The Honda Classic
PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
He can bench press a tour bag, has an explanar in his garage, could well be KJ Choi’s brother and is a major champion. That’s about the extent of my knowledge on YE Yang. But I do know this, he shot a 65 on this notoriously tricky PGA National course last year on his way to victory. Is he in form? Absolutely. A tidy 69 in the final round last week saw Yang finish third. Surely he’s going to be the mix again this time around.
Robert Allenby 16/1
I would imagine Robert Allenby has been just waiting for this week to pounce. It will be a return visit to a favourite stomping ground only this time he has his new (well sort of) putting style. I liked him last week in the desert where he tied 8th and he has been in the top five at the Honda for the past three years. It’s hard to argue with those stats and while I don’t have huge faith in Allneby being able to cross the finish line, an each way bet wouldn’t be worst move.
Camilo Villegas 28/1
“They call me ‘el Hombre Araña’, the Spider Man” Camilo says on his PGA tour ad. “I’m not really a Spider Man, I just play one on TV” is the killer line at the end. Camilo must have been exhausted last week in Arizona after his exploits in the WGC matchplay but he rallied to tie for eighth. His stats will show he’s a streaky player but if he can keep his good form going for one more week, he has a squeak here at the Honda. He shot a final round 67 here back in 2007 to reel in a faltering Mark Wilson, only to lose out to him cruelly in a playoff.
Rory McIlory 16/1
Here are my positive thoughts on Rory. He finished tied for 13th last year which will have given him experience of the course. As we know the Honda is traditionally not a birdie fest, which should suit our man. He will probably finish the week with the best GIR stats but since you can’t bet on those, it comes down to putting. Rory has identified this as an area of his game that he really needs to work on and Bob Rotella has been enlisted this week to help. Could Bob do for Rory what he did for Paddy? In one week? The bookies certainly think so, posting Rors at 16/1. I just hope the media don’t hound him in an effort to fill the Tiger void.