5 picks I love at the Honda Classic, according to a professional gambler
With the Genesis Open in the books, the PGA Tour moves on to new beginnings. The Florida swing gets underway this week with the Honda Classic, at PGA National Resort and Spa, in Palm Beach Gardens.
The venue is the resort’s Champion course, a water-laden layout with a demanding three-hole closing stretch known as the Bear Trap. Matt Jones navigated it well last year. He’s the defending champ. But Sungjae Im is the current betting favorite. The South Korean with the metronomic swing tops the board at +1,200, followed by Daniel Berger (+1,600) and last week’s winner Joaquin Niemann (+1,800).
If you didn’t have Niemann at Riviera, you woulda, coulda, shoulda. GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator, Erick Lindgren, forecast the Chilean’s victory in this space, marking the sixth time in less than nine months that he has called an outright winner for us.
We could have retired by now if we’d been listening to him.
Who is Lindgren backing this time around?
The terms are the same as ever. We give Lindgren a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money), and he gives us his 5 top wagers. You can check out his preferred plays below.
(At the Genesis last week, Lindgren’s winning Niemann play — a $200 wager at +5,000 — paid $10,000, giving him a net profit of $9,200 for the event.)
(Looking to play any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM and the online sports book is offering a Risk-Free Bet of up to $1,000.)
Sungjae Im to win, +1,200 (wager: $400)
With a few years on Tour under his belt, Im has modified his schedule to play less on the West coast. Lindgren is expecting the South Korean to break out his A game for the Florida swing.
Lucas Glover to win, +6,600 (wager: $100)
Water, water, everywhere. The eventual winner is going to have to avoid it. Ball-striking is Glover’s strength. If his putter heats up, Lindgren expects him to be in the mix.
Luke Donald top 10, +1,400 (wager: $250)
The former world No. 1 has a strong record at PGA National and has been flashing signs of form of late. “I want to bet that his experience can lead to a nice cash for both of us,” Lindgren says.
Aaron Wise, first-round leader, +5,000 (wager: $100)
Wise has posted deep-red numbers at PGA National in the past, and he struck it well last week at Riviera. “It takes fearlessness to go low here,” Lindgren says. “And Wise has plenty of that.”
Camilo Villegas, first-round top 5, +1,800 (wager: $150)
Villegas, who finished T8 here last year, has a well-earned reputation for fast starts. “This is one heck of a price that we’ll see him on the first page by the end of the day Thursday,” Lindgren says.