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

American Will Gordon
Will Gordon can start fast

The PGA Tour heads to Florida and Dave Tindall has three picks to be first-round leader at PGA National...

  • 66/1 Will Gordon is a proven fast starter and played well here in round one on his last appearance

  • 40/1 Aaron Wise opened 64-64 here in 2021 and often gets out of the blocks fast

  • 80/1 Callum Tarren is another quick starter who did well here on his only previous visit


  • Weather forecast for Thursday: Temperatures start in the high 60s for the morning starters and peak at 85 around 1pm. Winds look lighter for the first few hours of play before rising to 10-12mph in the afternoon.

    That's not a massive difference but it looks sensible to pick two from the a.m. wave. History backs that up as seven of the last nine first-round leaders went out early.

    Will fits the bill

    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.

    Back Will Gordon each-way @

    67.0

    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.

    Gordon withdrew from that event which on first glance looks a concern but that was quite a week for WDs. Bad weather caused the event to roll into Monday and several in the field, including Gordon, already had plans to play the Phoenix Open qualifiers that day.

    Since contesting the 2021 Honda, Gordon's only start in the Sunshine State came in the 2022 Suncoast Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour.

    He set out with a 65 in round one to sit fifth after day one and went on to finish sixth.

    Gordon, a 66/1 shot, heads out at 07.12.

    Wise move to back Aaron

    Aaron Wise was the first-round leader at the Houston Open five starts ago thanks to a 65 while he started the calendar year with a 66 in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a score good enough for fifth after day one.

    A proven fast starter, he made quite an impact in this event two years ago when firing 64-64 to take the halfway lead (he was second after day one).

    Wise was in second place with 18 to play before sliding back to 13th but clearly he's able to thrive on this layout.

    Back Aaron Wise each-way @

    41.0

    He's also been in the top two in the Arnold Palmer Invitational - another Florida event - after the opening lap and two missed cuts on his latest two starts aren't a big concern given that his round scores were 70-70-68 at The American Express and 73-70 in Phoenix.

    Wise heads out at 07.23 and is worth a play at 40s.

    Give Tarren a try

    Callum Tarren showed he could start fast on a tough course when shooting a 67 in round one of last year's US Open, a total that put him second at close of play.

    He'd been third after 18 holes of the Wells Fargo two starts earlier while he's since claimed third spot after day one at July's Barracuda Championship and November's RSM Classic.

    He didn't have the best West Coast Swing but 25th in the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines was a decent knock and he also shot a 65 on day three of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

    Back Callum Tarren each-way @

    81.0

    As for Florida form, Tarren was in the top five after the opening lap of two of his last four Korn Ferry Tour starts there.

    And in this very event last year, a Thursday 68 put him 10th after day one. Tarren went even lower on day four, shooting a 66 to finish in the top 30.

    That'll give him the confidence to play well again at the Champion Course so back the Englishman, a 13.02 starter, at 80s.


    Read all our other Golf coverage ahead of this week's events below here!

    Dave Tindall goes for Adam Svensson each-way in the Honda Classic

    Course form and current stats by Andy Swales for Honda Classic

    Course form and current stats by Andy Swales for Hero Indian Open

    Steve Rawlings tips Shubhankar Sharma for the Hero Indian Open

    Steve Rawlings' tips both Sungjae Im and Harris English at the Honda

    Steve Rawlings tries to find us a triple digit winner in his FindMe100

    Matt Cooper likes the look of Shubhankar Sharma at the Hero Indian

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