Just when you thought Tiger Woods was free of distraction and ready to dominate the links again, he has to go and jump right back into the spotlight. I guess that’s not really fair to say. If Tiger switched toothbrushes it would probably make the headlines. This may not be so crazy but he was recently spotted with his ex, Elin Nordegren. My guess is that they are just being friendly for the sake of their kid but who really knows. Will this be a distraction or will this be weight off his shoulders? Afterall, we’ve seen what women can do to a golf game, see: Dustin Johnson.
This week we get out of the West Coast and move into the FloRida swing. The next four tournaments are all in Florida, which happens to be where Tiger excels. The Honda Classic is played at PGA National which is a very tough course. Four of the last six winners have won the tournament with scores of 9 under or worse. If you get to double digits this week then you got a great chance to win it. Let’s take a look at who should play well this week:
Group A: Tiger Woods loves playing in Florida and Rory McIlroy is the defending champ and will be out to prove people wrong and show that he can win with his new Nike Clubs. Charles Howell the Third should have confidence after beating Tiger head to head last week, he might be worth a look as well.
Group B: Fredrik Jacobson is riding a hot stick, and has very good history at PGA National. He has finished Top 30 each of the previous four years, including two Top 10 finishes. Ride the Swede while he’s still hot. For the ultimate sleeper you’re going to have to scroll down quite a ways. Robert Allenby hasn’t done diddly for quite some time but his history at the Honda Classic is too good to ignore. If you feel confident with your first three B-Listers then Allenby is worth a nice sleeper pick.
Group C: D.A. Points has finished in the Top 12 three of the last times he’s played the Honda Classic. Points is a nice sleeper, but Lee Westwood is as solid as they come. Westwood has finished 4th, 29th, and 9th the last three years here with a scoring average under 70. Lets just say this course sets up nicely for him.
|Expert||Keeper||Why the Pick?||YTD|
|The 19th Hole||Charl Schwartzel||Last week was merely a speed bump in an otherwise fantastic stretch; 5th or better in 7 straight worldwide starts including 2 victories. He is on fire and I see him improving on his T5 finish at last year’s Honda Classic.||Avg Finish: 41st|
|Future of Fantasy||Fredrik Jacobson||The Taped-Wristman is in the zone lately and he has finished inside the Top 30 each of the last four years here.||Avg Finish: 60th|
|Jake Gaer||Graeme McDowell||nocked the rust off last week by making it to the quarterfinals, top tens in both of the last two years here.||Avg Finish: 31st|
|Expert||Keeper||Why the Pick?||YTD|
|The 19th Hole||Billy Horschel||He’s been hanging around in most events this season (0 MC’s) and has been playing solid (avg. finish 28th). I look for him to keep it going during the return trip to his home state.||Avg Finish: 21st|
|Future of Fantasy||Robert Allenby||This old man is a long shot but he has nine Top 40 finishes in 10 attempts at the Honda Classic.||Avg Finish: 30th|
|Jake Gaer||Brian Harman||Started off his rookie year similarly last year, and had a course record 61 in the second round at PGA National in 2012. Might just be more comfortable on the east coast||Avg Finish: 59th|
My Top 15 for the 2013 Northern Trust Open
1. Rory McIlroy
2. Tiger Woods
3. Charl Schwartzel
4. Lee Westwood
5. Justin Rose
6. Fredrik Jacobson
7. Dustin Johnson
8. D.A. Points
9. Martin Kaymer
10. Y.E. Yang
11. Keegan Bradley
12. Louis Oosthuizen
13. Branden Grace
14. Ernie Els
15. Charles Howell III