A great week last week with the WGC-Match Play. Every day was like a Sunday, plus I was able to win some money thanks to Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson. This week the Tour moves from the Left Coast to the southeast for a month before the Masters. I can’t wait for the Masters, I wonder if my local thrift store has any used green blazers.
The PGA National Champion Course hosts the Honda Classic, 2006 winner Luke Donald (who also won the WGC-Match play last week), is a very the popular pick. Jack Nicklaus redesigned the course in 1990 and reconfigured holes 15, 16 & 17, which is infamously known as the “Bear Trap”. You’ll hear Johnny Miller talk about how tough the Trap is over and over this week. Last year the stretch of 15,16, 17 was the 2nd hardest stretch for any course and 14,15, 16 was the 3rd most difficult. It’s so difficult that there were 137 water balls between these holes last year. There hasn’t been that many balls hit into the water since the Par 3 “Waterloo” hole at the 2009 Duceman Invitational. Here is how the Trap stacks up.
15th hole Par 3 – 179 yards
Not a very long hole, but Palm Beach winds kick up her and are very unpredictable. It can be still on the tee but swirling 20 mph by the green. I’d probably make it on the green every 1/50 tee shots.
16th hole Pat 4 – 434 yards
The right side is trouble, players have no room for error, there is plenty of bunker and water for your ball to go into. If you play it safe to the left hand side you’ll be stuck with a 220 yard second shot over a water guarded green. I’d probably pick up on this hole
17th hole Par 3 – 190 yards
To make it through the ‘Bear Trap’ you need to get by one more par 3. Basically the entire green is guarded by water, players who play it safe and aim right, still have a difficult time getting up and down for par. Jack’s an asshole.
The field is really competitive with a ton of foreigners playing the event, it includes Rory Mcilroy, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, YE Yang and defending champion Camillo Villegas. A lot of great players to choose from, gonna roll with these guys…
Matt Kuchar + 1250 – This could be his week, Kooch is way over due. He finished in the top 10, 4 times this year. Career versus the Trap, 12 rounds +8.
Vijay Singh +2000 – I bet on Veej last year at the Honda and he came in 4th. He has two top 5s this year and is one of the players ‘due’ to win. Career versus the Bear Trap, 4 rounds +2.
Robert Allenby +2500 – Does very well at the Honda, he has 4 top 5s at this event. Career versus the Trap, 14 rounds, +8.
Anthony Kim +3500 – I’m a little nervous because he withdrew from the Northern Trust open with an injury and he sucked last week. But AK came in second last year, so I like his odds. Career at the Trap, 12 rounds +14 (holy shit that sucks).
Brian Gay +4000 – Two top 5 finishes, one was at Riviera. Career versus the Bear Trap, 6 rounds +1.
Ross Fisher +4000 – A long shot, no data at the Honda, a very good player though.