Golf Weekly Preview – Honda Classic | Qatar Masters

The PGA Tour literally returns home this week with the Honda Classic as the European Tour continues in Asia with the Qatar Masters.

The PGA National in Florida is the home of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, and hosts this week’s event which boasts another world class field including defending champion Rickie Fowler.

In Qatar, again the field looks competitive but is missing some of the star turns who have graced the Doha Golf club in recent years.

We run through both tournaments for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing expert Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • It is played at the PGA National Golf Club in Florida
  • First staged in 1972
  • Current champion is Rickie Fowler

FIELD: Another brilliant field from the PGA Tour, who are excelling in 2018 – with defending champion Fowler the leading light, but Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods are also present in Florida to set-up what looks like another four days of great action.

QUOTES: Fowler is looking to become the fifth player to defend this title and he is more than happy to be back, and said: I”t’s a course where there’s a lot of trouble that’s in play, it wears you out mentally and physically. So to have the win last year was pretty special. This has been a tournament that I always look forward to. I love playing the Champion Course with all the ups and downs.”

ODDS provided by Betfair: Rickie Fowler 9/1  Justin Thomas 10/1 Rory McIlroy 11/1 Sergio Garcia 16/1 Tyrrell Hatton 28/1  Alex Noren 30/1 Gary Woodland 30/1 Tommy Fleetwood 30/1 Brian Harman 33/1 Daniel Berger 35/1 Adam Scott 45/1 Brandt Snedeker 45/1 Jason Dufner 45/1 Kevin Kisner 45/1 Ollie Schniederjans 45/1 Patrick Reed 45/1 Rafa Cabrera Bello 45/1 Russell Knox 45/1 Russell Henley 45/1


  • It is played at the Doha Golf Club, Qatar
  • First staged in 1998
  • Current champion is Wang Jeung-hun

FIELD: Another less than inspiring line up from the European Tour, Wang Jeung-hun is the defending champion and is amongst the favourites along with Thorbjorn Olesen an Andy Sullivan.

QUOTES: Wang is looking forward to trying to defend his title in Doha and said: “It feels really good to be the defending champion. I don’t remember a lot from last year because all I was thinking about was winning, but it was a really good experience for me, an unforgettable one.”

ODDS provided by Betfair: Thorbjorn Olesen 14/1 Jeunghun Wang 18/1 Andy Sullivan 20/1 Chris Wood 20/1
Julian Suri 20/1 George Coetzee 22/1 Shubhankar Sharma 28/1 Thomas Detry 28/1 Jordan Smith 30/1 Alexander Bjork 33/1 Fabrizio Zanotti 35/1 Seungsu Han 35/1 Benjamin Hebert 40/1 Erik Van Rooyen 40/1 Pablo Larrazabal 40/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

The Honda Classic is a great event, always a very good watch and I would love to see Rickie Fowler do it again and I think he has a good chance of doing that – looking further down the field and Tommy Fleetwood is one to watch, little doubt.

In Doha, and it is look a very even field and that makes a winner difficult for sure, but I fancy one of the Scots to go well like Richie Ramsay or Stephen Gallacher.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

It should be an intriguing week on the two major golfing tours. The PGA switches from West Coast to East Coast while the European goes from one desert golf venue to another.

While last week’s good performers from Oman can be expected to go well in Qatar, the Honda Classic offers a chance for those more used to Bermuda greens to impress. Players who may have shown very little in recent Californian events may suddenly switch on.

At 9/1, defending champion Rickie Fowler heads the betting just one tick shorter than Justin Thomas with Rory McIlroy, the 2012 winner, another point longer than the America pair. Sergio Garcia, 16/1, is next up before 28/1 Tyrell Hatton, fourth on debut last year starts the list of players trading around the 30/1 mark.

In the European event, 14/1 Thorbjorn Olesen and last year’s winner, 18/1 Jeunghun Wang, are the only two players to trade at less than 20/1 – the price you can get on all of Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood and Julian Suri. Of the quintet it is the American, Suri, who appeals. This is another poor quality field with few reliable types and Suri could well be a future star. Last year’s Made in Denmark winner looks high-class and his long game will be a weapon on this layout.

In Florida there are numerous winners trading at huge prices but Graeme McDowell, in contention for three rounds last week before a Sunday blow-up, could be value at 66/1. The Florida resident has a strong bank of course form and last week’s effort suggests his game is coming close to a level not seen for a while.

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