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Honda Classic’s earlier start in 2022 should lead to bigger stars coming to Palm Beach Gardens

The Honda Classic is transferring again to its late February date in 2022 and as soon as once more will kick off the Florida Swing.

Honda will probably be Feb. 21-27, in accordance to a supply in the golf trade, the identical week it has been performed in most years since transferring to PGA National in 2007. Honda was moved to the third weekend of March this 12 months, impacting the sector as a result of it fell between two World Golf Championship occasions and one week after the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Next 12 months, Honda would be the week the WGC was held the final three years, the primary two in Mexico City and this 12 months at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida. With that first WGC transferring, Honda will comply with the Genesis Invitational exterior Los Angeles and are available earlier than the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players, which don’t transfer.

That spot is far more favorable and can go away little excuse for the elite gamers, particularly those that reside in the realm, to skip the occasion.

The WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession was in the identical spot this 12 months as Honda will probably be subsequent 12 months and it attracted a area that included 19 of the highest 20 golfers in the world.

That means there will probably be no excuses – apart from well being – for native PGA Tour rivals not to help their hometown match. That consists of golfers comparable to Palm Beach Gardens’ Dustin Johnson, who has performed Honda thrice and never since 2015; North Palm Beach’s Patrick Cantlay, who has by no means performed Honda; Jupiter’s Rory McIlroy, who skipped Honda the final three years; and Jupiter’s Justin Thomas, who sat out the final two.

This 12 months’s match, received by Matt Jones, included two golfers in the highest 20 (No. 18 Sungjae Im and No. 19 Lee Westwood). Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, each in the highest 15 and each raised in Palm Beach County, entered however couldn’t play due to accidents.

While nobody expects Honda to draw a area comparable to a WGC occasion or the Players, this can give the elite golfers many extra choices round Honda, which should impression the sector in a optimistic method.

The schedule change was talked about Sunday by Jack Nicklaus, whose charity is the first beneficiary of the Honda Classic. But the legendary golfer didn’t give any particulars.

Nicklaus, who lives minutes from PGA National, was requested if Honda remaining the place it was this 12 months in the schedule would work out. He instantly mentioned, “no” earlier than including will probably be in a greater spot on the calendar subsequent 12 months.

Executive director Ken Kennerly mentioned Sunday that discussions have been below method to transfer Honda, which is the longest working sponsor on the PGA Tour, to a extra favorable spot in the schedule.

“We continue to review our position on the schedule with the PGA Tour,” Kennerly mentioned Sunday. “We’re constantly working on it.”

Returning to late February helps in one other method: Honda won’t be up towards the NCAA basketball match, which should have an effect on tv rankings. This 12 months’s Honda went head-to-head with the primary and second rounds of March Madness Friday to Sunday.


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