They call it the Bear Trap. Holes 15, 16 & 17 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is waiting to test the nerves of some of the game’s greats. With a stage such as this one, the Honda Classic will not disappoint.
“Originally designed by Tom and George Fazio for major tournament play, The Champion course at PGA National Resort & Spa was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus in 2014 and hosts the Honda Classic each spring on the PGA TOUR. Although The Champion has generous landing areas and spacious and accepting TifEagle greens, golfers are presented with course management challenges throughout the round. This South Florida golf resort course has five sets of tees to make the course more playable for golfers of all levels. A must-play on any avid golfer's list, The Champion features the Bear Trap, which spans three demanding holes designed by Jack Nicklaus. Considered one of Florida's most notable golf challenges, on what is unquestionably one of the best golf courses in Florida, USA Today calls the Bear Trap “one of the toughest stretches in golf.”” (PGA National GC)
Last year, Padraig Harrington found his way back into the winner’s circle, showing signs of the champion he became back in 2007 & 2008, winning 3 major titles during that span.
Below are the players I’m calling to rise to the top this week, as well as my DraftKings lineups.
Adam Scott - Played some terrific golf last week at Riviera after not playing a lot of golf in the U.S since the end of last year’s FedEx Cup playoffs.
Rory McIlroy - Game was looking great at Riviera until the back nine on Sunday. He has made it very clear, both through his words and play, that he is motivated to retain the number one world ranking - and to do so as quickly as possible.
Russell Knox - Finished one shot out of the playoff last year, and lost in a playoff in 2014. Coming back to a familiar course, with renewed confidence, having claimed a World Golf Championship in November.
Rickie Fowler - Lives in the area and has only been gaining confidence over the past 10 months. Has truly propelled himself into world-class status after being dubbed by so many as overrated.
Phil Mickelson - Continues to impress golf fans with his inspired play of late. You have to believe missing a putt on the 72nd hole at Pebble Beach, to surrender a chance at the title, has only fueled his fire.
Hideki Matsuyama - Continues to climb leaderboards after his win a few weeks ago in Scottsdale. A model of consistency, is often a rewarding fantasy pick.
Kevin Kisner - Took a couple weeks off after a missed cut in Phoenix. He’s been playing some great golf for the better part of a year. The two-week hiatus has likely served him well.
Freddie Jacobsen - Continues to enjoy a hot streak. He’s had these in the past, fueled by a phenomenal short game. I don’t expect him to win, but I do see him being a solid fantasy pick.
Branden Grace - Has yet to win on U.S. soil, but seems to only be a matter of time, having won multiple times in Europe - his most recent being in Qatar at the end of January.
Cameron Tringale - Lives in the area, making him more familiar with the course than some of his fellow competitors. I see this as the perfect stage for him to have a big week - which he could use, as he has struggled with consistency so far this season.
Camilo Villegas - Opened with a first round 63 last week, and opened a three shot lead going into the second round. The former Florida Gator has played well at this event over the course of the past decade.
Jim Herman - T7 finish at this event last year, and has had some positive performances so far this season. A player who has only continued to improve over the last couple of years.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - Former U.S. Amatuer champion (2013), recently won his first professional event (2015 British Masters).
And now the part I really enjoy…my DraftKings lineups!
Part of what makes DraftKings so fun, and golf in general for that matter, is that anything can happen. As I look over my lineups for the week, I have composed a mix of those who have been playing well (McIlroy, Scott, Grace, Jacobsen), with those who seem like they could break through at any moment (Lovemark, Wilcox, Herman), and those who haven’t turned many heads, but have consistently played fairly well (Lingmerth, Henley, Weekley, Kelly). I’ve done my part - now all I can do is enjoy the tournament.
Rory McIlroy - $12,500
David Lingmerth - $8,200
Russell Henley - $7,900
Boo Weekley - $7,200
Jamie Lovemark - $7,200
Will Wilcox - $7,000
Adam Scott - $11,000
Branden Grace - $10,300
Freddie Jacobsen - $8,200
Cameron Tringale - $6,800
Jim Herman - $6,600
Jerry Kelly - $6,300
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family.
Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.