(Courtesy: NY Daily News)

Good day, friends and degenerates! After a rousing week of edge-of-couch riding followed by the onset of helplessness and sorrow at the Genesis Open, we turn our eyes and hopes and dreams east to the Sunshine state for the Honda Classic — the first leg of the Tour’s “Florida swing.”

In case you live under a rock or couldn’t suss out the sarcasm from the opening sentence or so, last week sucked. There’s nothing in the world like a second place finish in the middle of a losing streak to punctuate the fact that you’re not cashing a check again. And all because Bubba Watson finally put it all together.

Greaaat.

Now that I’ve vented — it wasn’t all bad. Finally, there were some signs of life from some of ol’ No. 1’s favorite guys. Rory McIlroy looked more like a PGA Tour professional and less like my guy Brandon, five-putting his was around the golf course. Tony Finau played great all week, but fell just short.  Mickelson, Schauffele, and Spieth all played some good golf but failed to put all the pieces together.

It’s time to move on and build on those positives. Here’s a look at my can’t miss, no-doubt, sure-fire, mortal-locks for the Honda Classic at PGA National:

The Honda Classic
PGA National (Champion) – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
February 22 – 25, 2018

ODDS to Win:
Rickie Fowler 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Justin Thomas 10/1
Sergio Garcia 15/1
Tommy Fleetwood 25/1
Tyrrell Hatton 25/1
Gary Woodland 25/1
Alex Noren 30/1
Patrick Reed 40/1
Daniel Berger 40/1
Brian Harman 40/1
Brandt Snedeker 40/1
Russell Knox 50/1
Adam Scott 50/1
Jason Dufner 50/1
Kevin Kisner 50/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 50/1
Ollie Schniederjans 50/1
Russell Henley 50/1
Webb Simpson 50/1
Tiger Woods 60/1
Louis Oosthuizen 60/1
Ryan Moore 60/1
Martin Kaymer 60/1
Graeme McDowell 60/1
Thomas Pieters 60/1
Scott Piercy 60/1
Patton Kizzire 60/1
Chesson Hadley 60/1
Charles Howell III 60/1
Scott Stallings 60/1
Dylan Frittelli 60/1
Byeong Hun An 60/1
Bud Cauley 60/1
Keegan Bradley 80/1
Ryan Palmer 80/1
Ian Poulter 80/1
Chris Kirk 80/1
J.B. Holmes 80/1
Emiliano Grillo 80/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 80/1
Patrick Rodgers 80/1
Jhonattan Vegas 80/1
Bernd Wiesberger 100/1
Shane Lowry 100/1
Anirban Lahiri 100/1
Jimmy Walker 100/1
Billy Horschel 100/1
Luke List 100/1
Peter Uihlein 100/1
Jamie Lovemark 100/1
Grayson Murray 100/1
William McGirt 100/1
Sam Saunders 100/1
Hudson Swafford 125/1
J.J. Spaun 125/1
Sung Kang 125/1
Brian Gay 125/1
Harris English 125/1
Lucas Glover 125/1
Nick Watney 125/1
John Huh 125/1
Luke Donald 150/1
Stewart Cink 150/1
Wesley Bryan 150/1
Ben Martin 150/1
Aaron Wise 150/1
Seamus Power 150/1
Sean O’Hair 150/1
Ted Potter, Jr. 150/1
Derek Fathauer 200/1
Jim Furyk 200/1
David Lingmerth 200/1
Harold Varner III 200/1
Padraig Harrington 200/1
Retief Goosen 200/1
Corey Conners 250/1
Chad Campbell 250/1
Vijay Singh 250/1
Field (all others) 7

Mortal Locks: 

Rickie Fowler — Now, most know I am not a “Rickie Fowler guy” — but I’m also not a complete and total moron. It’s hard to argue with Rickie’s record at PGA National, his recent form or the fact that he won here last year. Defending champions have already fared pretty well in 2018, so I don’t see why Fowler can’t come back and successfully defend his Honda Classic title. At 10/1, he’s one of the co-favorites for the event this week. I know — I hate taking favorites because they pay like garbage  — but this week, Fowler just seems like one of those picks that will have you kicking your own ass on Sunday afternoon if you don’t trust your gut on Wednesday or Thursday.

Rory McIlroy — Give me Rors or give me death! Or, at least, financial ruin. Like my counterpart, Matty Ice, I, too, see big, massive things for Rory McIlroy in 2018. I haven’t mortgaged my future on it just yet, but I’m taking a serious stance on the best player under 30 in the game. McIlroy is a former champion of this event (2012) and, as previously mentioned, found some form last week in Pacific Palisades. It’s almost a guarantee that he builds on that this week — perhaps even getting the win. At 10/1, he is co-favorites with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.

Bang for Your Buck:

Kiradech Aphibarnrat — No, I didn’t just bang out a bunch of letters on the keyboard — that’s a guys real name. And you’d better learn it if you haven’t yet. Kiradech Aphibarnrat — Thai John Daly — is a 28-year-old pro from, you guessed it, Thailand, who has been turning heads all over Europe for years. Aside from his ridiculous name, that’s why you haven’t really heard about him if you aren’t truly entrenched in the golf world. Anyway, he coming off a win in Australia — his fourth on the European Tour — two weeks ago. Don’t sleep on Aphibarnrat this week in Florida. At 80/1, he’s not only a great bet, but a solid option for your fantasy roster in any format.

Dylan Frittelli — Another name that will surprise most of you when it’s near the top of the leader board on the weekend is that of Dylan Frittelli. Already a two-time winner on the European Tour, this 27-year-old South African has played some of the best golf worldwide in the last 8-12 months. His run of finishes since June can be compared next to anyone you’ve heard of and it’ll compare favorably to it. Need further proof? You’ve never heard of him and he’s getting 60/1 money this week. In a field as stacked as the Honda Classic, you’d expect to see that number much higher. The secret isn’t quite out, but the rumblings are getting louder. Get while the gettin’ is still good.

Fun Under $5:

Tiger Woods — Sooner or later, the big cat is going to do something to warrant all this attention. At 60/1, Tiger Woods is certainly a fun little bet this week. I’m not recommending liquidating little Johnny’s college fund or anything, but throwing some spare change on the 14-time major champion and ensuring you give a shit about how Woods fairs this week as opposed to just being caught up in the white noise that is the media coverage surrounding him, it might just be worth it.

There you have it, friends and degenerates. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go take out a cash advance ahead of this week’s triumph just in case Karen Gillan finally gets back to me.

Until next time, go and choose wisely…

-Golfstradamus

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