The Honda Classic
The Honda Classic is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour in south Florida. It was founded in 1972 as Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic, and prior to a schedule change in 2021 was frequently the first of the Florida events in late winter following the "West Coast Swing."
|Location||Palm Beach Gardens, Florida|
|Established||1972, 49 years ago|
|Course(s)||PGA National Resort and Spa|
|Length||7,140 yards (6,529 m)|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||264 Justin Leonard (2003)|
|To par||−24 as above|
The tournament's predecessor, the National Airlines Open Invitational, ran for just three seasons from 1969 to 1971), all in late March at the Country Club of Miami in Hialeah. The Gleason tournament replaced it on the schedule a month earlier in 1972 at the Inverrary Country Club (East course) in Lauderhill, and was among the richest events on tour with an inaugural purse of $260,000 and a $52,000 winner's share.
The 1981 event was renamed "American Motors Inverrary Classic" as it was sponsored by American Motors Corporation, then the following two years it was known as the "Honda Inverrary Classic" after a switch in sponsor to Honda. In 1984 the tournament moved to TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, where it remained until 1991.
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 to the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa in 2007.
Some celebrated players 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 regular PGA Tour events. 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 $853,990 in 2020 dollars). 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.
|2007–21||15||PGA National Resort and Spa
|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
- No event in 1976, Inverrary hosted TPC.
|Year||Winner||Score||To par||Margin of
|The Honda Classic|
|2021||Matt Jones||268||−12||5 strokes||Brandon Hagy||1,260,000||7,000,000|
|2020||Im Sung-jae||274||−6||1 stroke||Mackenzie Hughes||1,260,000||7,000,000|
|2019||Keith Mitchell||271||−9||1 stroke|| Rickie Fowler
|2018||Justin Thomas||272||−8||Playoff||Luke List||1,188,000||6,600,000|
|2017||Rickie Fowler||268||−12||4 strokes|| Morgan Hoffmann
|2016||Adam Scott||271||−9||1 stroke||Sergio García||1,098,000||6,100,000|
|2015||Pádraig Harrington (2)||274||−6||Playoff||Daniel Berger||1,098,000||6,100,000|
|2014||Russell Henley||272||−8||Playoff|| Russell Knox
|2013||Michael Thompson||271||−9||2 strokes||Geoff Ogilvy||1,080,000||6,000,000|
|2012||Rory McIlroy||268||−12||2 strokes|| Tom Gillis
|2011||Rory Sabbatini||271||−9||1 stroke||Yang Yong-eun||1,026,000||5,700,000|
|2010||Camilo Villegas||267||−13||5 strokes||Anthony Kim||1,008,000||5,600,000|
|2009||Yang Yong-eun||271||−9||1 stroke||John Rollins||1,008,000||5,600,000|
|2008||Ernie Els||274||−6||1 stroke||Luke Donald||990,000||5,500,000|
|2007||Mark Wilson||275||−5||Playoff|| José Cóceres
|2006||Luke Donald||276||−12||2 strokes||Geoff Ogilvy||990,000||5,500,000|
|2005||Pádraig Harrington||274||−14||Playoff|| Joe Ogilvie
|2004||Todd Hamilton||276||−12||1 stroke||Davis Love III||900,000||5,000,000|
|2003||Justin Leonard||264||−24||1 stroke|| Chad Campbell
Davis Love III
|2002||Matt Kuchar||269||−19||2 strokes|| Brad Faxon
|2001||Jesper Parnevik||270||−18||1 stroke|| Mark Calcavecchia
|2000||Dudley Hart||269||−19||1 stroke|| J. P. Hayes
|1999||Vijay Singh||277||−11||2 strokes||Payne Stewart||468,000||2,600,000|
|1998||Mark Calcavecchia (2)||270||−18||3 strokes||Vijay Singh||324,000||1,800,000|
|1997||Stuart Appleby||274||−14||1 stroke|| Michael Bradley
|1996||Tim Herron||271||−17||4 strokes||Mark McCumber||234,000||1,300,000|
|1995||Mark O'Meara||275||−9||1 stroke||Nick Faldo||216,000||1,200,000|
|1994||Nick Price||276||−8||1 stroke||Craig Parry||198,000||1,100,000|
|1993||Fred Couples||207[a]||−9||Playoff||Robert Gamez||198,000||1,100,000|
|1992||Corey Pavin||273||−15||Playoff||Fred Couples||198,000||1,100,000|
|1991||Steve Pate||279||−9||3 strokes|| Paul Azinger
|1990||John Huston||282||−6||2 strokes||Mark Calcavecchia||180,000||1,000,000|
|1989||Blaine McCallister||266||−22||4 strokes||Payne Stewart||144,000||800,000|
|1988||Joey Sindelar||276||−12||2 strokes|| Ed Fiori
|1987||Mark Calcavecchia||279||−9||3 strokes|| Bernhard Langer
|1986||Kenny Knox||287||−1||1 stroke|| Andy Bean
|1985||Curtis Strange||275||−13||Playoff||Peter Jacobsen||90,000||500,000|
|1984||Bruce Lietzke||280||−8||Playoff||Andy Bean||90,000||500,000|
|Honda Inverrary Classic|
|1983||Johnny Miller (2)||278||−10||2 strokes||Jack Nicklaus||72,000||400,000|
|1982||Hale Irwin||269||−19||1 stroke|| George Burns
|American Motors Inverrary Classic|
|1981||Tom Kite||274||−14||1 stroke||Jack Nicklaus||54,000||300,000|
|Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic|
|1980||Johnny Miller||274||−14||2 strokes|| Charles Coody
|1979||Larry Nelson||274||−14||3 strokes||Grier Jones||54,000||300,000|
|1978||Jack Nicklaus (2)||276||−12||1 stroke||Grier Jones||50,000||250,000|
|1977||Jack Nicklaus||275||−13||5 strokes||Gary Player||50,000||250,000|
|1976: Inverrary hosted the Tournament Players Championship|
|1975||Bob Murphy||273||−15||1 stroke||Eddie Pearce||52,000||260,000|
|1974||Leonard Thompson||278||−10||1 stroke||Hale Irwin||52,000||260,000|
|Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic|
|1973||Lee Trevino||279||−9||1 stroke||Forrest Fezler||52,000||260,000|
|Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic|
|1972||Tom Weiskopf||278||−10||1 stroke||Jack Nicklaus||52,000||260,000|
- Shortened to 54 holes due to weather.
Four men have won the tournament more than once.
- 2 wins
- Jack Nicklaus: 1977, 1978 (consecutive)^
- Johnny Miller: 1980, 1983
- Mark Calcavecchia: 1987, 1998
- Pádraig Harrington: 2005, 2015
^ Nicklaus also won the 1976 Tournament Players Championship at Inverrary, which displaced the event.
- 1972: Tom Weiskopf outdueled Jack Nicklaus by one shot to win the first edition.
- 1974: Leonard Thompson earned the first of his three PGA Tour wins, one shot ahead of Hale Irwin. After his victory, Thompson donated $10,000 of his winnings to the Boys Clubs of America.
- 1978: Jack Nicklaus birdies the last five holes to defeat Grier Jones by one shot, for his third consecutive win at Inverrary.
- 1980: Johnny Miller records his first tour win since the 1976 Open Championship, finishing two shots ahead of Bruce Lietzke and Charles Coody.
- 1981: Curtis Strange had a four-shot lead before the final into the final round. In the end, Tom Kite won and avoided a playoff because Jack Nicklaus missed a 3-footer for par.
- 1986: Monday qualifier Kenny Knox wins by one-shot over Clarence Rose, Jodie Mudd, Andy Bean, and John Mahaffey in spite of shooting a third round 80.
- 1987: Mark Calcavecchia wins his first Honda Classic title. Only the year before he worked as a caddy at the tournament.
- 1990: John Huston wears three different pairs of shoes in practice and during the tournament after the PGA declared his wedge-soled Weight-Rites illegal.
- 1991: Steve Pate shoots the worst last-round score by a PGA Tour tournament winner in ten years, a 75, but still holds on to win by three shots over Paul Azinger and Dan Halldorson.
- 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.
- 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.
- 2000: Dudley Hart birdies the last four holes to defeat J. P. Hayes and Kevin Wentworth by one shot.
- 2004: Thirty-eight-year-old PGA Tour rookie Todd Hamilton wins by one shot over Davis Love III. Hamilton would go on to win The Open Championship later that same year.
- 2007: Mark Wilson wins the biggest playoff in the history of the tournament. 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.
- 2012: Rory McIlroy wins and claims the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Brian Harman shot a course record 61 in the second round.
- Treglown, Dick (February 28, 1972). "Weiskopf wins Gleason crown". Palm Beach Post. p. D1.
- "Weiskopf no longer the brat". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. February 28, 1972. p. 3B.
- Shain, Jeff (February 22, 2018). "Flashback: Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic". Pro Golf Weekly. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- Smith, Jeff (February 26, 2019). "The Honda Classic Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds". Pro Golf Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- "Golf: Honda Classic". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). March 13, 2006. p. C6.
- "Golf: Honda Classic". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). March 6, 2007. p. C4.
- Global firm IMG buys company that runs Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens
- 1634 to 1699: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy ofthe United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700-1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How much is that in real money?: a historical price index for use as a deflator of money values in the economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Golf: Masters". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. August 10, 1972. p. 4B.
- The Honda Classic – Winners – at golfobserver.com
- The Honda Classic – Winners – at PGATour.com
- "Weiskopf captures Inverrary golf title". Telegraph-Herald. Dubuque, Iowa. Associated Press. February 28, 1972. p. 10.
- "Leonard Thompson wins Inverrary Classic". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. February 25, 1973. p. B1.
- "Nicklaus rally tops Jones". Morning Journal and Record. Meriden, Connecticut. UPI. February 27, 1978. p. 10.
- "Miller snaps slump with Inverrary golf win". The Montreal Gazette. March 10, 1980. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- "Strange Hits 66-201 Leads Inverrary by Four". The New York Times. March 8, 1981. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- Mell, Randall (March 8, 1998). "Nicklaus' Greatest Finish: 1978 at Inverrary?". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- "Longshot Knox Takes Honda Classic Title". Herald-Journal. March 2, 1986. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- "Former Caddy, Calcaveccia wins Honda Golf Classic". Observer-Reporter. Washington, Pennsylvania. March 9, 1987. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- Mayo, Michael (March 11, 1990). "Huston's Feats Incredible in 3rd Pair of Shoes, 28-Year-Old Leads Honda by 1". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Pate Fights Winds, Wins Honda Classic". The Albany Herald. Georgia. March 11, 1991. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- Green, Bob (March 16, 1992). "Eagle helps Pavin eventually win Honda Classic in playoff". Daily Union. Junction City, Kansas. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- "Herron shakes off rookie status in Honda Classic win". Times Daily. Alabama. March 12, 1996. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- "Hart right at home". Boca Raton News. Florida. March 13, 2000. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- "Hamilton captures Honda Classic". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. March 15, 2004. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Google News Archive.
- Reynolds, Tim (March 5, 2007). "Wilson wins Honda Classic in playoff". USA Today. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- Harig, Bob (March 4, 2012). "Rory McIlroy takes No. 1 spot". ESPN. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- Harig, Bob (March 2, 2012). "Brian Harman flirts with golf history". ESPN. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- Official website
- Coverage on the PGA Tour's official site
- PGA National Resort & Spa – Champion course