The PGA Tour is in Palm Beach Gardens this weekend for the Honda Classic. The tournament gets going today at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens.
Fan favorites Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger and Rickie Fowler will all tee up today. But, many of the top ten golfers in the world who live in South Florida are not playing.
The Honda Classic could not be more conveniently located for Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson they all live in northern Palm Beach County just miles from Honda’s home at PGA National.
Thomas, No. 7 in the world ranking, has not entered Honda since 2019. McIlroy, No. 5, has now skipped four in a row. Johnson, No. 9, hasn’t played since 2015.
So why aren’t many of the best golfer’s playing the Honda? Timing. The schedule is packed this time of year. This year, Honda is stuck between two invitationals: The Genesis hosted by Tiger Woods and the Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill, and it falls two weeks before The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
The tournament, which starts Thursday, is played on the Champion Course, which was ranked the third toughest on Tour last season.
Of course the biggest draw in golf, Tiger Woods, will not be playing because he is still recovering from severe leg injuries from a wicked crash in LA over a year ago.
“There are so many good players out here that the Honda will produce its own stars,” said Jack Nicklaus, whose Nicklaus Children’s Health Care foundation is the primary beneficiary of the Honda Classic.
The Golden Bear is careful not to publicly criticize the premier golfers who shun the event.
Phil Michelson will not be playing after calling the Saudi’s scary.
Rory McIlroy on Phil Mickelson’s attempt to recruit PGA players for the new Saudi tour despite their horrendous human rights record: “Naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant .. very surprising, disappointing, sad.” pic.twitter.com/VfJsTeUvgq
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) February 21, 2022