The four-week Florida swing begins this week at the Honda Classic at PGA National where we’ll hear all about the Bear Trap, the dangerous finishing stretch dotted with lagoons, bunkers and double bogeys.
Pádraig Harrington pulled off a shocker in winning this event last year, so who’s most likely to follow him this year?
5. Jason Kokrak: Let’s take a swing on this one because Kokrak hung in until the bitter end at Riviera last weekend. He plays pure power golf and accuracy is critical at PGA National, which doesn’t necessarily play to the big man’s strengths. Confidence, though, comes in handy and Kokrak has plenty.
4. Adam Scott: He seems much more settled than he was a year ago and his runner-up finish at the Northern Trust Open reinforced that idea. He likes where his game is these days.
3. Rory McIlroy: He stumbled Sunday at Riviera, shooting an ugly 75 after sharing the lead with 17 holes remaining. We’ll write that off to a bad day. Otherwise, Rory looked solid and talked like a guy who thinks he’s close to winning again.
2. Rickie Fowler: He’s had two weeks away since his playoff loss in Phoenix so Fowler should be fresh. With four victories in the past 10 months, Fowler has grown into a consistent winner.
1. Branden Grace: He’s not as familiar to American fans as most other players near the top of the world rankings but Grace is a threat every time he tees it up. He won in Qatar last month and he’s starting his Masters run-up in South Florida. Keep an eye on him.
Players in the field (11) listed in the top 20 of the OWGR:
No. 3 McIlroy
No. 5 Fowler
No. 9 Patrick Reed
No. 10 Branden Grace
No. 11 Hideki Matsuyama
No. 13 Adam Scott
No. 16 Zach Johnson
No. 17 Brooks Koepka
No. 18 Kevin Kisner
No. 19 Sergio García
No. 20 Phil Mickelson