Only four men have ever pushed their 72-hole scores into the double digits under par since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National in 2007.
It’s that kind of course, and PGA Tour officials set it up in that kind of way.
So what should we expect to be the winning score this week, remembering that par on the Champion is 70?
There are some clues.
Six-under 274 got Padraig Harrington and Daniel Berger into a playoff last year, but that wouldn’t have good enough most years.
The average score to win or at least qualify for a playoff in Honda Classics played on the Champion course is nine-under 271.
What really tells the story, however, is the weather. When the wind is blowing hard from the east, like it did in 2011, that’s big trouble for everybody everywhere, but especially on the Bear Trap.
That year 65 balls wound up in the lake at No. 17 alone, which amounts to 15 percent of all shots made there. No other par-three on the PGA Tour had that many splashdowns that year.
Since the forecast this week is generally mild, I’ll predict a winning score of 10-under. Don’t know whether anyone will flirt with a record single round, like the 61 that Brian Harman shot in the second round of the 2012 Honda, but it figures that somebody can string together some 67s and 68s.
Here’s the list of those who got it to double digits here and how they finished.
Name Yr Score Result
Camilo Villegas 2010 -13 Won
Rory McIlroy 2012 -12 Won
Tiger Woods 2012 -10 T-2nd
Tom Gillis 2012 -10 T-2nd
Villegas played great, of course, and won by five shots, but he had the best of it with the weather. Four days of decent springtime weather, with the most blustery day in the third round with 12 mph winds gusting to 22.