Honda Classic First Round Leader Tips: Three to follow on Thursday at PGA National

Ian Poulter ticks a lot of boxes for Mike this week
Ian Poulter ticks a lot of boxes for Mike this week
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The BB team were one birdie away from another payout last week and recommend backing the following three as the PGA Tour switches from California to Florida for the Honda Classic...

"Sam Saunders had an excellent start to the 2018 season, posting top 30 performances everywhere he's lined up including a T8 in the CareerBuilder. His form at PGA National makes for encouraging reading too, top 20s in both trips including a T14 in the 2016 Honda which came courtesy of a 69 on day one and a 67 on Saturday."

*EW Terms: 1/4 Odds | 5 Places

Adam Baylis says: Back Sam Saunders @ 80/1

Saunders had an early share of the lead at the Genesis last week, clocking out on Thursday with a 67 and the Florida man certainly has previous when it comes to fast starts, finishing 2017 ranked 10th overall for first round average score - 69.68. He's had an excellent start to the 2018 season, posting top 30 performances everywhere he's lined up including a T8 in the CareerBuilder. His form at PGA National makes for encouraging reading too, top 20s in both trips including a T14 in the 2016 Honda which came courtesy of a 69 on day one and a 67 on Saturday. If he can find a bit of consistency through the weekend then he rates as a potential danger to all and at 80/1, the grandson of Arnold Palmer is well worth siding with.

Mike Norman says: Back Ian Poulter @ 80/1

The PGA National is always a tough test, but in blustery conditions - which are forecasted for Thursday and beyond - it can be extremely tough, a grind, and one that requires plenty of patience. Open Championship winners have a very good record here, so too do good scramblers, and those who putt well - like Rickie Fowler did 12 months ago - can also prosper. Step forward my man Ian Poulter. True, Poults has never been an Open Champion, but he's finished second and third in that major in the last 10 years so we know that type of test suits. He has also gone well at the PGA National previously, finishing third in 2015 when he fired in a superb 64 on the Friday.

But perhaps more encouragingly, as Paul Krishnamurty mentions in his Find Me A 100 Winner column, is the fact Poulter topped the Scrambling stats on the PGA Tour last season, he has a good record in Florida - where he now resides of course - and on his day he is an extremely competent putter. And his recent form is encouraging too; Poulter finishing sixth at the high-class Dubai Desert Classic just two outings ago.

Joe Dyer says: Back Ollie Schniederjans @ 50/1

Everything points to a good week for Ollie Schniederjans and I'm backing the 24-year-old to sit atop the leaderboard when the dust settles on day one. The Texan has missed the odd cut in his eight tournaments this calendar year, but when he's made the weekend his worst finish is a tie for 23rd, and his best a third at the Waste Management. Schniederjans can also point to a top 10 at the Sony Open so barring a blowout on Thursday or Friday he looks destined for another strong tournament. And the challenge this week is right up his street - my man absolutely adores putting on Bermuda greens and finished ninth at the Web.com qualifying tournament played over both PGA National courses back in 2015. He's off early on day one and looks a solid each-way play at 50/1.

2018 Season P/L to date: +£96

Staked: £180
Returned: £276

*£5 e/w per bet

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