For the second year in a row, the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic gets the short end of the scheduling stick. None of the top 10 players in the world are at PGA National this week. The headliners include Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Joaquín Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, and Sungjae Im.
The 144-player field will face a stern test in the Jack Nicklaus-designed Champion Course. In order to succeed here, players need to hit their irons well, especially from 150 to 200 yards. They also have to be mentally prepared to grind, as the scoring conditions will be tougher than what they have seen on the PGA Tour so far in 2022.
Here are a few players who might thrive in this environment:
Shane Lowry $9,400
Lowry is third in this field in approach from 150 to 200 yards and has had more success on difficult courses than in birdie fests. He has made the cut in all four of his starts at the Honda Classic, but he hasn’t been able to put it all together yet. That sort of sums up his year to date: he finished 12th in Abu Dhabi, 24th in Dubai, and 14th at the Saudi International. He has missed only two cuts in the past year, so he brings elite consistency for a $9,400 price point. He should stand out in this less-than-stellar field at PGA National.
Russell Knox $8,100
Knox is first in the field in dispersion off the tee, which means he likely won’t find much of the Champion Course’s copious water on his drives. He also ranks second overall in approach, so he’s a premium ball-striker. Knox has played the Honda Classic eight times and has had mixed results, but he has shown upside with second- and third-place finishes. He comes into this week in good form, having finished 33rd or better in four of his five starts in 2022.
Adam Svensson $7,000
Svensson leads the Honda field in approach from 150 to 200 yards and ranks ninth overall in approach. He also has some good memories at PGA National, as he was medalist at Q-School here in 2015. So far in 2022, Svensson has been very consistent, making all four of his cuts and taking seventh place at the Sony Open.