Sungjae Im comes into PGA National as the favorite to win his second straight title at the Honda Classic this weekend, a tournament that has already lost three players due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Scott Piercy, Doc Redman, and Gary Woodland each withdrew from the Honda Classic on Monday after testing positive for the virus.
Berger’s withdrawal makes Im the man to beat
All three played last week at the Players Championship. Only Piercy made the cut and played through the entire weekend.
The PGA Tour has seen a smattering of COVID-19 issues this season, though none have been widespread. So far, officials have confirmed 10 players as testing positive over the course of 11 tournament weeks in 2021.
|Honda Classic Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Sungjae Im: +1200||Joaquin Niemann: +1400|
|Adam Scott: +2200||Lee Westwood: +2200|
|Shane Lowry: +2500||Russell Henley: +3000|
|Cameron Tringale: +3300||Talor Gooch: +3500|
|Brendan Steele: +4000||Chris Kirk: +4000|
When the action begins on Thursday, bettors – and the up to 10,000 fans in attendance each day – will be focused on who’s actually on the course. Im leads the field as the top name and the defending champion. His odds of winning back-to-back titles improved even further when Daniel Berger withdrew from the Honda Classic on Wednesday with a rib injury. Berger would be been the highest-ranked player participating. His withdrawal leaves just five of the world’s top 50 players in the field.
The 18th-ranked Im now tops that list. Im enters as a +1200 pick to win the Honda Classic, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. That puts him just ahead of Joaquin Niemann (+1400), with the two standing out as clear favorites.
Westwood is coming in hot
Im won his only career PGA Tour title at the Honda Classic last year. He says he’s a fan of the Florida swing, making this an ideal spot for him to pick up win number two.
“The greens are firm. There’s a lot of water. I know all the players will be struggling, including myself, but I try to have fun playing through the challenges,” Im told reporters on Tuesday. “I absolutely agree with all the people saying this is one of the toughest courses. It tends to get really windy here, and even without winds the greens are always firm, and off the tee box there’s so much water everywhere that it just gives a lot of pressure before you hit every shot.”
Lee Westwood is sitting high on the betting boards this week, with DraftKings listing him at +2200. Westwood booked back-to-back runner-up finishes over the past two weeks, making him one of the hottest golfers on the planet.
“I don’t know what to expect from myself at the moment,” Westwood said, via Golfweek. “I’m obviously coming off two good results and my game feels good. I’m putting well, and if I’m feeling all right … there’s no reason why I shouldn’t play well. I play well around this golf course.
Other top contenders at the Honda Classic include Adam Scott (+2200), Shane Lowry (+2500), and Russell Henley (+3000).