Golf Glance: PGA Tour’s Florida swing begins at ‘The Bear Trap’

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.

LAST TOURNAMENT: The Genesis Invitational (Jon Rahm)
THIS WEEK: The Honda Classic, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Feb. 23-26
Course: PGA National Resort – The Champion (Par 70, 7,125 yards)
Purse: $8.4M
Defending Champion: Sepp Straka
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (NBC)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Sunday: 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. ET
Twitter: @TheHondaClassic
NOTES: Straka seeks to become only the second player to successfully defend at The Honda (Jack Nicklaus in 1977-78). He came from five strokes back on Sunday to become the first Austrian to win on tour. … Nicklaus reworked the Tom and George Fazio designed course in 2002, 2014 and 2018, with hole Nos. 15-17 known as “The Bear Trap.” There has been a “bunkerage reduction” on the final two holes since last year’s event. … Parker Coody earned a spot via the Monday Qualifier and will be in the field along with his twin brother Pierceson, who is in on a sponsor exemption. Parker will be making his second PGA Tour start while Pierceson, the top player in last year’s PGA Tour University, will make his first. Their grandfather, Charles, won the 1971 Masters as one of three career tour victories. … Two-time event winner Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015) is making his first PGA Tour start of the season, and Ryder Cup captains Zach Johnson and Luke Donald are also in the field.
BEST BETS: Sungjae Im (+850 at BetMGM) is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 18 and won the event in 2020. He’s coming off a T56 at The Genesis following a pair of top-10s the previous two weeks. … Shane Lowry (+1600) finished second last year and rebounded with a T14 last week after consecutive missed cuts. … Denny McCarthy (+2500) is a career-best 62nd in the world rankings as he seeks his first career PGA Tour title. His T14 at Riviera included a 64 on Saturday, which tied the low round of the tournament. … Billy Horschel (+2800) enters at No. 19. He has sandwiched a T32 in Phoenix with two missed cuts in his past three starts. … Adam Svensson (+3300) is the highest-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings in this week’s field and won the 2015 Korn Ferry Tour Q-School Finals at PGA National by seven strokes.
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Arnold Palmer Invitational, Orlando, Fla., March 2-5; Puerto Rico Open, Rio Grande, March 2-5

LAST TOURNAMENT: Tournament of Champions (Brooke Henderson)
THIS WEEK: Honda LPGA Thailand, Chonburi, Thailand, Feb. 23-26
Course: Siam Country Club – Pattaya Old Course (Par 72, 6,576 yards)
Purse: $1.7M (Winner: $255,000)
Defending Champion: Nanna Koerstz Madsen
Race to the CME Globe leader: Henderson
TV: Wednesday-Thursday, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. ET; Friday-Saturday, 10:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. (All times Golf Channel)
Steaming on and NBC Sports App: Wednesday-Thursday, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. ET; Friday-Saturday, 10:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m.
Twitter: @hondalpgath
NOTES: The Pattaya Old Course will host the 16-year-old, no-cut event for the 13th time. … Nine of the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings are in the 72-player field, as are 11 players from Thailand, including 2021 champion Ariya Jutanugarn. … The tournament scoring average last year was 68.675. … Madsen defeated Xiyu Lin with an eagle on the second playoff hole last year after both set the new tournament scoring record of 26-under 262. … Nelly Korda leads the Team USA Solheim Cup standings with 262 points, followed by Lexi Thompson (258), Danielle Kang (212), Jennifer Kupcho (196) and Andrea Lee (181).
NEXT TOURNAMENT: HSBC Women’s World Championship, Singapore, March 2-5

Champions Tour
LAST TOURNAMENT: Chubb Classic (Bernhard Langer)
NEXT TOURNAMENT: Cologuard Classic, Tucson, Ariz., March 3-5

–Field Level Media

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