The Loop

Honda Wanders No More

February 28, 2008

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The proposed new order of play for the Florida swing next year will benefit no tournament more than the Honda Classic. A wandering vagabond for years, the Honda seems to have found a permanent home at PGA National's Champion Course and if it's wedged between the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the WGC-CA Championship at Doral -- as has been suggested -- it's virtually guaranteed a superior field. And, not coincidentally, the PGA Tour can also rely on the best players in the world spending those three weeks in the United States.

"Looking at the big picture it's going to help us," says Ken Kennerly, the Honda event's executive director. "Wedged between the two World Golf Championships with Match Play being the event before us I think will help. Half the field is eliminated by Wednesday and then another 16 by Thursday. If it was a full field event prior to us and a full field event after us, that's a lot of big golf right in a row and I think that would be a little bit more concerning. But, I think with Match Play before us a lot of the international players are going to stay in America because they're going to want to play at Doral.

"We've really upgraded [the Honda Classic] substantially. It's a very similar golf course to Doral, in terms of condition. Bermuda greens, Bermuda grasses. It's a great warm up for Doral, frankly. It's like Westchester was prior to the U.S. Open."

-- Jim Moriarty