Shane Lowry will be in action at The Honda Classic

The Honda Classic Odds and Predictions

The 2022-23 PGA Tour continues with the Honda Classic, running from February 23 to February 26. Hosted in Palm Beach Gardens at the PGA National Resort, about an hour and a half north of downtown Miami, the event will see 144 golfers competing to win a share of the $8.4 million prize purse.


With just three of the top 20 ranked golfers in the world—and none in the top 15—competing in Palm Beach Gardens, (No. 18 Sungjae Im, No. 19 Billy Horschel, and No. 20 Shane Lowry) the event is full of long shots, making it an intriguing bet for would-be wagerers.


Sungjae Im is favored at sportsbooks in the United Kingdom, sitting at or around +900 to win the event as of Wednesday afternoon. He won the tournament in 2020, so he’s got a better feel for the course than perhaps anyone else who entered.


Shane Lowry of Ireland has the second-best odds to win the Honda Classic (+1400). He nearly pulled off an epic comeback to do so last year, but pouring rain on the 72nd and final hole derailed his chances.


The tournament has some fascinating storylines: will Im be able to double down on his dominance at one of the toughest courses in the sport? Could Lowry avenge last year’s slight with a rebound performance? A win by any of the number of the relatively unknown golfers competing would be another story for the ages.


Other names to watch for fans from the U.K. include Luke Donald (+14000), Aaron Rai (+5500), and Matt Wallace (+12500), all of whom hail from England.


A Look at the Schedule


The slate of tee times is set to begin at 6:50 am Thursday, which is a boon to viewers from across the pond: they can tune in around noon, rather than waking up at the crack of dawn to catch the action. Temperatures will begin at a balmy 22 degrees centigrade and rise to 29 degrees throughout the day, so the earlier tee times may actually have an advantage in being able to get ahead of the heat.


That said, later tee times will know exactly how much wiggle room they have to keep pace with the rest of the field during the first day.


As of right now, the high temperature is expected to hit 29 degrees each day. The weather will be partly cloudy on Friday, giving some respite from the heat, but it’ll be sunny throughout the rest of the tournament. Winter never really happens in the Sunshine State.

What Happened to the Honda Classic?


Sandwiched between high-profile events like the Genesis Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Honda Classic hasn’t been able to pull superstars in recent years. Brooks Koepka was the last top-ten player to tee off, and that was in 2020.


It’s a far cry from the days when Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods went head to head in Palm Beach Gardens with the title of No. 1 in the world on the line.


The Honda Classic takes place at the PGA National Resort’s marquee course, one that underwent a $4 million renovation in late 2002 before being redesigned by none other than ‘The Golden Bear’ Jack Nicklaus himself in 2014. Known as ‘The Champion,’ the course is notorious for the treacherous stretch on holes 15, 16, and 17, a length known as the Bear Trap in honor of Nicklaus.


Given its history and location in one of the biggest golfing hotbeds in the world, PGA is looking to give the event a much-needed facelift.


Andy Pazder, chief competitions and tournaments officer for the PGA Tour, told the Palm Beach Post that the schedule should open up a bit next year, giving the Tour a chance to place greater emphasis on the Honda Classic.

Another thing that could help is an upcoming rebrand. After more than four decades as the title sponsor, Honda will remove its name from the event next year. An upcoming battle between sponsors could increase the prize purse from its current value, modest by PGA standards.


When combined with more space in the schedule (PGA could move it to the end of the Florida swing so top golfers aren’t tempted to skip it for rest), a purse that’s able to compete better with the aforementioned high profile tournaments like the Phoenix Open and its $20 million prize purse.


Located in South Florida, the event will always be well attended: PGA wants to bring it back to its former glory, putting on a spectacle worthy of the pull it has.