Much like the Genesis Open at Riviera, The Honda Classic was one of the events on Tiger Woods’ schedule before he was forced to withdraw due to back spasms.
They are also missing No. 2 Rory McIroy, who also withdrew from The Honda Classic due to before stress fracture in his ribs that he suffered prior to playing the BMW South Africa Open.
The impressive field that includes 12 of the top 25 on the Official World Golf Rankings is highlighted by defending champion No. 7 Adam Scott, No. 8 Justin Thomas, No. 9 Sergio Garcia, No. 12 Justin Rose and No. 13 Danny Willett (reigning Masters Champion), No. 20 Brooks Koepka and No. 23 Jimmy Walker (reigning PGA Championship winner).
Rickie Fowler, the world’s 14th-ranked golfer, was a late addition to spice up The Honda Classic field as he committed this week to play in the event.
Scott won the 2016 Honda Classic by fighting to an even par 70 on Sunday as he out-dueled Garcia. Scott won the event in just his third start with a short putter as new rules dictated that he give up the trademark long putter that he had used the previous five years.
So far this season, Scott has played in the Singapore Open, where he finished in a tie for 9th. Garcia had an impressive wire-to-wire win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic while flying under the radar due to the talk surrounding Tiger Woods’ WD due to back spasms. Both players are playing in the Genesis Open.
The Honda Classic field also has quite the international flair with names including includes Englishmen Paul Casey, Tyrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Luke Donald, and Ian Poulter, Scotland’s Russell Knox, Belgian Thomas Pieters, South Africans Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Retief Goosen, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello, Argentine Emiliano Grillo, Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, Irishmen Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa.
In addition to Scott returning to defend, past Honda champions also in the field are Russell Henley (2014), Camilo Villegas (2010), Mark Wilson (2007), Michael Thompson (2013) and Mark Calcavecchia (1987, 1998).
Golf Channel has live coverage Thursday and Friday and early coverage on the weekend. NBC has live coverage on Saturday and Sunday. PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com will have coverage all four days