GARCIA, ELS JOIN HONDA FIELD
February 16, 2010
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL -- Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els, two of the top International names
in golf, have committed to play in the 2010 Honda Classic, a PGA TOUR event which will be
held March 1-7 at PGA National Resort & Spa.
Els won The Honda Classic in 2008. He and Garcia join Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Retief
Goosen and Robert Allenby in giving The Honda a contingent of top early International
entries to take on defending champion Y.E. Yang of South Korea on the challenging Champion
course at PGA National Resort & Spa. All six are presently ranked in the top 20 in the
World Golf Rankings.
Garcia rose as high as No. 2 in the world in 2008 and presently sits at No. 12 after being
bothered by a strained hand injury in the middle part of last year. But he recently turned
30 and appears in the prime of his career. He long has been regarded as one of the game's
best ball strikers and has worked hard in recent years on his putting.
"I had a tough time throughout the middle of last year, but towards the end I was feeling
pretty good," Garcia said. "I felt like I was back into it. I felt like my head was
starting to be at the right place again. And unfortunately when I was starting to play the
best, when things were starting to happen again for me, I hurt my hand again and then I
forced it by playing the World Cup.
"It was a very good learning year for me. Golf-wise it probably wasn't very good. But I
think that it's one of those years that you learn a lot from and it helps you get better. "
Garcia has been trying for a Major breakthrough ever since he finished second to Woods at
the 1999 PGA Championship. He has come close, losing close finishes to Padraig Harrington
at the 2007 British Open and the 2008 PGA Championship. But many top players waited until
their 30's to make major breakthroughs. Phil Mickelson didn't win his first major until he
was 33, and Vijay Singh didn't take his until he was 35. It is considered only a matter of
time before Garcia triumphs in one of the big four tournaments as well.
Els has shown signs thus far in 2010 that he is getting his game in peak form. He has Top
10 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open and the Northern Trust Open and finished 12th at
the Sony Open in Hawaii. In 2009, he had seven Top 10 finishes in 19 starts on the PGA
TOUR. He also finished eighth at the British Open and sixth at the PGA Championship. Late
in the year, he had runner-up finishes at The Barclays and the HSBC Championship. Els
attributed some of his success to the use of a new Callaway golf ball in addition to
improvement in his short game and putting. He presently is ranked 20th in the world.
"I'm feeling good about my future again," Els said.
Allenby has also been red hot. He won the Sun City Challenge in South Africa and the
Australian PGA in consecutive weeks in December and then finished second at the Sony Open
in Hawaii in January. Allenby followed that up with a ninth place finish at the Farmers
"I think for me, if I'm playing well, it just goes through my whole game," Allenby said.
"You know, the majority of the time I'm always hitting the ball pretty well, but I'm just
not putting very well. My putting is good at the moment. It feels very solid, and it's been
very consistent for probably six months really.
"I've had a lot of good results, and then obviously winning at the end of last year twice
was great, and then Sony was a great way to start the year with a second."
Other early entrants into the 2010 Honda Classic include former champions Luke Donald, Mark
Calcavecchia, Todd Hamilton, Tim Herron, and Mark Wilson.
The 2010 edition of The Honda Classic will be played March 1-7 at PGA National Resort &
The tournament, Palm Beach County's largest sporting event, awarded more than $642,000 to
area children's charities in 2009 to surpass the $16 million mark in charitable
contributions during American Honda's 28-year tenure as title sponsor.
Individual daily tickets can be purchased for $15 (Tuesday and Wednesday), $30 (Thursday
and Friday) or $40 (Saturday and Sunday). A Classic Value Pack good for the entire week is
$95 and includes over $300 worth of added value coupons from area golf courses, restaurants
and PGA National Resort & Spa.
Call 1-866-8HONDA8 (866-846-6328) to order tickets or visit thehondaclassic.com.