Honda Classic: groups to watch

Watching the Honda Classic tonight? Here are the groups to keep an eye on...

Adam Scott -2, Billy Horschel +3, Rory McIIroy -7

Tee time: 7:20am (US) 12:20pm (GMT)

Rory McIlroy leads the field on seven-under after his bogey-free round and looks more than capable of building on his good start to go all the way this weekend.

If he can replicate yesterday’s performance on the back nine, Russell Henley and the rest of the chasing pack will do well to catch him.

One man who will fancy his chances of doing just that will be Masters champion Adam Scott. The Australian lies five strokes behind McIlroy, knowing that a low score will leave him in contention for the ‘business end’ of the tournament. It will be interesting to watch two of the games best battle it out as they go up against all Palm Beach has to offer.


Ricky Barnes E, David Hearn -3, Matteo Manassero -3

Tee time: 8:15am (US) 1:15pm (GMT)

Barnes finished brightly yesterday making birdie on two of the final three holes.

If he continues the way he left off we may just see a low score from the Californian.

Canada’s David Hearn shot a respectable 67 yesterday and is only four shots behind the lead.

Will the world No. 154 cope with the pressure of trying to stay among the leaders?

Joining Hearn on three-under is Italian youngster Matteo Manassero.

Despite being only 20-years-old, Manassero has won a tournament every year since 2010 and is the European Tour’s youngest ever winner.

It will be interesting to see him attempt to put the pressure on McIIroy and the rest of the pack as he strives for a low round.


Henrik Stenson +3, Sergio Garcia +2, Luke Donald -3

Tee time: 2:25pm (US) 5:25pm (GMT)

This group includes three of European golfs biggest names.

Henrik Stenson tops the World Point List for European Ryder Cup qualification and is the world No.3.

Despite a poor opening score leaving him off ten shots off the pace, will we see a birdie filled second round from the Swede?

Sergio Garcia is another big name who will be disappointed with his first round performance. A disastrous front nine left him up against it from the off.

However, the Spaniard steadied the ship on the way home, to give himself an outside chance of making the cut.

With a good finish to yesterday’s round and his undoubted talent, can Garcia join Stenson and make a charge up the leaderboard?

A bad start is of no concern to Luke Donald, well placed on three under. The Englishman will be focused for the second round and confident he can score low again.

Who knows if McIIroy falters, we may see Donald at the top of the leaderboard come the close of play.


Zach Johnson -3, Tiger Woods +1, Keegan Bradley

12:35pm (US) 5:25pm (GMT)

This all-American trio is made up of major champions and, of course, includes Tiger Woods, a recipe for excitement.

Zach Johnson set the pace in the group after posting a three under 67 in round one.

An explosive finish led to four birdies in the final six holes after a destructive eight at 11t looked to have spoiled his card.

Johnson’s game is in good shape for the second round and he will certainly be worth watching as he tries to climb the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods will be motivated going into round two, knowing that only a score around the 66 mark will be good enough to get back into contention.

Will we see Tiger produce something spectacular and catapult himself among the leaders?

Keegan Bradley is well placed on one-under.

A round of three or four-under today may see the 2011 USPGA champion poised nicely to make a move in the final two days.


Padraig Harrington -2, JB Holmes E, Luke Guthrie -3

1:15pm (US) 6:15pm (GMT)

One of the later groups to tee off this group includes two players firmly in contention this week, Padraig Harrington and Luke Guthrie.

Harrington revealed prior to the tournament he had undergone treatment for skin cancer but this did little to upset the Irishman’s game.

A solid back nine leaves him just five behind the lead after a 68, which featured an excellent eagle at the third.

Harrington, with all his experience and ability, can certainly make a move on day two and may not be far of the lead come the close of play.

With JB Holmes seemingly out of it fellow American Luke Guthrie leads the charge for the USA in this group.

A three-under-par 67 put him just outside the top ten, and four off McIlroy’s lead.

In round two Guthrie will be striving for a sub-par round as he looks to keep in touch with Rory and co., replicating his opening performance.


Who do you think will win the Honda Classic?

Rory, Scott, Donald? Who will lift the Honda Classic trophy come Sunday? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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