The Honda Classic: Power Ranks

The Honda Classic: Power Ranks
Daniel Berger finished runner-up at The Honda Classic in 2015. He returns to his home state and the comfort of Bermuda greens at PGA National.
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World No. 19 and two-time PGA TOUR champion Russell Knox prepares for his fourth Honda Classic at PGA National's Champion Course.

The 31-year-old was an unexpected missed cut (by four) in his last start three weeks ago at the Phoenix Open (74-71). That ended his streak of 17 consecutive made cuts, dating back to T2 at the RBC Heritage last April. The Jacksonville Beach, Florida, resident had opened this season with five straight top 20s, three for top 10s, including a season-best 3rd at the OHL Classic. He's 3-for-3 at the Honda with a scoring average of 69.08 at the difficult par-70 layout. The Scot preceded a T26 last year (70-70-71-71) with a T3 in 2015 and a playoff loss in 2014. He was one (of six) multiple winners on TOUR last season, breaking through at the WGC-HSBC Champions (as 54-hole co-leader), and coming from three back with 2-under 68 to win the Travelers back in August.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 4:40 PM

World No. 28 Emiliano Grillo arrives for his second Honda Classic after posting a T74 (of 77 players) last year (72-70-73-77).

The 24-year-old is making his 40th career start on TOUR and eighth this season. He was playing well prior to the six-week layoff for the holidays, opening with a T26 at the Safeway -- as defender -- and progressively better finishes of T17 (CIMB Classic), 11th (WGC-HSBC), and T10 at the OHL Classic. The reigning TOUR Rookie of the Year hasn't fared too well since returning from break, missing the cut at the CareerBuilder and chasing with T33 (Farmers) and T63 three weeks ago at the Phoenix Open (72-69-70-72). He ranks 15th in SG: Tee-to-Green but 205th in SG: Putting.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 4:11 PM

Prior to the start of the event, Steve Marino has withdrawn from this week's Honda Classic, opening a spot for first alternate Andres Gonzales.

Marino was one of the five golfers last week who failed to return on Saturday morning to finish up their second round. It was assumed to be weather-related at the time, but perhaps there was a bigger issue for Marino. Prior to last week's WD, the 36-year-old had missed the cut in five of his previous six starts. Gamers can avoid Marino until he shows some form.
Feb 22 - 4:08 PM

Past champ and World No. 218 Michael Thompson contests his sixth straight Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and enters 5-for-8 on the season with three top 25s and a best of T13 at The RSM Classic.

The 31-year-old is 4-for-5 at the Honda with one finish inside the top 40, his two-shot win in 2013. That remains his lone TOUR title in 158 career events. In 92 starts since, he has five top 10s, most recently a T4 at the opposite-field Barbasol Championship last July (12 starts ago). The Alabama alum lost his card after each of the last two seasons, finishing 146th and 145th, respectively, in FedExCup points, but regained fully exempt status in the Web.com Tour Finals both times. Excluding The 25, he was No. 1 in Finals money last season, buoyed by his win at the Boise Open (as 54-hole co-leader), his first WCT victory in 11 career events.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 3:56 PM

World No. 336 Ken Duke gets ready for his 10th Honda Classic, ninth at PGA National's Champion Course, the tournament's venue since 2007.

The 48-year-old is 6-for-9 on the season with one top 25, a T23 two weeks ago at the AT&T Pebble Beach (73-70-69-69). He arrives off a missed cut (by two) at last week's rain-drenched Genesis Open on rounds of 71-73. The Palm City, Florida, resident is 4-for-9 at the Honda, with a best of T37 last year (75-65-73-70). Last season, he finished 153rd in the FedExCup standings with just nine cashes in 20 starts, but retained his card at 120th in money. The Arkansas native had just two top 10s, but cashed a big one with T3 at THE PLAYERS, good for ($504,000) of $773,025.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 3:40 PM

Past champ and sponsor invite Camilo Villegas contests his 12th Honda Classic and checks in off a missed cut by one at last week's weather-plagued Genesis Open on 1-over 70-73=143, and a T24 at the Phoenix Open, the latter on a sponsor exemption.

The World No. 299 won his third (of four) TOUR titles here in 2010 and was a playoff loser in 2007 at the current venue's debut. Overall, he's 7-for-11 with five top 25s, including 16th/2015 and T14 last year (72-69-69-70). Playing this season out of the Past Champion category, he's 5-for-8 with two top 25s, one top 10. The latter was a big one, losing in a five-man playoff at The RSM Classic, his fourth career runner-up in a then-287 career starts and first top 10 since the 2014 Wyndham, his most recent TOUR title.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 2:56 PM

Justin Thomas will get a few home-cooked meals ahead of this week's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The Jupiter resident rocketed out of the gates this season with three wins in his first five starts. He's cooled a bit with a missed cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T39 at last week's Genesis Open. The big hitter will look to get back in the winner's circle on a layout where he's already found success. After a missed cut in his 2015 debut, he returned to post four rounds under-par en route to a T3 finish. Over the last six years, only four others have accomplished the same feat of four red numbers (Rory McIlroy/2012; Tom Gillis/2012; Ryan Palmer/2014; Sergio Garcia/2014). Gamers should give Thomas a very strong look this week, in all formats.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 2:45 PM

Two-time Honda Classic champion and World No. 148 Padraig Harrington is 4-for-8 in the kickoff event of the Florida Swing and tees it up the first two rounds with Justin Thomas and defending champ Adam Scott.

The 45-year-old won his first (of six) TOUR titles at the Honda in 2005, prevailing in a playoff at CC at Mirasol (Sunset). He won again in 2015 (at the current venue), his most recent TOUR title, also in sudden death, defeating then-rookie Daniel Berger in a two-hole playoff. The Ulsterman claimed the 2015 edition on a sponsor invite and as a 200/1 dog and finished T43 last year in defense. He's in the final season of fully exempt status from the 2015 win, and enters the week 1-for-4, cashing a T39 last week at the weather-plagued Genesis Open. Gamers should also be aware that Harrington is playing through a trapped nerve in his neck, making him a risky option in any format.
Source: PGATOUR.com
Feb 22 - 2:32 PM
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