2022 Honda Classic betting preview


The Honda Classic is sandwiched between two premier PGA Tour events, leaving it in a tough spot to attract a top field. Not only that, the course, PGA National, is one of the toughest tests each year on the schedule. The famed “Bear Trap,” a three-hole stretch (15-16-17) as the golfers come home, is always a danger, with zero golfers in last years field going through it bogey free for the tournament. The cut is normally above par, and — if the winds pick up — we’ve seen it touch +7 back in 2011. 


PGA National is 7,125-yard, par-70 layout, with Bermuda grass greens, and hazards seemingly everywhere. Not only that, due to its location near Florida’s Atlantic coast, wind often has a say in the difficulty of the week. 

It’s no surprise strong iron play will be key, as precision will be needed to avoid numerous hazards. This week will also feature a lot of golfers hitting less than driver on a fair number of holes, which leads to more mid-range approach shots than usual. The Honda Classic is not a wedge-fest; historically, close to 50% of approach shots will come from 150-200 yards. Despite the clubbing down, golfers can still separate from the field off the tee, where distance on the driving holes is an advantage and a place where those who are long off the tee can gain strokes. 

Here are a few of my favorite bets for this week’s event.

Outright Winner

Louis Oosthuizen (+2000, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Tommy Fleetwood (+2800, Caesars)
Cameron Young (+5500, DraftKings Sportsbook)
J.T. Poston (+20000, DraftKings Sportsbook)

The top of the betting board has much to offer this week despite lacking the quality of stars we as at last week’s Genesis Open. A couple familiar European names — Shane Lowry and Tommy Fleetwood — will be making their 2022 debuts on the PGA Tour and past champion Sungjae Im sits atop most markets. I will be passing on Im, and instead starting with another favorite, Louis Oosthuizen, at 20/1. 


We last saw Oosthuizen at the WMPO, where he did just about everything well and finished 14th. His distance and accuracy matched the field, he gained strokes in all four categories and didn’t withdraw! He has a reputation for playing well at tougher courses and despite a mixed bag of results at PGA National I believe the game suits and has the form to match. Oosty is as consistent as they come, which quite honestly could be why he hasn’t lifted as many trophies as his skills would suggest but this isn’t a tournament in which a wildly low round is necessary. A weekend of avoiding the water I would hope leaves him squarely in contention. 

My next pick will be Fleetwood, who is coming stateside for the first time in 2022 having started off the year with three tournaments in the Middle East, improving each time he played, ending with an eighth-place finish at the Saudi International. He struggled to make any headway much of 2021 in PGA events, due to lack-luster irons and after returning to Europe, albeit weaker fields, it appears he may have turned this around in that department. He ended 2021 with strong approach play and it picked right back up in Dubai. I was hoping to get him in the 30s but figured with his course history of third and fourth place at this event, it wouldn’t happen, so I bit the 28/1. 

I will hop slightly further down the board, skipping over some other names that could be tempting but at higher numbers, and instead take a chance to again back Cameron Young at 55/1. This isn’t me chasing what we saw last week but I wouldn’t mind a repeat and a better Sunday. I mentioned earlier that I think distance is an advantage on the holes where it’s used and that is Youngs best weapon at this point in his career. Sure, losing this advantage on potentially six holes is not ideal, but we’ve seen him trending upward, leaning on strong ball striking and putting which can translate to success anywhere, even if his distance advantage may be capped on a few holes. One of my bigger concerns is that, as far as I’m aware of, he’s never played the course and although practice rounds will be helpful, with the difficulty that comes with PGA National, I understand it’s less than ideal. 

For my last selection, I’m going further down the board than usual, but J.T. Poston at 200/1 seems worth a shot. It is not a big edge, but I do think he offers a better chance than the market. We’ve seen him at this course a handful of times and although he has yet to crack the top 20, he should be familiar enough with the course to navigate it and hopefully his improved ball striking continues and can push him up the leaderboard. It’s obviously a big ask but he seems to threaten a few times per year and having won before it wouldn’t be a new feeling. 

For all of my picks, including matchups, position finishes, props, and other tours, check out the Bet Tracker. If you’re not a premium subscriber, use code AXIS to receive 20% off and I hope to see you in the premium Discord soon.

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