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Honda Classic 2013: Complete Guide to Palm Beach Gardens Tournament

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Honda Classic 2013: Complete Guide to Palm Beach Gardens Tournament
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

This year marks the seventh straight Honda Classic at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Last year, we saw Rory McIlroy edge Tiger Woods and company at the Honda Classic, posting a 12-under-par 268 in the process.

But who will capture the tournament this year? There are several legitimate contenders in the field, including a young California native who has shown signs of rising in 2013.

 

Where: PGA National Resort & Spa, Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

When: Feb. 28-March 3

Watch: Golf Channel, NBC

Live Stream: PGATour.com

 

TV Schedule (all times Eastern)

Date Time Channel
2/28 3-6 p.m. Golf Channel
3/1 3-6 p.m. Golf Channel
3/2 1-3 p.m. Golf Channel
3/2 3-6 p.m. NBC
3/3 1-3 p.m. Golf Channel
3/3 3-6 p.m. NBC

 

Live Stream Schedule

Date Time
2/28 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
3/1 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
3/2 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
3/3 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

Course

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The Champion course was opened on Nov. 17, 1981. It hosted the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship and the Senior PGA Championship for nearly 20 years (1982-2000). The course underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2002 and became home to the Honda Classic in 2007. It is widely known for a brutal three-hole stretch spanning from the 15th to the 17th known as the "Bear Trap," named after Jack Nicklaus, who was known as the "Golden Bear" during his playing days. Nicklaus helped redesign the course.

From 2007-2012, the winners of the Honda Classic at PGA National are (in order): Mark Wilson, Ernie Els, Y.E. Yang, Camilo Villegas, Rory Sabbatini and Rory McIlroy.

 

Players to Watch

Rory McIlroy

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The defending champion of the Honda Classic, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, is coming off a stunning loss to Shane Lowry in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Of course, that was match play.

McIlroy posted a 12-under-par 268 last year en route to the victory at PGA National. He shot under 70 in every round. It was the second-best final score at the Honda Classic at PGA National (Villegas shot a 13-under-par 267 in 2010).

 

Tiger Woods

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Tiger Woods is heavily favored in the oddsbooks this year (per Bovada).

Woods won his first PGA Tour event of the year at the Farmers Insurance Open in January. He posted a 14-under-par 274, winning the tournament by four strokes.

Last year, Woods placed second to McIlroy with a 10-under-par 280. He scored a 62 in the final round, but it wasn't enough to catch the young star.

Woods, like McIlroy, was upset at the Accenture Match Play Championship. He lost to Charles Howell III in the first round of the tournament.

 

Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel finished fifth at the Honda Classic last year, and he placed third in his first PGA Tour event of 2013 at the Northern Trust Open in February.

The 28-year-old also finished second at the Joburg Open on the European Tour in February.

 

Justin Rose

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Justin Rose tied for fifth with Schwartzel at the Honda Classic last year. The South African hasn't played on the PGA Tour yet this season, but he placed second in Abu Dhabi on the European Tour in January.

As the world No. 6, Rose certainly has the talent to win at PGA National this year. He posted eight top-10 finishes on tour last year, including a victory at the Cadillac Championship.

 

Rickie Fowler

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rickie Fowler may be ranked No. 37 in the world, but he's posted two top-10 finishes in three PGA Tour events this season, and he tied for seventh at the Honda Classic last year with a 6-under-par 274.

Fowler has already posted nearly half of the top-10 finishes he registered last year, so he's doing something right. Remember, the 24-year-old finished off 2012 with a fourth-place finish at the World Challenge.

 

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