The 2023 Honda Classic is here with us, running from Feb 23-26 at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Coming on the heels of two incredible events dominated by elite players, the Honda Classic may not involve many stars but still promises an entertaining week on the golf course. Most star players are taking a break to prepare for the later doubles event.

Who is taking part?

Of those playing in the singles round, three players rank in the top 20 on the Official World Golf Rankings – Sung-jae Im, Billy Horschel, and Shane Lowry at No.18, 19, and 20, respectively. There are eight additional players in the tournament who rank in the top 50.

Sung-jae Im is the favourite to shine, with most bookmakers listing him at 17/2. He won the 2020 Honda Classic and is highly expected to do it again this year. Some of the other players who many are also backing to win the tournament include Shane Lowry at 14/1, Aaron Wise at 22/1, Min Woo Lee at 25/1, Alex Noren at 25/1, and Chris Kirk at 25/1.

Sung-jae Im playing golf

2023 Honda Classic tournament info

This 2023 Honda Classic tournament has $8.4 million up for grabs, with the winner grabbing $1.512 million. This is more than enough to ensure that there is likely to be a very competitive week on the course. 

The 7,125–yard par 70 PGA National features Bermuda grass greens and was initially a Tom Fazio design before Jack Nicklaus redesigned it. Holes 15-17 are the most challenging at present, with the infamous “Bear Trap” making them the toughest in the course. The holes consist of two par-3s and one par-4 with a lot of water on the course offering an exciting end of rounds.

Players can therefore expect a challenging course at the PGA National, where 12-under has been the winning score in the last ten years, out of which only three years have registered double-digit winning scores. This is not expected to change much in this edition.

Past winners with big odds and this year’s favourite

Keith Mitchel (2019), Padraig Harrington (2015), Rusell Henley (2014), and Michael Thompson (2013) are some of the winners who had odds of 300/1 or higher entering the round.

US Sportsbook BetMGM places Sung-jae Im at 17/2 entering the week, the best odds among the players. The South Korean is in good form, having registered two top-ten finishes in his last three outings, and looks to record a win that has eluded him for a year.

In the absence of some of the game’s biggest names, such as Rory Mcilroy, Scottie Scheffler, and John Rahm, Im has a fantastic chance to reclaim the title.

Bear Trap at Honda Classic

Could the winner claim the number one spot?

The three aforementioned golfers have all occupied the top spot at the Official World Golf Ranking this year. Rory Mcilroy opened the year at the top following much controversy around his views on the PGA and LIV golfers being ranked together. He was dethroned by Scottie Scheffler after winning the Phoenix Open. The following week, John Rahm won at the Genesis Invitational to replace Scottie at the top. 

With the top spot changing hands quickly this year, we will likely see more upsets in the upcoming PGA Tours, including at the Honda Classic. There are chances that we might witness the 2012 scenario where Mcilroy and Luke Donald exchanged the number one spot seven times. 

In 2015, the top spot changed hands eight times between Mcilroy, Jason Day, and Jordan Spieth. Most exchanges were recorded in 2018 when Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Roe, and Brooks Koepka exchanged it nine times.

In the past, one player would dominate the charts for an extended period. Tiger Woods sat on the top for over 250 weeks on two occasions.

Exciting young talents like Min Woo Lee, Denny McCarthy, Taylor Pendrith, and Thomas Detry will also aim to cause upset and bag victory. However, with the highest-ranking player in this tournament in 18th place, it is unlikely winning this tournament will put them in the top spot, but it will certainly help push them further up the rankings.

2023 Honda Classic odds

These are the average odds at the 2023 Honda Classic

  • Sungjae Im 17/2
  • Shane Lowry 14/1
  • Aaron Wise 22/1
  • Min Woo Lee 25/1
  • Alex Noren 25/1
  • Chris Kirk 25/1
  • Denny McCarthy 28/1
  • Matt Kuchar 28/1
  • Billy Horschel 30/1
  • Taylor Pendrith 35/1
  • Thomas Detry 35/1
  • Adam Svensson 35/1
  • Sepp Straka 35/1
  • J.T. Poston 35/1
  • Cam Davis 40/1
  • Harris English 40/1
  • Adrian Meronk 40/1
  • Jhonattan Vegas 45/1
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout 50/1
  • Lee Hodges 50/1
  • Robby Shelton 55/1
  • Will Gordon 55/1
  • Patrick Rodgers 55/1
  • Garrick Higgo 55/1
  • Nick Hardy 55/1
  • Ben Griffin 55/1
  • Justin Suh 60/1
  • Ryan Palmer 60/1
  • Byeong Hun An 60/1
  • Danny Willett 60/1
  • Aaron Rai 65/1
  • Padraig Harrington 65/1
  • Stephan Jaeger 65/1
  • Hayden Buckley 65/1
  • Joseph Bramlett 65/1
  • Lanto Griffin 70/1
  • Webb Simpson 70/1
  • Davis Riley 75/1
  • Erik Van Rooyen 80/1
  • S.H. Kim 80/1

Honda Classic golf course
  • Harry Hall 90/1
  • Russell Knox 90/1
  • Brandon Wu 90/1
  • Charley Hoffman 90/1
  • Ben Taylor 90/1
  • Callum Tarren 100/1
  • Matt Wallace 110/1
  • Matthias Schwab 110/1
  • Greyson Sigg 110/1
  • Mark Hubbard 110/1
  • Aaron Baddeley 110/1
  • Zach Johnson 130/1
  • Chesson Hadley 130/1
  • MJ Daffue 130/1
  • Pierceson Coody 130/1
  • Kramer Hickok 130/1
  • Michael Kim 130/1
  • Ben Martin 130/1
  • Dylan Frittelli 130/1
  • Carl Yuan 130/1
  • Adam Long 130/1
  • Adam Schenk 130/1
  • Peter Malnati 150/1
  • Sam Stevens 150/1
  • Luke Donald 150/1
  • Matti Schmid 150/1
  • Eric Cole 150/1
  • Harry Higgs 150/1
  • Austin Eckroat 150/1
  • Danny Lee 150/1
  • Akshay Bhatia 150/1
  • Erik Barnes 180/1
  • Zecheng Dou 180/1
  • David Lingmerth 180/1
  • Dylan Wu 180/1
  • Ryan Moore 200/1
  • Satoshi Kodaira 200/1
  • Kevin Tway 200/1
  • Ryan Armour 200/1
  • Vincent Norrman 250/1

Our pick for the Honda Classic

Im is the number one favourite for this tournament, and rightly so with his recent form proving strong. However, for those looking for an outside bet that could go all the way, we’re backing Billy Horschel at 30/1, although to make things a little safer, you can back him each way. His odds are pretty high considering his resume, and he’s had some close games this season. But will be wanting to get a big win on his belt and we reckon the 2023 Honda Classic could be the one where he manages to get his hands on a trophy and of course, a big paycheque.

Honda Classic golf course ahead of the 2023 PGA tournament

For even more coverage of PGA events like the Honda Classic, check out our Golf section.