Honda Classic Golf Betting Tips 2022

Who is the GM Tipster backing at PGA National this week?

Betting slip graphic and four golfers
(Image credit: Future)

Honda Classic Golf Betting Tips 2022

From an embarrassment of riches with all the world’s top ten doing battle at Riviera Country Club last week to the anti-climax of none turning out for the first leg of the Florida Swing in a weaker Honda Classic field at PGA National.

The Champion course, one of the most demanding on the PGA circuit with its notorious Bear Trap terrorising the meek, sees a mass of European aces, including US debutant and recent UAE winner Nicolai Hojgaard, teeing off in the Sunshine State.

A massive improvement on last year’s carnage will be required to carry off a prize which Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood went close to winning two years ago and which Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington plundered for Ireland.

Yet when Matt Jones prevailed 12 months ago, the list of casualties read like a who’s who of European golf with Westwood, Poulter, Kaymer, Stenson, Harrington, McDowell, Donald, Cabrera Bello, Wallace and Knox all missing the cut.

With world No. 13 Louis Oosthuizen (never better than 18th at Honda) top man on rankings followed by Brooks Koepka (missed cut last week), Sunday’s all-the-way winner Joaquin Niemann and Mr Consistency Sungjae Im rate the form picks. The Chilean’s phenomenal 63-63 start on a serious golf course proved too high a mountain for anyone else to climb and although the lead was whittled down to two, the 55/1 shot never really looked like being caught.

With past Riviera form reading 44-missed cut-43, Niemann was hard to pick for horses-for-courses punters but the clue was in his previous 2022 efforts, sixth at Torrey Pines, eighth in Saudi Arabia.

So if you fancy the classy 23-year-old for back-to-back victories, don’t be put off by equally uncompelling course form consisting of one missed cut, a 59th and 25th.
Going to bed on the lead three days in a row last week must have been nerve-racking but pulling it off and pocketing a life-changing $2.16m will have counteracted any fatigue and if he can make the world’s best look ordinary, why not cash in again against the second division?

Someone will probably play out of his skin and beat him but as there have been 15 different winners since the 7125-yard par 70 Champion course began hosting the Honda in 2007, this one really is up for grabs.

If there is to be a first repeat winner at National, then Im and Keith Mitchell look the most likely and golfaholic Im, champion two years ago and eighth last year, will carry my main money. Ever since his Las Vegas victory in October, it has been hard keeping the South Korean off leaderboards. Eighth first out at Kapalua, he followed up with sixth at Torrey Pines and 11th at the American Express.

Even Sunday’s 33rd at Riviera was not devoid of merit and a solid performance is confidently predicted. We are looking for a player who hits fairways and is terrific with the irons and he fits the bill. As there are only two par fives, bombers have no great advantage as there are several holes where the big dog stays in the bag.

Mitchell, the 2019 Honda winner when he held off Koepka and 2017 champion Rickie Fowler, is less reliable but there’s no arguing with the current state of his game. Seventh at Sony, 12th at Pebble Beach and tenth at Scottsdale were all eye-catching.
Veteran Aussie Jones warmed up for this title defence with a perfectly respectable 15th at Riviera and was unlucky to catch compatriot Cam Smith on a hot week when runner-up at Kapalua first time out this year.

If there is to be a breakthrough then dual Korn Ferry winner Cameron Young, joint second to Niemann at Riviera on only his 12th main-tour start - he picked up over a million bucks for losing! - is an obvious choice but there won’t be any 225/1 this time!
It wasn’t the first occasion that the 24-year-old has served notice he’s no ordinary rookie. He was also a runner-up at the end of last year and had worked his way into a winning position after 54 holes at the AmEx.

Last week’s effort may have drained him as the disappointment of falling just short was etched in his body language and the fresher and even younger Matt Wolff could be a better bet. He had had one crack at the course and made the cut and, unlike Young, has a win under his belt already, at the 3M on only his fourth start. Wolff, still only 22, showed his hand at the end of last year with four stellar efforts in a row, the best of which was his second to Im at the Shriners. Whether he has the temperament for this week’s severe test where the winning score has been double digits under par only four times out of 15 is another matter.

Best of the Europeans could be underrated Swede Alex Noren, third to Justin Thomas in 2018 and in with a winning chance most of the way two outings ago when sixth at Phoenix. Fleetwood, third in 2020 and fourth in 2018, would have been a pick but for betraying a lack of self-belief when in with a great shout in Dubai last month.
Of the market leaders, Berger, pipped by Harrington in a 2015 playoff and fourth in 2020, makes greater appeal than 2019 runner-up Koepka who missed the cut at Riviera, and Oosthuizen, still amazingly without a victory on American soil.

Winning scores of 8, 9, 6 and 12 under par the past four years bear testimony to the uphill task facing the field of 144. The Nicklaus-designed Bear Trap, two wicked short holes, the second particularly scary, sandwiching a daunting right-dogleg par four, produced a cumulative 230 over par total last year but with water coming into play on 13 holes, there are plenty of other headaches. The biggest pain in the butt is the par-four sixth hole, rated tenth toughest on tour and harder than any of the Bear Trap trio.

The wind blowing across this exposed terrain is another key element in keeping the scoring honest. So even though it will be a mostly sunny 27C, don’t expect a birdie-fest. Jones’s record-tying 61 on day one last year was very much the exception.

Honda Classic Golf Betting Tips 2022

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Jeremy Chapman
GM Tipster

Celebrating my 52nd year tipping and writing about golf. Tipped more than 800 winners (and more than 8000 losers!). First big winner Lee Trevino at 8-1, 1972 Open at Muirfield. Biggest win £40 each-way Ernie Els at 80-1 and 50-1, 2012 Open. Most memorable: Giving the 1-2-3 at 33-1, 50-1, 33-1 out of 4 tips from a field of 180 in 2006 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. According to one bookmaker “Undoubtedly one of the greatest tipping performances of all time”. And, of course, putting up a 150/1 winner with Stewart Cink in my very first column for Golf Monthly. Lowest handicap 9 Present handicap 35.6. Publications tipped for: Sporting Life, Racing Post, Racing&Football Outlook, Golf World, Golf Weekly, Golf Monthly, Fitzdares Times. Check our Jeremy's latest tips at our Golf Betting tips home page