Expert picks: Honda Classic

Rory McIlroy will be favored by some during this week's 2014 Honda Classic on PGA Tour (shown here at the WGC-Accenture Match Play).

Rory McIlroy will be favored by some during this week's 2014 Honda Classic on PGA Tour (shown here at the WGC-Accenture Match Play).

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

2:42:25 AM ET. 04/25/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Ben Martin-10F-10
2Andrew Svoboda-8F-8
T3Peter Hanson-7F-7
T3Seung-Yul Noh-7F-7
T5Erik Compton-6F-6
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Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Brooks Koepka are three names mentioned often among the expert picks to win or contend at this week's Honda Classic.

Conspicuously absent? Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

McIlroy (who WD'd at last year's Honda Classic, citing wisdom-tooth pain) and Schwartzel are favored to win by two experts apiece this week, with Koepka in a group of expected contenders that also includes Rickie Fowler and Graeme McDowell.

Where do they all fit in? Take a look at this week's picks:

• • •

Jeff Rude, senior writer

Favorite: Charl Schwartzel

Keep an eye on: Rory McIlroy

Don't forget about: Graeme McDowell

Sleeper: Brian Harman

Comments: Schwartzel fifth at Northern Trust two weeks ago, top 10s at Honda each of last two years and strong finish to 2013, with six top-7s in his last seven events. . . . McDowell putted superbly in going 3-1 at WGC Accenture Match Play last week. Has finished T-7 or better in his last three Tour weeks and had top 10s at Honda each of the past three years. . . . McIlroy has a hop back in his step. Top 11 in his last six worldwide starts and won Honda two years ago. . . . Harman T-3 at Northern Trust and shot course-record 61 two years ago at PGA National.

• • •

Jim McCabe, senior writer

Favorite: Rory McIlroy

Keep an eye on: Billy Horschel

Don't forget about: Rickie Fowler

Sleeper: Brooks Koepka

Comments: Drawing Harris English in the second round overshadowed the fact that McIlroy played nicely at the Match Play and seems to be in good form, at a place where he has warm memories, no less. . . . Loved the way Fowler played at Match Play and his added length was dramatic. . . . Horschel wasn't far off from beating Jason Day at Dove Mountain and he was in contention at Honda a year ago before a rough third round. . . . Koepka hits it hard, long, and plays with great confidence.

• • •

Adam Schupak, senior writer

Winner: Charl Schwartzel

Keep an eye on: Harris English, Lee Westwood

Don't forget about: Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald

Sleepers: Y.E. Yang, Matt Every

Comments: I'll let someone else rave about Tiger and Phil — Schwartzel is my pick this week. He's overdue to get his first PGA Tour title since the 2011 Masters. He looked sharp at Riviera (fifth), and likes PGA National: T5 in '12, T9 in '13. . . . English played in the final group in 2012 with McIlroy. Both are more mature now. . . . Westwood and Donald have played well here in the past and friendly confines may be just what they need to jump start their season. . . . Yang won this event in 2009, finished second in '11, and always seems to be hanging around the lead. . . . Every is a Sunshine state native and coming off a T6 at Riviera. A maiden victory can't be too far off for a guy with his talent.

• • •

Nick Masuda, digital director

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Keep an eye on: Rickie Fowler

Don't forget about: Sergio Garcia

Sleeper: Brooks Koepka

Comments: I picked McIlroy last week to no avail, but the kid has five consecutive stroke-play top 10s heading to Honda, where he won in 2012. That's good math for me. . . . Garcia created headlines yet again – not by winning, but by potentially costing himself a win. He seems to play fairly well ticked off, so I think he'll be a factor this week. . . . Fowler was the recipient of Garcia's generosity, and looked mighty good at Match Play. That work with Butch Harmon is already paying dividends, especially off the tee. . . . Koepka returns home and will be looking to pick up a few more Tour starts with a good performance this week. I think he is a top-five guy under the age of 25, he's that good.

• • •

Lance Ringler, senior writer

Favorite: Adam Scott

Don’t forget about: Lee Westwood

Keep an eye on: Charl Schwartzel

Sleeper: Peter Uihlein, Brooks Koepka

Comments: Adam Scott might not have the form others have at PGA National Resort & Spa's Champion Course, but he is now the type of player that can win any week, anywhere. . . . Lee Westwood does not show up high on a lot of people’s boards, but Westwood remains one of the elite players in the game; with three top 10s in last four starts here – I think he is worth thinking about this week.

• • •

The Honda Classic field, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings

  • 1. Tiger Woods
  • 3. Adam Scott
  • 4. Sergio Garcia
  • 9. Henrik Stenson
  • 11. Charl Schwartzel
  • 12. Zach Johnson
  • 13. Hideki Matsuyama
  • 15. Phil Mickelson
  • 20. Lee Westwood
  • 21. Rory McIlroy
  • 22. Brendon Todd
  • 24. Keegan Bradley
  • 29. Chris Kirk
  • 31. Ryan Palmer
  • 33. Martin Kaymer
  • 34. Charles Howell III
  • 36. Matt Jones
  • 38. Thomas Bjorn
  • 39. Billy Horschel
  • 40. Brendon de Jonge
  • 41. Boo Weekley
  • 42. Peter Hanson
  • 44. Rickie Fowler
  • 46. Chris Stroud
  • 47. Luke Donald
  • 48. Graeme McDowell
  • 55. Nick Watney
  • 56. Russell Knox
  • 61. Jamie Donaldson
  • 62. Stuart Appleby
  • 66. George McNeill
  • 67. Camilo Villegas
  • 68. Jeff Overton
  • 69. Daniel Summerhays
  • 73. Will MacKenzie
  • 75. John Peterson
  • 76. Stewart Cink
  • 79. Roberto Castro
  • 80. Jerry Kelly
  • 81. Stephen Gallacher
  • 82. Brian Davis
  • 83. Jason Kokrak
  • 86. Brooks Koepka
  • 87. John Senden
  • 89. Angel Cabrera
  • 90. John Merrick
  • 92. Matt Every
  • 93. Freddie Jacobson
  • 95. Matteo Manassero
  • 96. David Hearn
  • 99. James Driscoll
  • 100. Patrick Reed
  • 104. Cameron Tringale
  • 106. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  • 109. Bo Van Pelt
  • 110. Morgan Hoffmann
  • 112. Peter Uihlein
  • 114. Brendan Steele
  • 115. Tim Wilkinson
  • 118. Rory Sabbatini
  • 120. Ben Crane
  • 121. Louis Oosthuizen
  • 123. David Lynn
  • 126. Jason Bohn
  • 127. Robert Garrigus
  • 135. Ryo Ishikawa
  • 136. Tim Clark
  • 138. D.A. Points
  • 139. Ken Duke
  • 140. William McGirt
  • 147. Spencer Levin
  • 148. Russell Henley
  • 149. Luke Guthrie
  • 151. Justin Hicks
  • 152. Josh Teater
  • 153. Scott Brown
  • 154. J.J. Henry
  • 155. Brian Stuard
  • 156. Martin Flores
  • 157. Brian Gay
  • 158. Retief Goosen
  • 159. Paul Casey
  • 160. Carl Pettersson
  • 166. Erik Compton
  • 171. David Lingmerth
  • 172. Brian Harman
  • 177. Geoff Ogilvy
  • 178. Chad Collins
  • 183. Jhonattan Vegas
  • 188. Davis Love III
  • 189. Michael Thompson
  • 192. Andres Romero
  • 193. Brice Garnett
  • 200. Nicholas Thompson
  • 201. Vijay Singh
  • 204. Padraig Harrington
  • 210. Chesson Hadley
  • 219. Seung-Yul Noh
  • 220. Greg Chalmers
  • 221. D.H. Lee
  • 230. Mark Wilson
  • 235. Y.E. Yang
  • 251. Tim Herron
  • 254. Billy Hurley III
  • 255. Kyle Stanley
  • 259. Thorbjorn Olesen
  • 269. Charlie Wi
  • 282. John Rollins
  • 290. Steven Bowditch
  • 295. Sean O'Hair
  • 296. Ben Curtis
  • 297. Hudson Swafford
  • 299. Jamie Lovemark
  • 307. Scott Langley
  • 309. Jason Allred
  • 314. Trevor Immelman
  • 316. Ted Potter, Jr.
  • 319. Ricky Barnes
  • 331. James Hahn
  • 332. Charlie Beljan
  • 335. Darren Clarke
  • 349. Troy Merritt
  • 358. Robert Allenby
  • 361. Jeff Maggert
  • 388. Tommy Gainey
  • 397. Jim Renner
  • 402. Lucas Glover
  • 438. Johnson Wagner
  • 442. Mike Weir
  • 482. Woody Austin
  • 557. Derek Fathauer
  • 560. Stephen Ames
  • 599. Derek Ernst
  • 687. Jesper Parnevik
  • N/R. Alan Morin
  • N/R. Briny Baird
  • N/R. Dudley Hart
  • N/R. Harrison Frazar
  • N/R. J.B. Holmes
  • N/R. Jason Millard
  • N/R. Jose Coceres
  • N/R. Kenny Perry
  • N/R. Mark Calcavecchia
  • N/R. Mark Silvers
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