Just like at last week’s Northern Trust Open, The Honda Classic boasts an exceptional field. So, it’s another tournament that helps explain why golfers are capped at three starts apiece per segment. And given the ownership percentages of the chalk over this fortnight, and with the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on deck and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in three weeks, to name two more sites where big names compete, it’s going to be intriguing how gamers line up for the Masters, the 10th of 11 stops in Segment 2.
As it concerns the goings-on at PGA National’s Champion Course, seven of the top eight most-picked players line up exactly as I slotted them in the Power Rankings, including each of the top five. (Last week, four of the top nine dropped into their exact places in the Power Rankings, and I thought that that was an anomaly!)
Back in action since his emotional defeat at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Rickie Fowler easily paces the field of 144 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, at 70.3 percent. Perhaps his 36-hole game with Michael Jordan on Tuesday (at Floridian National Golf Club) had something to do with his shares. Or maybe it’s because Fowler has been lighting the world on fire since emerging with victory at TPC Sawgrass nine months ago.
With splits comfortably over 50 percent, both Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott have gamers’ confidence this week, more so than Jordan Spieth at Riviera when the 22-year-old commanded “just” 47.3 percent for second-most a week ago. However, Spieth’s comparatively smaller slice was likely due to rationing. His missed cut rewarded the patient.
The love for Kevin Kisner continues despite the absence of course success. He’s a surprising sixth in ownership percentage at PGA National with 30.1. The same could be said of Zach Johnson at ninth with 22.7 percent. This faith is split between recent form and cachet because he has not played well here. His overall record in Florida is also uninspiring, but he presents a safer spell for a bigger name. Bay Hill and Augusta National are sensible spots to invest in ZJ, so make sure that you’re always counting starts.
Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia, who at No. 6 in my Power Rankings is the highest-ranked in that feature outside the top-10 most-picked for The Honda Classic, owns a workmanlike slate at PGA National with no missed cuts and two top 15s in five trips. Yet, he’s 19th in shares with just 7.1 percent. Apathy among gamers as it concerns the Spaniard is not a new phenomenon, especially as he’s licking his wounds from a surprising missed cut at Riviera.
Defending champion Padraig Harrington checks in at 20th with 6.8 percent. Fittingly, the man he outlasted in last year’s playoff, Daniel Berger, ranks 21st with 6.1 percent. Neither is impressing right now, but course history buffs jam the polls, too.
PLAY FANTASY GOLF
You can participate in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf driven by AVIS by clicking here. The game, which uses live ShotLink scoring, takes into account more than a player's score. Players also earn points based on their performance in three categories: driving, approach shots and short game. Gamers can earn prizes for weekly, segment and season-long performance.
MOST-PICKED PLAYERS: THE HONDA CLASSIC
NOTE: Rob’s Rating refers to where our Fantasy Insider slotted a golfer in his preview material.
No. Player Percentage Rob's Rating
1. Rickie Fowler
70.3% No. 1 2. Rory McIlroy
57.1% No. 2 3. Adam Scott
54.5% No. 3 4. Patrick Reed
40.9% No. 4 5. Phil Mickelson
34.2% No. 5 6. Kevin Kisner
30.1% No. 12 7. Brooks Koepka
28.8% No. 7 8. Hideki Matsuyama
22.8% No. 8 9. Zach Johnson
10. Russell Knox
20.8% No. 14
Golfers in the Power Rankings and outside the top 10 in most owned
Player Owned ranked Percentage 6.
19th 7.1% 9.
Branden Grace 11th 17.5% 10. Luke Donald
12th 15.1% 11.
3.5% 13. Freddie Jacobson
32nd 3.4% 15. Paul Casey 17th 8.0%