The Honda Classic, the first huge golf tournament of 2013 with a $5.8 million dollar purse, is on tap this weekend and look who the two favorites are, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Sure, Rory won the Honda Classic in 2012. So that's the reason why the phenom is offering around +1000 odds, but what's up with El Tigre?
Woods is at +750 even though he, like Rory, got knocked out in the first round of last week's Accenture-Match Play Tournament. Supposedly, Tiger is dating skier Lindsey Vonn. That's not a good sign. After all, being happy in your personal life could take the edge off of the usually intense Mr. Woods.
Tiger's relationship with Vonn doesn't even really matter, though, not when it comes to betting on Golf. It's the golf odds that count and I absolutely never, ever, back a golfer to win a tournament at less than double-digit odds. It's just not worth it. PGA golfers play 72 holes on the toughest courses in the world. It's tough to win one of these things so as a golf handicapper you had better expect overlaid or at least fair odds before backing a guy.
When: Feb. 28 - March 3
Where: PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Course: PGA National Champion / Par 70, 7,158 yards
Top Three Picks
Top Choice: Lee Westwood +2500
Lee is offering as good of odds as you're going to find on a legitimate contender to win the 2013 Honda Classic. Westwood shot a 70, 69, 70, 63 in order to finish at 272 and in fourth place at least year's Honda Classic. Man, that 63 in Round 4 was sweet last season! Westwood finished at -8 for the tournament, only 4 strokes off of McIlroy. So far this season, Westwood has played in two PGA Events, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where he finished in forty-sixth place, and the Northern Trust Open where he finished in twenty-first place, but it's only a matter of time before Westwood gets his groove back. At +2500 golf betting odds, I'll be hoping that he gets his groove back this weekend.
Second Choice: Rory McIlroy +1000
Rory broke 70 in every single round of last year's Honda Classic. That's why he ended up with the trophy. McIlroy shot a 66 Round 1, a 67 Round 2, a 66 Round 3 and a 69 Round 4. He ended up at a -12 268 and beat Tiger and Tom Gillis by 2 strokes. McIlroy did miss the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in his first start of 2013, but he's still a top guy on the links and his odds are much better than Woods'.
Third Choice: Justin Rose +1500
Here's a guy who was awesome in Round 1 and Round 2 of the 2012 Honda Classic, shooting a 66 both times, but broke down in Round 3, with a 71, and in Round 4, with a 70. Rose finished at -7 273, 5 strokes off of McIlroy, last year. Rose was terrific at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January, though, when finishing in second place with a -13 275. He could be a big surprise in this and merits consideration as the top dog given his golf wagering odds.
Others to Consider
Charl Schwartzel +1000 - - He finished at -7, like Rose, last year at the Honda Classic, but he's offering +1000 while Rose is offering +1500. Schwartzel has to be given a chance in every tournament he enters these days.
Ricki Fowler +3500 - - He's posted two Top 10 finishes, both sixth place finishes, in his three tournaments in 2013. He missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but that tournament took place in early February. He's got a shot at overlaid odds.
Martin Kaymer +2800 - - Here's another guy that missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But Kaymer finished in sixth place at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship with a -9 279, and ninth at the Commercial Qatar Masters with a -11 277. He should bounce back this week at the Honda Classic and merits consideration to hoist the trophy on Sunday.