Published: 08:45 27/02/2013
The Jack Nicklaus designed golf course hosts the Honda Classic for the seventh time and is one of the hardest courses to play on the PGA Tour. It plays to a par of 71 and the course measures 7100 yards, though it's not the yardage which is the problem for the participants. Players have to drive the ball well, as there is not a large landing area to hit from the tee. Accuracy with the irons is a must also, as the majority of the holes have numerous water hazards to overcome and the course is also heavily bunkered. The weather forecast this week is for plenty of wind, and the winning player will likely have to be a good ball striker and be able to scramble his way around this course, as par will be a good score on the majority of these holes.
Rickie Fowler would seem to fit the bill of a likely winner of this event. He has shown that he can play events when the wind blows, such as when playing in our Open, and has an inventiveness in his short game which helps to turn a bogey into a par on many occasions. He came seventh last year and though his most recent events are not worth writing home about, this has been reflected in his price of 35/1. Another player who has all the attributes to go well is our own Justin Rose. He has extensive knowledge of how to play windy courses and has shown this year that his game is in fine fettle and a run at this Championship would not be unlikely. His past form includes fifth last year and his betting odds are currently at 14/1.
Rory Mac and Tiger also tee up this week, but I would like to see the Irish youngster find some form before backing him and whilst Tiger could easily win on a left to right course which he loves, the bookies are not tacking any chances with a top price of 8/1. Freddie Jacobsen is another player who can play the wind, is a fine iron player and is one of the form players at the moment. He will have his supporters this week for sure. Whoever does win this week will fully deserve it, as this event is going to shred the nerves and test the mettle to the full.
Rickie Fowler 35/1 E/W Stan James six places.
Justin Rose 14/1 E/W Paddy Power six places.