The PGA National at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is our destination this week for the 2022 edition of the Honda Classic. It’s a long-established event at a prestigious venue so it will disappoint some golf fans to see many of the big names choosing to stay away this year.
This can often mean that there will be value to be had from a long odds winner and this Honda Classic preview aims to identify that with our predictions and picks. So let’s see who has elected to show up ahead of Thursday’s first tee time.
Among the contenders are the most recent winner on Tour, Joaquin Niemann plus the defending Honda Classic Champion, Australia’s Matt Jones. The favorite for glory this week is another former champion: South Korea’s Sungjae Im lifted the Honda Classic trophy after edging out Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes by one shot in 2020. Im leads the way this week and can be claimed at best industry odds of 14/1 for the outright win. Im finished in a creditable eighth place when defending in 2021 and clearly has the game for this course.
Daniel Berger and Joaquin Niemann follow the market leader with both men on offer at 18/1 in places. Niemann is the form golfer with that win on Sunday but both players should be equipped to make a challenge this week.
Then comes Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen, who are both available at 20/1. Koepka finished in a tie for second place behind Keith Mitchell in 2019 and is just starting to show some form following injury concerns. In contrast, Oosthuizen has a poor record on this course but shouldn’t be ruled out in this type of field.
Next up are Billy Horschel, Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry who are all quoted at 22/1. Both Fleetwood and Lowry will carry over from solid form from the European Tour. Lowry has recorded four straight Top 25s and it’s worth noting that Fleetwood has finished inside the top five on both of his previous visits to the PGA National.
Others who feature in the Chasing Pack include Alex Noren, Brian Harman and 2019 Honda Classic Champion Keith Mitchell who are all listed at 30/1. That victory three years ago was Mitchell’s solitary success on Tour but he returns on Thursday in good touch with five top 12 finishes in his previous eight starts.
Matthew Wolff and Mito Pereira lead the outside bunch this week with both men available at best odds of 45/1. Wolff is always a threat but tends to lack consistency while Pereira arrives in Florida on the back of a 15th place on Sunday.
Further down the list is defending Honda Classic Champion Matt Jones who is on offer at 50/1. Jones cruised to a five-shot victory in 2021 as the veteran closed out his first title in seven years.
Also in the list of outsiders is one of the most successful golfers at the Honda Classic in recent years. Rickie Fowler won this tournament in 2017 and was a runner up three years ago but his top price of 80/1 is a sad reflection of where his game is at right now.
Other names to mention in this section include Patrick Reed at 60/1, Gary Woodland at 66/1, Ryan Palmer at 66/1, Chris Kirk at 70/1, C.T. Pan at 70/1, Ian Poulter at 90/1 and Garrick Higgo at 100/1. Of those names, C.T. Pan is attracting some interest after tying for third here last year and finishing in ninth place on Sunday.
Our Honda Classic 2022 Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
The PGA National took over hosting duties in 2007 and has been the permanent venue for the Honda Classic ever since. The course is a short par-70 at 7,140 yards but a venue that has held a Major and a Ryder Cup is going to provide some stiff challenges.
Strong winds can cause problems while the primary rough has been allowed to grow since last year so we could see an average score in excess of 2021’s 71.102.
On his way to victory last year, Matt Jones led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Par 4 scoring. Players will also need to cash in at the Par 5s if they are to stand a chance.
Jones proved that it could be anyone’s title in a mixed field such as this but the name we keep coming back to is that of Brooks Koepka. Injury issues seem to be behind him and, while he’s returned some inconsistent scores, there have been signs of his best form.
Koepka just needs time on the course to get back to his very best and this could be the perfect week. In a field where the majority of the world’s best are sitting it out, Brooks can deliver, along with three other top 10 finish picks who can also get us back to winning ways. So these are the predictions to beat the notable United States’ bookmakers for this 2022 Honda Classic preview:
- Expect Brooks Koepka to win @ best betting odds of +2000 (20/1) with BetOnline or EveryGame.
- Top 10 Finish Picks (best odds in brackets): Koepka (+250 EveryGame), Billy Horschel (+250 EveryGame), Matthew Wolff (+450 BetOnline) and Mito Pereira (+450 BetOnline, EveryGame).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.