Blayne Barber and Justin Thomas. The most remarkable part of that victory was surviving a quad-bogey 7 at the par-3 15th in round three. On the week he put on a ball-striking clinic, gaining 4.7 strokes off-the-tee and 7.7 strokes approaching-the-green. Last week, Scott posted a T11 at the Genesis Open, his first start in the States since the TOUR Championship in September. The Aussie deserves to be a top-tier pick in all fantasy formats this week.
Jason Dufner returns to action as he readies for this week's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Dufner has made just three starts this season, all since the calendar flipped to 2017 and all coming on bermudagrass greens. It's likely no coincidence that he bobbed-and-weaved his way around the poa annua swing, since he grew up in Florida on mostly bermudagrass courses. His history at this event is very inviting with an 8-for-8 record, with just one of those finishes coming before the move to PGA National. Gamers looking for a cut made this week, should look in Dufner's direction.
Grayson Murray turns his attention to PGA National's Champion Course ahead of his debut at this week's Honda Classic.
The PGA TOUR rookie has opened the season with five missed cuts in eight starts. On the bright side, he still ranks 107th in the FedExCup standings thanks to a T8 finish in the fall (Sanderson Farms). The North Carolina native should feel relief as the TOUR heads back to the East Coast for this week's Honda Classic. The 23-year-old led the Web.com Tour in birdie average last year, making him a great boom-or-bust option in deeper fantasy formats.
Past champion Russell Henley returns to PGA National for his fifth appearance at this week's Honda Classic.
The Georgia Bulldog finished T13 in his 2013 Honda debut and returned the following year and went on to win the event. He posted rounds of 64-68-68 before a 2-over 72 in the finale put him in a four-man playoff. Henley walked out victorious over Russell Knox, Rory McIlroy, and Ryan Palmer in that playoff. More recently, Henley has been rattling off top 25s to open the season. In seven starts he's posted five finishes of T24 or better. With a good mixture of form and history, Henley should be on the radar for gamers this week.
Stephen Gangluff survived a 5-for-2 playoff at the open qualifier into this week's Honda Classic, joining him at PGA National will be Joey Garber, Ryan Armour, and Brett Drewitt.
Gangluff has 60 career PGA TOUR starts under his belt, but this will be his first since the 2013 RBC Canadian Open (missed cut). Overall, he is 22-for-60, with three top 25s. The 41-year-old journeyman is a long shot to contend this week, but it's nice to see him on the big stage again. Brett Drewitt was the other survivor of the 5-for-2 playoff that took place this morning at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club. The Web.com Tour grad will be making his seventh start of the season and currently ranks 165th in the FedExCup race. The three golfers that got eliminated in this morning's playoff include: Nicholas Lindheim, Jonathan Randolph, and Julian Etulain.
Joey Garber took top honors at today's open qualifier into this week's Honda Classic, firing an 8-under-par 31-32=63 to seal his seat. Joining him from the qualifier will be Ryan Armour (7-under 64) and the two survivors of a 5-for-2 playoff taking place tomorrow morning.
Garber is a qualifying machine. He played in four events last season, Monday qualifying into three of those events and receiving a sponsor's invite into the other (Wyndham Championship). The Georgia Bulldog also received a sponsor's exemption for his PGA TOUR debut at the 2014 Travelers, his only start prior to last season. For Garber, that means 4-of-6 PGA TOUR appearances have been hard-earned. Despite his stellar track record on Mondays, he's finished outside the top 70 in four of his five starts. That's not to say the upside is not there for Garber, as he posted a T13 at the 2016 Barracuda Championship. Gamers can safely avoid Garber for fantasy purposes, but he is an interesting name to watch on the leaderboard this week. Tomorrow morning Nicholas Lindheim, Stephen Gangluff, Jonathan Randolph, Brett Drewitt, and Julian Etulain will vie for the last two spots.
Blayne Barber finished on the podium at the 2016 Honda Classic and returns this week for another crack at PGA National's Champion Course.
The Florida native posted a 58th-place finish in his 2015 debut at The Honda Classic. He took it up a notch in his second visit, posting four rounds at even-par 70 or better to find himself T23→T5→3→T3 after each round, respectively. That went in the books as his career-best finish at the time, although he bested it last fall when he lost in a playoff at The RSM Classic. Barber is still finding his legs on the PGA TOUR but this week presents a great opportunity for him to shine once again.
Will MacKenzie makes his way back to PGA National’s Champion Course for this week's Honda Classic.
MacKenzie is playing the 2016-17 season out of the Web.com Tour graduate reshuffle. He didn't crack the field on merit, but received a sponsor's invite, giving him a chance to increase on his already great course history. In seven events played at this course, he's racked up three finished of T12 or better, missing just one cut. MacKenzie is also coming in fresh off a T14 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am, just two weeks ago. That was his first top 15 since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, with 20 events in between. The 42-year-old brings a lot of potential this week for gamers looking for an under-the-radar sleeper.