PGA Tour Stats
February 26, 2019

Honda Classic 2019: Here are the tour leaders in back-nine scoring, and how that translates to success at PGA National

The Honda Classic is a week when you hear the phrase “The Bear Trap” so often that you might want to stab yourself in the eye with a letter opener. But the constant refrain also underscores the fact that navigating the back nine at PGA National’s Champion Course is an integral part of competing in the event. With that in mind, we take a look at the five players in the field with the lowest back-nine scoring averages this season and the irons they use.

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Three

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Three

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 23: Rickie Fowler of the United States plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February 23, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Photo by: David Cannon

David Cannon

Rickie Fowler
Back 9 Scoring: 33.81
Irons (4): Cobra King F9 Speedback; (4-PW): Cobra King Forged MB

Though Rickie Fowler has used his Cobra King Forged MB irons for some time, the King F9 Speedback 4-iron is a relatively new addition. Fowler spoke about having the club—which has a Graphite Design prototype shaft at 3-iron length—last fall in Las Vegas when he said, “Actually had a 4-iron from game improvement new F9 irons, and it’s an incredible 4-iron. I was hitting it off a lot of tees out here. It may be a sneaky weapon.” Fowler continued to use the club during his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and one he'll continue to rely on at the Honda Classic.

Desert Classic - Round One

Desert Classic - Round One

LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 17: Talor Gooch of the United States plays a shot on the 6th tee during the first round of the Desert Classic at the Stadium Course on January 17, 2019 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Photo by: Donald Miralle

Donald Miralle

Talor Gooch
Back 9 Scoring: 33.95
Irons (4): Callaway Apex Pro 16; (5-6): Callaway X Forged 18; (7-9): Callaway Apex MB; (PW): Callaway Mack Daddy 4

Split sets of irons are more the norm than the exception, but while many players will use a different long iron or two or perhaps a wedge that matches the rest of their wedges instead of a set wedge, Talor Gooch goes a little beyond that, employing four different models of irons, including a fairly venerable Callaway Apex Pro 16 4-iron. That's not necessarily unheard of, but it's definitely unique.

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Three

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Three

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 23: Gary Woodland of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the third round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February 23, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Photo by: Hector Vivas

Hector Vivas

Gary Woodland
Back 9 Scoring: 34.13
Irons (3, 5-PW): Wilson Staff Forged

Gary Woodland made Wilson’s signing of him to a deal to use 10 of their clubs look like a good one when he finished runner-up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions using Wilson Staff Forged blade irons. The muscleback clubs have the company’s hallmark bore-thru “Fluid Feel” hosel, which dates back to Wilson’s heyday in muscleback irons. The shape of the carbon-steel clubhead is reminiscent of the company’s recent FG Tour 100, however it boasts a milled face with a milled diamond pattern that frames the scorelines (another homage to old-school Wilson blades).

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Two

World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship - Round Two

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 22: Justin Thomas of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on February 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Photo by: David Cannon

David Cannon

Justin Thomas
Back 9 Scoring: 34.21
Irons (3): Titleist 718 AP2; (5-9): Titleist 718 MB; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM7

Another player that uses a split set of irons, Justin Thomas utilizes Titleist’s 718 MB irons for the bulk of the set, telling Golf Digest in 2017 that, “They look clean at address. The feel is great, they go through the turf well, they have a good sound to them. All the irons are great but I’ve used blades most of my life. I’m hitting them well so I’m not about to change.” And to date, he hasn’t.

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Final Round

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Final Round

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Lucas Glover of the United States plays his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 10, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Photo by: Chris Trotman

Chris Trotman

Lucas Glover
Back 9 Scoring: 34.31
Irons (3-PW): Mizuno JPX 919 Tour

When Nike got of the equipment business in 2016, perhaps no company benefited more than Mizuno, as it saw a number of the players move from swoosh-logoed irons to theirs. One of those players was former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, who eventually signed an endorsement deal with the company in 2017. Glover now uses the company’s JPX 919 Tour irons, which boast a thin topline and more mass in the toe and sole to provide more forgiveness. The added toe weight also moved the center of gravity closer to the center of the face—A place a tour player such as Glover finds with some regularity. As a personal touch, Glover has a simple “LG” stamping on the toe area of his irons.

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