Mar 1, 201210:53 AM

Place your bets

In a recent article,’s Steve Elling identified players to watch for at the 2012 Honda Classic. He broke it down into three categories: “Favorites,” “Under the Radar” and “Dark Horses for Courses.”

One of his three “Favorites” is Wisconsin’s Mark Wilson, winner of the Honda Classic in 2007. In my opinion, Wilson has a real shot and should be considered a favorite. So I think Elling got that right. He’s been solid so far in 2012 and people are finally starting to pay attention and looking at him as a serious contender.

So that got me thinking. Not that I’m a betting woman, but I was curious to see what the Vegas odds were on some of Tour’s top players, including Wilson, in the tournament.

Here are a few notables. Odds are cited from Las Vegas’

Rory McIlroy (8/1) – With a good performance, McIlroy could snatch the No. 1 ranking from Luke Donald. After losing in the final at the WGC Match Play last week to Hunter Mahan, he’ll be hungry for a win.

Lee Westwod (10/1) – Westwood got beat by McIlroy last week, but he’s a consistent, steady player with top-20 finishes in his last five tourneys.

Tiger Woods (10/1) – He was just 17 years old when he last played in the Honda Classic. But while he has been playing better as of late, he still continues to struggle with his putter – a lot.

Keeegan Bradley and Charl Schwartzel (25/1) – Although Bradley missed the cut last year, he’s recorded four top 25s and was runner-up at the Northern Trust Open in 2012. Schwartzel has finished outside of the top 20 just one time in his last 10 events.

Ben Crane (25/1) – Crane finished third at the Honda Classic in 2009 and has three top-10 finishes so far in 2012.

Graeme McDowell (30/1) – Although YE Yang eliminated McDowell in the first round at the Accenture last week, McDowell finished third at Abu Dhabi.

Justin Rose (30/1) – Rose has been competing well recently, with five top-five finishes in his last 10 competitions, and he won the BMW Championship back in September.

Mark Wilson (40/1) – Wilson won the Honda Classic in 2007. He already has a win in 2012 as well as a top-three finish.

YE Yang (40/1) – Yang’s first-ever Tour title was this same event in 2009 where he also finished second last year.

Jerry Kelly (125/1) – It’s a long shot, but he’s one of our own, so I had to include him.


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