Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Defense is On

Michael Thompson reacts to his first win on the PGA Tour at the 2013 Honda Classic
by Roz Roberts III

A year in the making, Michael Thompson's title defense of the Honda Classic is finally here.  The title of previous champion has come with a whole host of new responsibilities including a media day appearance, interviews, and even a stint hosting 'Inside the PGA Tour'.  The outcome of many of those endeavors can be seen from all the posts over the last week.  Despite all of the added responsibilities, Michael looks ready for his defense and comes into the tournament in good from posting top 20 finishes in three of his last four events.

The Honda Classic typically boasts the strongest field of year of any regular PGA Tour event.  This year is no exception where the field list is basically a who's-who of professional golfers.  The PGA National course is known for its difficult closing stretch of holes 15-17 known as the Bear Trap.  Water is in play on each of the holes and each faces a different direction so no matter which way the wind is blowing, the Bear Trap is a true gut check.

If you watched last year's tournament you'll recall that weather, and the wind in particular, play a huge role in making PGA National the most difficult regular tour event all year.  Tomorrow's weather calls for scattered shows and thunder storms with steady winds of 10 mph or greater.

Tee Times
Michael will be playing with Lee Westwood and Robert Allenby.  The international trio tees of from the first hole at 12:55pm ET.

Live@ returns with streaming coverage from the third hole.  Golf Channel will air the first two rounds and then NBC will join Golf Channel coverage for the final two rounds.

Golf Channel - 2pm - 6pm ET
Live @ - 8am-6pm ET

Online Links
If you've logged onto recently you'll have noticed that they completely overhauled the site.  This means that finding things that I used frequently has become sort of a game of hide-and-seek.  For example, ShotTracker doesn't appear to be available yet and looks to have links from the new updated leaderboard rather than its own link in the Scoring tab.

The leaderboard now combines ShotTracker data with the standard scorecard data and its possible that the standalone ShotTracker pages may be unavailable or re-vamped themselves.  We shall see tomorrow since this will be the first tournament using the new interface.

Michael's Scorecard
Michael on ShotTracker
Michael's Group on Shot Tracker
Live Map

Additional Articles
If you haven't had your fill of articles providing interesting quotes or stats on Michael's win from last year, here are a few more.

Stat attack!: Honda Classic preview
How Michael Thompson won the 2013 Honda Classic
Thompson back at Honda after 'disappointing' 2013

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