Tiger To Play in Honda Classic

The “Bear Trap” will meet a Tiger in a couple of weeks.

Tiger Woods, through a statement on his website today, announced that he will be entering this year’s Honda Classic, March 1-4 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Notably, it’ll be Tiger’s first ever appearance in the tournament, which he has declared a “home game” because of his recent move to the Palm Beach area.

The Honda Classic is considered one of the most difficult stops on Tour, due to the presence of the “Bear Trap,” a grueling three-hole stretch (holes 15-18) designed by Jack Nicklaus. Last year’s tournament had the highest scoring average of any non-major PGA Tour event. Tiger’s entry also means that he’ll be playing in three straight tournaments (Accenture Match Play, WGC Championship), intriguing considering past criticism of his limited schedule.

My friends and I have escaped frigid New York to attend the last three Honda Classics, throwing in some Palm Beach area golf and Spring Training baseball action to make the trip extra special. The Classic’s field has seemingly improved every year to the point that it resembles a Major, and the atmosphere and energy surrounding the tournament are fantastic. We’ve shared toasts in the lobby bar (which is absolutely jamming after a round) with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, and Lee Westwood, flanked by golf writers, broadcasters, fans, and overly intoxicated local cougars. It’s quite a scene.

While I doubt that Tiger will set foot in the lobby bar, his entry brings the tournament to another level. It was already a great weekend in South Florida, and it just got a little more interesting.

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