2023 Honda Classic Recap

Chris Kirk Wins 2023 Honda Classic in a Playoff

Palm Beach Gardens, FL – Chris Kirk (-14) won the 2023 Honda Classic in a playoff over Eric Cole.  It was Kirk’s fifth PGA Tour victory and first in nearly eight years.  Kirk has been playing solid golf so far this season and reminded golf fans how much of a talent he is, playing rock solid golf that included a 62 on a very tough PGA National course that typically doesn’t yield low scores.

Cole and Kirk went back and forth all day and it rarely looked like anyone else had a shot.  With a one stroke lead, Kirk hit his second in the water on 18, giving Cole a chance to potentially make a two shot swing and take the tournament.  Cole made par while Kirk made bogey forcing the playoff.

While Cole’s name may not be familiar to many PGA Tour fans, the 34-year-old has paid his dues on the lower tours and overcome some remarkable challenges in recent years.  He recently lost his brother and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Addison’s Disease, an adrenal insufficiency which considerably complicates what most of us consider “normal” life.

Finishing behind Cole and Kirk was Tyler Duncan in solo third at -12.  Monday qualifier Ryan Gerard finished in fourth at -10, and defending champ Sepp Straka, Shane Lowry (last year’s runner up), Ben Martin, Ben Taylor, and Justin Suh all finished T5 at -9.

A quick glance at the leaderboard this week may not have yielded many familiar names for casual PGA Tour fans.  The only players in the field ranked inside the top 25 in the world were Lowry and Sungjae Im.  This phenomenon may represent the new reality for the PGA Tour.  With Designated Events (like the Genesis last week and next week’s Bay Hill) getting all the big names, events like the Honda appear to be increasingly overlooked.

Next week, the PGA Tour heads to Bay Hill in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  All the top players on the PGA Tour will be there, including defending champion Scottie Scheffler, former winner Rory McIlroy, world number one Jon Rahm, and pretty much anyone else you can think of.

Chris Kirk What’s In The Bag

Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (9° @ 10.7° ) (Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 TX)

3 Wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond HL (16.5° @ 14.8° ) (Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 TX)

5 Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 18° (Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 TX)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro ‘21 4 iron, Callaway Apex MB ‘18 5-9 (Project X LZ 125 6.5)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw 46°-10S @ 47° , 50°-10S @ 51° , Titleist Vokey SM9 56° -10S, Vokey WedgeWorks 60° -T (True Temper Dynamic Gold S200)

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG No. 5

 

Dylan Thaemert
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