The Honda Classic

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The Honda Classic
Tournament information
Location Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Established 1972, 42 years ago
Course(s) PGA National Golf Club,
Champion Course
Par 70
Length 7,158 yards (6,545 m)
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $6.0 million
Month played March
Tournament record score
Aggregate 264 Justin Leonard (2003)
To par −24 Justin Leonard (2003)
Current champion
United States Russell Henley
PGA National is located in United States
PGA National
PGA National
Location in the United States

The Honda Classic is a PGA Tour golf tournament that is played each spring in Florida. It was founded in 1972 as the Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic.[1] In 1981, American Motors Corporation (AMC) backed the tournament. Since 1982, American Honda Motor Company (Honda) has been the title sponsor.

Tournament history[edit]

The event was originally played at the Inverrary Golf Club in Lauderhill, Florida.[1] In 1984, it moved to the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Florida, where it stayed until 1991. From 1992 to 1995, the event was held at the Weston Hills Golf & Country Club in Weston, Florida. It then returned to Coral Springs, first at the TPC at Eagle Trace in 1996 and then at the TPC at Heron Bay from 1997 to 2002. In 2003, the event moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, first at the Country Club at Mirasol through 2006, then starting in 2007 at PGA National Golf Club's Champion Course.

As of 2007, the tournament's main beneficiary is the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, which is chaired by Barbara Nicklaus, wife of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.

IMG bought the tournament's management company in 2013.[2]

Player participation[edit]

Some celebrated golfers have won this tournament, including Jack Nicklaus in 1977 and 1978, the only consecutive winner in its history. However, the tournament had acquired a reputation for struggling to attract the top players as it moved from course to course in South Florida. Since 2007, The Honda Classic has seen a vastly improved player field, largely due to the decision to make PGA National the tournament's permanent home. The prize money is comparable to other PGA Tour events outside of the "big nine" (the majors, the World Golf Championships individual events, The Players Championship, and The Tour Championship). The total purse was $6.0 million in 2014, with a top prize of $1.08 million (this can be contrasted to the total purse in 1981 of $300,000 (the equivalent of only $778,221 in 2014 dollars[3]). The original winner's share of $52,000 made it one of the richest stops on tour, greater than for any of the four majors, and more than double that of the Masters, which had a first prize of $25,000 in 1972.

Tournament hosts[edit]

Years No. Venue City
2007–14 8 PGA National Golf Club
(Champion Course)
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
2003–06 4 Country Club at Mirasol Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
1997–2002 6 TPC at Heron Bay Coral Springs, Florida
1996 1 TPC Eagle Trace Coral Springs, Florida
1992–95 4 Weston Hills Golf and C.C. Weston, Florida
1984–91 8 TPC Eagle Trace Coral Springs, Florida
1972–83 11 Inverrary Golf Club Lauderhill, Florida

Winners[edit]

Year Player Country Score To par Winner's
share ($)
Purse ($)
The Honda Classic
2014 Russell Henley  United States 272 −8 1,080,000 6,000,000
2013 Michael Thompson  United States 271 −9 1,080,000 6,000,000
2012 Rory McIlroy  Northern Ireland 268 −12 1,026,000 5,700,000
2011 Rory Sabbatini  South Africa 271 −9 1,026,000 5,700,000
2010 Camilo Villegas  Colombia 267 −13 1,008,000 5,600,000
2009 Y.E. Yang  South Korea 271 −9 1,008,000 5,600,000
2008 Ernie Els  South Africa 274 −6 990,000 5,500,000
2007 Mark Wilson  United States 275 −5 990,000 5,500,000
2006 Luke Donald  England 276 −12 990,000 5,500,000
2005 Pádraig Harrington  Ireland 274 −14 990,000 5,500,000
2004 Todd Hamilton  United States 276 −12 900,000 5,000,000
2003 Justin Leonard  United States 264 −24 900,000 5,000,000
2002 Matt Kuchar  United States 269 −19 630,000 3,500,000
Honda Classic
2001 Jesper Parnevik  Sweden 270 −18 576,000 3,200,000
2000 Dudley Hart  United States 269 −19 522,000 2,900,000
1999 Vijay Singh  Fiji 277 −11 468,000 2,600,000
1998 Mark Calcavecchia (2)  United States 270 −18 324,000 1,800,000
1997 Stuart Appleby  Australia 274 −14 270,000 1,500,000
1996 Tim Herron  United States 271 −17 234,000 1,300,000
1995 Mark O'Meara  United States 275 −9 216,000 1,200,000
1994 Nick Price  Zimbabwe 276 −8 198,000 1,100,000
1993 Fred Couples  United States 207* −9 198,000 1,100,000
1992 Corey Pavin  United States 273 −15 198,000 1,100,000
1991 Steve Pate  United States 279 −9 180,000 1,000,000
1990 John Huston  United States 282 −6 180,000 1,000,000
1989 Blaine McCallister  United States 266 −22 144,000 800,000
1988 Joey Sindelar  United States 276 −12 126,000 700,000
1987 Mark Calcavecchia  United States 279 −9 108,000 600,000
1986 Kenny Knox  United States 287 −1 90,000 500,000
1985 Curtis Strange  United States 275 −13 90,000 500,000
1984 Bruce Lietzke  United States 280 −8 90,000 500,000
Honda Inverrary Classic
1983 Johnny Miller (2)  United States 278 −10 72,000 400,000
1982 Hale Irwin  United States 269 −19 72,000 400,000
American Motors Inverrary Classic
1981 Tom Kite  United States 274 −14 54,000 300,000
Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic
1980 Johnny Miller  United States 274 −14 54,000 300,000
1979 Larry Nelson  United States 274 −14 54,000 300,000
1978 Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 276 −12 50,000 250,000
1977 Jack Nicklaus  United States 275 −13 50,000 250,000
1976 No tournament. Instead, the Inverrary Golf Club hosted The Players Championship
1975 Bob Murphy  United States 273 −15 52,000 260,000
1974 Leonard Thompson  United States 278 −10 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic
1973 Lee Trevino  United States 279 −9 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic
1972 Tom Weiskopf  United States 278 −10 52,000 260,000
  • * weather-shortened to 54 holes

Note: Green highlight indicates scoring records.
Sources[4][5]

Multiple winners[edit]

Three men have won the tournament more than once.

2 wins

Tournament highlights[edit]

  • 1987: Mark Calcavecchia wins his first Honda Classic title.[11] Only the year before he worked as a caddy at the tournament.
  • 1992: Corey Pavin defeats Fred Couples in a sudden-death playoff only after holing a 136-yard 8-iron shot for eagle on the 72nd hole to tie for the lead.[13]
  • 1996: Tim Herron becomes the first PGA Tour rookie in 13 years to win a tournament wire-to-wire. He defeats Mark McCumber by four shots.[14]
  • 2007: Mark Wilson wins the biggest playoff in the history of the tournament.[17] His birdie on the third hole of sudden death defeats José Cóceres. Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekley, the other participants in the four-man playoff, had been eliminated on the second playoff hole.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°49′44″N 80°08′28″W / 26.829°N 80.141°W / 26.829; -80.141