Its the Honda Classic Golf as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, Justin Rose go head to head as Betvictor release the latest odds and new free bets offer.
Woods & McIlroy may have had a torrid start to the new season but that hasn’t stopped bookmakers installing the pair as market leaders for the upcoming Honda Classic.
McIlroy and Woods finished as 1-2 in last year’s renewal, however their respective performances last week at the Accenture Match Play Championship, where they were both surprisingly eliminated in the first round, won’t have encouraged many punters to take short prices this week in Florida.
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Woods, who like McIlroy also missed the cut in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, can be backed at general odds of 8/1 whilst the Northern Irishman is available at a bigger 12/1 with Bet365 and William Hill.
Punters are putting their faith more in the chances of Woods than McIlroy at the head of the market though, as the American’s game maybe more suited currently to the demands of PGA National in Florida.
There have been rumours doing the rounds that the World No.2 has been spending a lot of time back with his former wife Elin and their children, and apparently he is in a very good place, in terms of his mind-set.
That’s a dangerous sign for the opposition, although, remarkably this is a tournament he has never won.
The Champion Course is one of the trickiest courses a professional will undertake on the PGA Tour, and it was the home of the Ryder Cup in 1983 and also hosted the 1987 PGA Championship.
It has been ranked the second toughest golf course on the PGA Tour for the last two seasons. Only the best tend to flourish here.
The infamous Bear Trap, which is comprised of three holes from 15-17, all of which involve dangerous water hazards and significant wind being blown in off the coast, is regarded as one of the hardest areas of a golf course in the world.
Many players have had their tournament ended whilst undertaking the Bear Trap.
Unusually for an American based event, international players hold sway over the home brigade in the last few years.
McIlroy became the seventh international winner of the event since 2005 in 2012, following on from Padraig Harrington (2005), course record holder Luke Donald (2006), Ernie Els (2008), Y.E Yang (2009), Camilo Villegas (2010) and Rory Sabbitini (2011).
With the current negativity towards the form of both McIlroy and Woods, punters have been looking elsewhere this week for the value.
Perhaps the best-backed golfer of the week has been Englishmen Justin Rose, who has finished third and fifth in his last two appearances at PGA National. The best-priced 14/1 shot with Coral is a fabulous ball striker, which is a key trait to possess at this track. No other player will relish the Bear Trap section like Rose, and he makes plenty of appeal at a double-figure price.
Fellow Englishmen Lee Westwood also has been popular 22/1 shot with Paddy Power after being traded at 33/1 earlier this week. Much like Rose, Westwood is an epic ball striker and the prospect of playing at his local course – he recently moved to Florida – will be exciting him.
Of the Americans, Major winner Keegan Bradley has seen plenty of money wagered on his shoulder at 25/1 with William Hill. The 2011 PGA Championship played brilliantly in this tournament for three days before falling back into 12th place after a nightmare final round.
Rickie Fowler also rates as a decent punt around the 33/1 mark with Bet365. Like Westwood, he’s a Florida resident and has some good previous form in the book at PGA National. He finished tied seventh last year and seems to be maturing with every tournament he plays.