The Honda Classic

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The Honda Classic
The Honda Classic logo.png
Tournament information
Location Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Established 1972, 45 years ago
Course(s) PGA National Golf Club,
Champion Course
Par 70
Length 7,140 yards (6,529 m)
Organized by IMG
Tour(s) PGA Tour
Format Stroke play
Prize fund $6.4 million
Month played February
Tournament record score
Aggregate 264 Justin Leonard (2003)
To par −24 Justin Leonard (2003)
Current champion
United States Rickie Fowler
PGA National  is located in the US
PGA National 
PGA National 
Location in the United States
PGA National is located in Florida
PGA National
PGA 
National
Location in Florida

The Honda Classic is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour in south Florida. It was founded 45 years ago in 1972 as Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic,[1] and is usually the first of the Florida events in late winter following the "West Coast Swing."

National Airlines was the sponsor in 1973 with Gleason and American Motors Corporation (AMC) backed it in 1981. Since 1982, American Honda Motor Company (Honda) has been the title sponsor.

Tournament history[edit]

Its predecessor, the National Airlines Open Invitational, ran for just three seasons (196971); all at the Country Club of Miami in Hialeah in late March. The Gleason tournament replaced it on the schedule a month earlier in 1972 at the Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill, it was among the richest events on tour with an inaugural purse of $260,000 and a $52,000 winner's share.[2] The regular event was not played in 1976, as Inverrary hosted the Tournament Players Championship in late February, won by Jack Nicklaus. Gleason's nine-year affiliation ended after 1980, but the event continued at Inverrary through 1983.[1] It moved to the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs in 1984 for eight editions.

From 1992 to 1995, the event was held at the Weston Hills Golf & Country Club in Weston. 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, first at the Country Club at Mirasol through 2006, then began its current run at PGA National Golf Club's Champion Course in 2007.

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

IMG bought the tournament's management company in 2013.[3]

Player participation[edit]

Some celebrated golfers have won this tournament, including 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 $6.4 million in 2017, with a top prize of $1.152 million (this can be contrasted to the total purse in 1981 of $300,000 (the equivalent of only $790,300 in 2016 dollars[4]). The original winner's share of $52,000 in 1972 made it one of the richest stops on tour, greater than for any of the four majors; it was more than double that of the Masters, which had a first prize of $25,000 in 1972.

Tournament hosts[edit]

Years No. Venue City State
2007–17 11 PGA National Golf Club
(Champion Course)
Palm Beach Gardens   Florida  
2003–06 4 Country Club at Mirasol
1997–2002 6 TPC at Heron Bay Coral Springs
1996 1 TPC Eagle Trace
1992–95 4 Weston Hills Golf and C.C. Weston
1984–91 8 TPC Eagle Trace Coral Springs
1972–83 11 Inverrary Country Club Lauderhill

Winners[edit]

Year Player Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share ($)
Purse ($)
The Honda Classic
2017 Rickie Fowler  United States 268 −12 4 strokes United States Morgan Hoffmann
United States Gary Woodland
1,152,000 6,400,000
2016 Adam Scott  Australia 271 −9 1 stroke Spain Sergio García 1,098,000 6,100,000
2015 Pádraig Harrington (2)  Ireland 274 −6 Playoff United States Daniel Berger 1,098,000 6,100,000
2014 Russell Henley  United States 272 −8 Playoff Scotland Russell Knox
Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy
United States Ryan Palmer
1,080,000 6,000,000
2013 Michael Thompson  United States 271 −9 2 strokes Australia Geoff Ogilvy 1,080,000 6,000,000
2012 Rory McIlroy  Northern Ireland 268 −12 2 strokes United States Tom Gillis
United States Tiger Woods
1,026,000 5,700,000
2011 Rory Sabbatini  South Africa 271 −9 1 stroke South Korea Yang Yong-eun 1,026,000 5,700,000
2010 Camilo Villegas  Colombia 267 −13 5 strokes United States Anthony Kim 1,008,000 5,600,000
2009 Yang Yong-eun  South Korea 271 −9 1 stroke United States John Rollins 1,008,000 5,600,000
2008 Ernie Els  South Africa 274 −6 1 stroke England Luke Donald 990,000 5,500,000
2007 Mark Wilson  United States 275 −5 Playoff Argentina José Cóceres
Colombia Camilo Villegas
United States Boo Weekley
990,000 5,500,000
2006 Luke Donald  England 276 −12 2 strokes Australia Geoff Ogilvy 990,000 5,500,000
2005 Pádraig Harrington  Ireland 274 −14 Playoff United States Joe Ogilvie
Fiji Vijay Singh
990,000 5,500,000
2004 Todd Hamilton  United States 276 −12 1 stroke United States Davis Love III 900,000 5,000,000
2003 Justin Leonard  United States 264 −24 1 stroke United States Chad Campbell
United States Davis Love III
900,000 5,000,000
2002 Matt Kuchar  United States 269 −19 2 strokes United States Brad Faxon
United States Joey Sindelar
630,000 3,500,000
Honda Classic
2001 Jesper Parnevik  Sweden 270 −18 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia
Australia Geoff Ogilvy
New Zealand Craig Perks
576,000 3,200,000
2000 Dudley Hart  United States 269 −19 1 stroke United States J. P. Hayes
United States Kevin Wentworth
522,000 2,900,000
1999 Vijay Singh  Fiji 277 −11 2 strokes United States Payne Stewart 468,000 2,600,000
1998 Mark Calcavecchia (2)  United States 270 −18 3 strokes Fiji Vijay Singh 324,000 1,800,000
1997 Stuart Appleby  Australia 274 −14 1 stroke United States Michael Bradley
United States Payne Stewart
270,000 1,500,000
1996 Tim Herron  United States 271 −17 4 strokes United States Mark McCumber 234,000 1,300,000
1995 Mark O'Meara  United States 275 −9 1 stroke England Nick Faldo 216,000 1,200,000
1994 Nick Price  Zimbabwe 276 −8 1 stroke Australia Craig Parry 198,000 1,100,000
1993 Fred Couples  United States 207* −9 Playoff United States Robert Gamez 198,000 1,100,000
1992 Corey Pavin  United States 273 −15 Playoff United States Fred Couples 198,000 1,100,000
1991 Steve Pate  United States 279 −9 3 strokes United States Paul Azinger
Canada Dan Halldorson
180,000 1,000,000
1990 John Huston  United States 282 −6 2 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia 180,000 1,000,000
1989 Blaine McCallister  United States 266 −22 4 strokes United States Payne Stewart 144,000 800,000
1988 Joey Sindelar  United States 276 −12 2 strokes United States Ed Fiori
Scotland Sandy Lyle
United States Payne Stewart
126,000 700,000
1987 Mark Calcavecchia  United States 279 −9 3 strokes West Germany Bernhard Langer
United States Payne Stewart
108,000 600,000
1986 Kenny Knox  United States 287 −1 1 stroke United States Andy Bean
United States John Mahaffey
United States Jodie Mudd
United States Clarence Rose
90,000 500,000
1985 Curtis Strange  United States 275 −13 Playoff United States Peter Jacobsen 90,000 500,000
1984 Bruce Lietzke  United States 280 −8 Playoff United States Andy Bean 90,000 500,000
Honda Inverrary Classic
1983 Johnny Miller (2)  United States 278 −10 2 strokes United States Jack Nicklaus 72,000 400,000
1982 Hale Irwin  United States 269 −19 1 stroke United States George Burns
United States Tom Kite
72,000 400,000
American Motors Inverrary Classic
1981 Tom Kite  United States 274 −14 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus 54,000 300,000
Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic
1980 Johnny Miller  United States 274 −14 2 strokes United States Charles Coody
United States Bruce Lietzke
54,000 300,000
1979 Larry Nelson  United States 274 −14 3 strokes United States Grier Jones 54,000 300,000
1978 Jack Nicklaus (2)  United States 276 −12 1 stroke United States Grier Jones 50,000 250,000
1977 Jack Nicklaus  United States 275 −13 5 strokes South Africa Gary Player 50,000 250,000
1976: Inverrary hosted the Tournament Players Championship
1975 Bob Murphy  United States 273 −15 1 stroke United States Eddie Pearce 52,000 260,000
1974 Leonard Thompson  United States 278 −10 1 stroke United States Hale Irwin 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic
1973 Lee Trevino  United States 279 −9 1 stroke United States Forrest Fezler 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic
1972 Tom Weiskopf  United States 278 −10 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus 52,000 260,000

*Weather-shortened to 54 holes
Note: Green highlight indicates scoring records.
Source:[5][6]

Multiple winners[edit]

Four men have won the tournament more than once.

2 wins

^ Nicklaus also won the 1976 Tournament Players Championship at Inverrary, which displaced the event.

Tournament highlights[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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