Golf Rankings for The Honda Classic
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Rory McIlroy [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #1
Prior to losing in the second round of last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, McIlroy had placed ninth and earned a share of second to begin his 2014 schedule. McIlroy won the Honda Classic in 2012, but withdrew halfway through the second round of play in last year’s title defense. Managers in allocation formats should note that including the Honda, McIlroy only played in a total of 15 stroke play events on the PGA Tour last year.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #5
Scott hasn’t played the Honda since missing the cut back in 2011. He ended his 2013 by lighting up four tournaments in his native Australia. So far in 2014 he’s placed inside the top 10 in both Hawaiian events held in January. Despite a lack of recent experience on this course, Scott is a top-notch selection most weeks his name appears on the entry list.
Charl Schwartzel [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #30
Schwartzel has played the Honda each of the last three years with solid performances each time out. He debuted with a T14 in 2011 after entering the weekend in third. Over the last two years he’s placed T9 and T5, respectively. Schwartzel was booted in the second round of match play, but began his 2014 Tour schedule with a solo fifth at Riviera.
Tiger Woods [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #62
Woods will be playing in the Honda for the third consecutive year after finishing with a share of second in 2012 and placing T37 last season. Tiger began 2014 with a disappointing T80 at Torrey Pines followed by a lackluster T41 in Dubai. Woods is the defending winner of next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship as well as next month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Tiger may not look like an automatic start at the moment, but he could be heating up very soon.
Graeme McDowell [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #20
After a T7 at Pebble Beach, McDowell made it to the quarterfinals in match play. He’s played the Honda in recent years with impressive results. McDowell would likely own four consecutive top-10s if not for a rough weekend of play back in 2010.
Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #8
UPDATE: ESPN - Justin Rose withdraws from Honda Classic with shoulder tendinitis; manager says move precautionary
Rose is off to a slow start with a T45 showing at Riviera and a second round exit in match play. The Honda could be just what he needs, though. Rose has played the event three of the last four years, all resulting in top-five finishes.
Sergio Garcia [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #7
Garcia is playing the Honda for the first time since competing here from 2008-10. Sergio lost in the third round of match play last week, but won a European Tour event in Qatar one month ago. Dating back to last year, Garcia hasn't placed outside of the top 20 in 10 consecutive international events.
Zach Johnson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #21
Count Johnson among several big name players that haven’t participated in the Honda in quite some time. His last appearance was back in 2008. ZJ opened 2014 with a victory and T8 in Hawaii, followed by another podium finish at the Humana Challenge. Aside from a first round departure last week in match play, Johnson has been an early force throughout 2014.
Henrik Stenson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #2
Stenson capped 2013 by capturing both the FedExCup and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. However, he began the new year by missing a cut and placing outside of the top 25 in two more Euro events before a second round defeat in match play. Stenson missed the cut at the Honda last year after placing a career-best T21 in 2012.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #18
Mickelson began 2014 with a share of second in Abu Dhabi, but withdrew the following week with lower back pain. Lefty continued to play the next two events, placing T42 at TPC Scottsdale and T19 at Pebble Beach. Mickelson will be playing the Honda for the first time since 2002. While he was hot and cold throughout 2013, this might not be the location to test Mickelson's health and level of play.
Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #34
Over the last three years, Bradley has seen his finish in the Honda improve from a missed cut in 2011 to a T12 in 2012, leading up to last year’s T4. He has played four stroke play events so far this season with three top-20s and one missed cut. Bradley is yet to record a top-15, but knows this course well enough to make it happen this week.
Lee Westwood [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #27
Westwood has played the Honda quite well over the last four years, reeling in three top-10s. He has yet to discover that kind of form so far this season, however. Westwood managed a T20 at Riviera after missing the cut at TPC Scottsdale and is now coming off a first round defeat in match play.