GOLF analyst Lewis Blain (@LewisBlainSport) shares his betting thoughts ahead of The Honda Classic.
The Honda Classic | 27th February – 1st March 2020 | Sky Sports
After Patrick Reed landed us a 40/1 winner at the WGC Mexico last Sunday, we head to another fantastic event in The Honda Classic where we will be looking to ride the wave and hopefully find us more success.
- PGA National, Champion Course, Florida
- Par 70 – 7,125 yards
- Strategic track guarded by water, wind and thick rough
- Fast Bermuda greens
- Early history suggests that distance hasn't mattered but that's been dispelled over the last eight to 10 events here
- GIR vs Scrambling, a slight hinge on the latter as putting doesn't wholly matter
- Top 10 course for toughness, so avoiding those big numbers key
- Riding hot streak of form is beneficial
- Experience around here also very helpful
- Correlated courses include Copperhead, Southwind, Quail Hollow, Firestone, Augusta, Houston and the Open major circuit
Byeong Hun An (33/1 SkyBet)
First up is Benny An, who should be absolutely relishing the Tour coming back to the East Coast. He's a huge Bermuda operator and his recent form around Florida is trending towards that win – T3 (Wyndham), 3rd (Sanderson) amongst a few other top-10s.
An is an excellent ball-striker whose putting sometimes lets him down, so this is a test that is right up his alley as he makes up for it with a fantastic short-game. His recent T6 (CJ Cup) and T8 (Zozo) help given the windy-water track here too.
He's a tad shorter than I would have liked but a clear standout amongst his fellow competitors in this price bracket.
Harris English (60/1 SkyBet)
Harris English is a very hit-or-miss type but his profile suits PGA National; a ball-striker with short-game skills and has that valuable course experience.
A couple of top-20 finishes are positive, especially last year when finishing 12th when horribly out of sorts. He's also a winner at TPC Southwind, a key correlated course. Houston is too and he finished 4th there a few months ago, T6 at Sanderson and 5th at Mayakoba suggest he's in decent nick.
Jhonattan Vegas (70/1 SkyBet)
Another horses for courses player on my list is Jhonny Vegas and I can't refuse given the price. He has three top-16s in his last five appearances around here, including a 4th in '17 and 16th last year.
His overall form has been pretty poor until last week where he popped up with a T9 at the Puerto Rico Open, so that caught the eye. Again, he's another guy who is dismal with the short stick but has a tee-to-green game right up there with some of the best.
He's won the Canadian Open twice, a Jack Nicklaus design – similar to PGA National.
Russell Henley (70/1 SkyBet)
A brave punt given his current form but I will take a chance on a former winner of this very event, Russell Henley. He's a superb player in the wind, so no wonder he's won around here. He's managed back-to-back top-24 finishes around PGA National.
A T17 at Riviera ended a run of five straight MCs – what's most striking is that his irons were on point and he tends to stay hot when this happens, ranking 11th for APP and 4th for ATG game.
He'd be a much shorter price, maybe sub-50s, had he come into this on a rich streak of form.
Kyle Stanley (90/1 Betfair)
And we end the plan with Kyle Stanley at 90/1, quite a large price for a player of his standard. He's won two PGA Tour events and has runner-up places at major tournaments like the WGC Bridgestone, Farmers, Memorial and the John Deere.
He's another who peaked my interest after a strong finish last week, T3 in Puerto Rico. He doesn't have the best form around here on paper, but several years ago he was leading at the halfway stage by one shot, so he's clearly got it in him if he's on his game.