Golf Tips: Best bets for Honda Classic and Hero Indian Open

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
Shane Lowry at the Honda Classic
Shane Lowry finished second at the Honda Classic last year

Golf tips and best bets for the Honda Classic and Hero Indian Open from Steve Rawlings, Dave Tindall and more experts...

  • Steve Rawlings' back Sungjae Im at Honda

  • Svensson a sound price at 33/1 says Dave Tindall

  • Schaper to shine at Hero says Matt Cooper

  • Get Steve's outsiders & Dave's FRL tips

  • Course info, players' form and ones to watch


  • Honda Classic: Links lovers set to excel

    Steve Rawlings says: "Although PGA National is not a links course, it's an exposed and wind-affected venue so the fact that we've seen three Open Champions win here is perhaps not surprising.

    "It was very nearly four 12 months ago. The 2019 Open champ, Lowry, was matched at a low of 1.44. Although he's never won a major, Rickie Fowler has a great links pedigree, and a decent bank of Open Championship form and Open form came to the fore seven years ago too.

    "The winner, Adam Scott, and the runner-up, Sergio Garcia, haven't won an Open but they're both great links players and they've both traded at odds-on to win the world's greatest tournament. Scotty has a decent bank of form at the Sony Open too and that's a great angle-in.

    "Mark Wilson, Ernie Els, Russell Henley and Justin Thomas, have all won this event and the Sony Open...

    "It's a weak field and the more I look at it the more I think Sungjae Im is a fair price and if he plays like he did in Phoenix or at the Farmers he's going to take a lot of beating so I'm happy to get him onside modestly at 9.8."

    Steve's bet: Back Sungjae Im @ 9.89/1

    The Honda Classic Each-Way Tips: Svensson can follow up

    Dave Tindall says: "I'll lead off with a punt on Adam Svensson at 33/1. His chance is an obvious one really. The Canadian finished tied ninth here last year after making the cut on debut and in both those events he was fourth at halfway.

    "Add that to his top 10 in elite company in last week's Genesis Invitational and his price is more than justifiable in a field like this.

    "The desired stats look good for Svensson too. He ranks 11th for Scrambling this season and was 2nd for SG: Around The Green at Riviera last week. He's also 48th for SG: Tee To Green this season.

    Honda Classic sign.jpg

    "Svensson, of course, also collected his first PGA Tour win just six starts ago when landing the RSM Classic - another event played on a Bermuda Par 70.

    "It's worth noting that two years ago on the Korn Ferry Tour, he backed up a win in March's Club Car Championship with another 'W' at August's Nationwide Children's Hospitals Championship. The circumstances look in place for Svensson to repeat that quick follow up but this time on the PGA Tour."

    Dave's bet: Back Adam Svensson each-way @ 34.033/1

    Find Me a 100 Winner: Kim a fair price to emulate Yang and Im

    Steve Rawlings says: "Korn Ferry Tour graduate, SH Kim, has been quietly acquitting himself nicely to life on the PGA Tour.

    "The 24-year-old finished an impressive fourth behind fellow Korean youngster, Tom Kim, at the Shriners Children's Open in October and he's ticked over nicely since the turn of the year, with a 12th at the Sony Open the highlight.

    "As highlighted in the preview, form at the Sony at Waialae correlates nicely with the Honda Classic since it switched to the PGA National Champion Course 16 years ago and Kim could just be ready to make the next step.

    "Voted the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Rookie of the year, Kim arrived in the States having won in his homeland and in Japan and given he finished second in the Suncoast Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour exactly a year ago on his only previous outing in Florida, he might just enjoy it here."

    Steve's bet: Back 2u SH Kim @ 130.0129/1

    The Honda Classic First-Round Leader Tips: Go with Gordon

    Dave Tindall says: "Will Gordon made his only appearance in The Honda Classic two years ago and finished a creditable 36th although his start promised more.The American fired a 67 in Thursday's opener to lie ninth after 18 holes and has since gone on to prove that he really does get out of the traps fast.

    "Gordon was FRL in the Korn Ferry's Lake Charles Championship in 2022 and on the PGA Tour this season he's claimed round one leads twice in four starts: first after a 66 in the Sanderson Farms and second thanks to a sparkling 62 at Mayakoba.

    "Altogether Gordon has fired in the 60s in nine of his last 10 first rounds and he threatened something really good at Pebble Beach last time but took an eight on the par-5 18th to hand in a 69 that could have been a 65."

    Dave's bet: Back Will Gordon each-way @ 67.066/1

    Honda Classic: Course and form stats

    Andy Swales says: "Although trees and dense vegetation are in short supply, it remains a course on which accurate tee-to-green golf is rewarded. This is largely because of its plentiful and strategic bunkering, along with sizeable water hazards on 13 holes.

    "Even though the fairways do not appear to be overly tight, the low-lying Champion Course requires solid ball-striking, while the Tifeagle Bermuda grass putting surfaces were re-laid in 2018. This parkland venue is definitely no pushover...

    "Matt Kuchar, the former world number four, has enjoyed an upturn in form during January and February. Now 44, the Florida-born pro finished eighth over the tricky Riviera layout on Sunday."

    Andy's Player to Watch: Matt Kuchar @ 25/1

    Hero Indian Open: Patience required at quirky venue

    Steve Rawlings says: "The likes of Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler have no issue with winning back-to-back events but it's a big ask for mere mortals and that's the only reason last week's Thailand Classic victor, Thorbjorn Olesen, is trading at around 12/1 in what's a fairly weak field.

    DLF COUNTRY CLUB INDIA 1 2023.jpg

    "The Dane was extremely impressive in Thailand last week and the worst he ranked in any traditional statistic category was 25th for Driving Accuracy...

    "Olesen ranked fourth for Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, having ranked sixth for that stat when finishing fourth in his penultimate start, and he ranked seventh for Strokes Gained Putting.

    "Although he's never won back-to-back, he's held his form nicely in the past and he's a fair price...

    "I've had a small bet on the favourite, Olesen, and I've also backed Shubhankar Sharma. With in-and-out form figures reading 52-2-44-7-MC-12-MC, we look set for a going week for the home hero."

    Steve's bet: Back Shubhankar Sharma @ 34.033/1

    Hero Indian Open Each-Way Tips: Jayden is Schaping up for success

    Matt Cooper says: "Jayden Schaper's had a fine reputation in South Africa ever since he became the first winner of his nation's boys' grand slam.

    "He's yet to translate that promise into wins in the pro ranks but he looks like he's starting to get there with a decent late 2022 on home soil after a second excursion to the Challenge Tour reaped little in the way of success.

    "In fact, since that return from Europe he's landed 10 top 20 finishes in 14 starts with four of them on the DP World Tour.

    "Two of those - fourth at Gary Player CC in a Sunshine Tour event, ninth at Blair Atholl in the South African Open - came on Player designs, as did his 26th in the Dunhill Championship.

    "He's also recorded sensational (albeit traditional) stats in that run - a collection of first and second rankings for Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation."

    Matt's bet: Back Jayden Schaper each-way @ 41.040/1

    Hero Indian Open: Course and current form stats

    Andy Swales says: "Opened in October 2015, Gary Player's layout is undulating with tight fairways that demands great accuracy from the tee.

    "This tree-lined and parkland course has an abundance of dog-legs, as well as large, undulating putting surfaces, while water comes into play on seven holes.

    "These tricky greens will require a deft touch with the putter, as well as solid scrambling skills should a player be slightly wayward with any approach shot...

    "Oliver Bekker: The South African won on home soil two weeks ago, which was the eighth Sunshine Tour victory of his career to date. Moving ever closer to a maiden title on the 'European' equivalent."

    Andy's Player to Watch: Oliver Bekker @ 28.027/1

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