PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The Honda Classic will have a new spot on the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing next season, a source familiar with tournament operations on the Tour has told Golf Digest.
Next year, the Honda will be played March 15-21 and take place after the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship. This year, the Honda precedes those two events.
According to the source, the sequence of tournaments following the Genesis Invitational, the final event on the West Coast swing, will be the WGC-Mexico Championship, API, Players and Honda. As part of the shift, it’s expected that the Valspar Championship, also held in Florida, will move to a late April date.
The PGA Tour had not yet responded to Golf Digest’s request for comment.
Since the Players moved to March and the PGA Championship moved to May last year, there has been much debate about the PGA Tour’s schedule and a consolidation of high-profile events in the start of the year that has impacted strength of fields. At last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship, several top players did not play, including Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day.
This past week at PGA National, more big names were absent despite the event being played close to home for many of the game’s stars, including World No. 1 and former Honda winner Rory McIlroy, fourth-ranked Justin Thomas, World No. 5 Dustin Johnson, Cantlay and Woods.
A move to a new slot on the schedule could help the Honda, a tournament that has been on the PGA Tour schedule since 1972 and has one of the longest-running title sponsors, attract more of the game’s stars to an event that boasts a long and distinguished list of past champions.