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  • Writer's pictureTom Ford

Tom Ford's golf betting tips: Cognizant Classic preview and bets

Erik Van Rooyen

Tom Ford's Cognizant Classic Golf Tips

JT Poston 40/1 – 2pts Win
Keith Mitchell – 50/1 2pts Win
Matthieu Pavon – 1pts ew 50/1 (8 Places)
Alex Noren – 1pt EW 50/1 (8 Places)
Lucas Glover – 70/1 1pt EW (8 Places)
Andrew Novak - 150/1 1pts EW (8 Places)

Knapp Time

Jake Knapp, a pumped-up previous nightclub bouncer, done his damage on Saturday afternoon after he went 4/5 clear with an -8. Knapp time took a bit of wobble on Sunday but he got the job done with a couple of great holes to finish and steer away from a Sami Valimaki, who we nearly had a win with huge 130/1 odds, we move again after hitting the post 3 times this year. Distance and Iron play was the big winner last week and that looks like it's going to flip and be totally different for this week so let's jump into it.

Oh and.. a quiet message to Talor Gooch ‘Stop moaning, you don’t deserve a Masters invite, that’s why you ain’t got one, move on son’.


Cognizant Classic

Rory returns to the renamed Honda Classic, now known as the Cognizant, at PGA National Palm Beach, back to the Florida swing we go, and with loads of value to get our teeth into.

What makes this Champions Course at PGA National so great is that it’s never held a US Open, however, it definitely could. There are 26 individual water hazards, long Bermudagrass rough, and it’s exposed to the wind even though it’s a resort style.

You have to be accurate and you have to recover well from your lows. If that is not enough then the notorious ‘Bear Trap’ will eat you up and spit you back out again before you reach the 18th, good luck with that.

Typical Fazio design with Nicklaus re-designs; the length is 7,125 yards, Par 70 and the greens are TifEagle Bermudagrass. In fact I believe they’ve tried to make it longer this year and play it as a PAR 71, tells you everything in terms of distance really.

If so far, like last year, I haven’t made it clear enough already how hard of a test this is, then listen to this stat, PGA National has been 5th hardest course on tour, so yeah it sounds pretty simple really doesn’t it.

Strong emphasis on scrambling and around the green coming up in our models below and for that reason I am expecting the winning score to be around -12, -13.

Golf Tips Checker Packages

Honda Classic Winners: 2023 Chris Kirk (-14) 2022: Sepp Straka (-10); 2021: Matt Jones (-12); 2020: Sungjae Im (-6); 2019: Keith Mitchell (-9); 2018: Justin Thomas (-8); 2017: Rickie Fowler (-12); 2016: Adam Scott (-9); 2015: Padraig Harrington (-6); 2014: Russell Henley (-8); 2013: Michael Thompson (-9); 2012: Rory McIlroy (-12); 2011: Rory Sabbatini (-9); 2010: Camilo Villegas (-13).


This week’s model make up;

For this week there are some major elements that I’ll like to emphasise on for my model, feel free to read my insights, or just scroll below to my picks.

As always at this stage in the season it's time to tie in and integrate some recent form, some course form and concentrate on some players that have shown where their game is at in the past few weeks.

The great thing about this week is this tournament has seen lots of golfers winning with their current ranking in the OWGR being quite high. So we can find some great value on players that are playing well but whose ranking is high and therefore the correlation with the odds will also be high = VALUE. The course is short and flat and low, and it's really technical, which compared with distance last week flips it on his head, this is much more about accuracy and bottle for me.

Bermuda positive trends and also some SG Putting stats but all in all this is a bit of a no putt week, if you are recently average for putting against the rest, then that is enough to go round here and get the job done.

Scrambling here at PGA National, definitely goes under the radar in my opinion. I think there will be plenty of occasions like we’ve seen in the past where players are taking drops out of hazards, water, tree issues and not to forget the rough. If you are not scrambling well, you are going to lose ground very very quickly. I think this is evident in being one of the hardest courses on tour and why wouldn’t you on a tough test like this have scrambling as a heavy weighted option in your model, so notice that below.

Irons and approach last but not least, and normally this is strong every week but actually with the shorter course there are lots of little wedges and technical small greens which is why this course is more harder to navigate than the usual heavy pure iron and approach hitters.

As you will see below, Tee to green is the real key here this week and players who know how to get up and down is where I really see this week going and where I will heavily weight my model, please feel free to let me know any golfers than stand out and if you have any of your own thoughts from what you may know of PGA National, for me one of the best courses we have on tour.

How I’ve made up the model this week;

SG Tee to green

Driving Accuracy

Bermuda Positive


Bogey Avoidance

Mid Score positive

SG Putting


SG Around the green


Recent Form

Honda Classic Form

<175 on Approach


Top 30 players based on that model;

1             Chris Kirk                            33/1

2             Keith Mitchell                    40/1

3             Andrew Novak                  175/1

4             JT Poston                            28/1

5             Doug Ghim                         70/1

6             Matthieu Pavon               45/1

7             Rory McIlroy                     15/2

8             Lucas Glover                      66/1

9             Thorbjorn Olesen             50/1

10           Russell Henley                   25/1

11           Eric Cole                             30/1

12           Rasmus Hojgaard             45/1

13           An Byeong-Hun                33/1

14           Alexander Noren              50/1

15           Tom Hoge                          50/1

16           Jake Knapp                         50/1

17           Corey Conners                  45/1

18           Adam Svensson                50/1

19           Stephan Jaeger                 45/1

20           Greyson Sigg                     150/1

21           Sungjae Im                         28/1

22           Denny McCarthy              50/1

23           Christiaan Bezuidenhout               66/1

24           Brendon Todd                   66/1

25           Benjamin Griffin               90/1

26           C.T. Pan               705        175/1

27           Luke List                             40/1

28           Taylor Pendrith  60/1

29           Carson Young     125/1

30           Aaron Baddeley                200/1

There are so many different ways I could of gone this week but I don’t believe my model is far away from finding a winner again. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope that this week we can find that slightly higher price and my model brings out some different golfers you wouldn’t usually look at, it certainly has for me anyway. Let’s get it.

Follow and interact with me @fordysgolfpicks, more the merrier.

JT Poston 40/1 – 2pts Win

If you had told me a year ago, I would start a card with JT Poston, I would have never believed you however, I believe JT is in the form of his life. After two top 6’s at the turn of the year in good fields, and the profile of him technically being able to plot around a golf course, I feel he can go really close this week.

Keith Mitchell – 50/1 2pts Win

Another return to my card after a disappointing top 20 last week, but there were signs of life there for Cashmere Killer Keith and I’m more than happy to give him another go at even higher odds. Gained nearly 2 strokes on the field last week on approach, previous winner here a few years ago and with the finish being more about bottle and keeping the ball in play, Keith stacks up as the guy I’d want at the top of my card.

Matthieu Pavon – 1pts ew 50/1 (8 Places)

There isn’t much to say about this pick other than he is probably the in-form golfer in the whole field and you can get him at 50/1 to keep playing like he has. After his win at the farmers a couple of weeks ago, returning to another Tee to green golf course, only screams another chance to prove his worth on this side of the pond. Two wins and 5 top 10’s this season is just something you cannot ignore.

Alex Noren – 1pt EW 50/1 (8 Places)

Alex Noren has been slowly sneaking up leaderboards in recent weeks only to plateau a little over the weekend, but an extremely good putter and technical golfer tells me he has a real shot around PGA National. His accuracy off the tee can only be bettered by two players in this week's field and his wedges from 75 yards are the 10th best on tour, he stands out as a great EW pick.

Lucas Glover – 70/1 1pt EW (8 Places)

If you follow my picks and my golfers every week you’ll know I have something in my bonnet for Lucas this year. He returns to my card after fading away at the Genesis, but this Florida swing is much more suited to him. Bermuda grass, less of an emphasis on his putting stroke and Tee to Green one of the best in the world last year, auto pick.

Andrew Novak - 150/1 1pts EW (8 Places)

Well, Novak nearly showed us again last week what he can provide for you as an outsider and I’m really surprised his odds have only got better. Two top tens in a row show me he is peaking at the right time and he was the best around the green last week, everything points towards another top 10.



Luke List 7/1 Top10

Adam Svensson 5/1 Top10

Christian Bezuidenhout 6/1 Top10

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