Honda Classic Past Winners and History

February 24, 2014

imageThe Honda Classic was founded in 1972 as Jackie Gleasons’ Inverrary Classic. Gleason was a marquee name, a staple of the television variety shows of the time, and best remembered today as bus driver Ralph Cramden in The Honeymooners tv series and Minnesota Fats in the Paul Newman movie, The Hustler. His was one of a number of celebrity hosted tournaments, including the Crosby Clambake (now the AT&T National Pro Am), the Bob Hope, and the Glenn Campbell (now the Northern Trust).

American Motors served as title sponsor for one year (1981). In 1982, Honda began its long-running sponsorship of the tournament.

The Gleason was originally held at the Inverrary Golf Club in Lauderhill, Florida. In 1984, it moved to the TPC Eagle Trace in Coral Springs, Florida. From 1992 to 1995, it was held at the Weston Hills Golf and Country Club, then it was back to Eagle Trace for one year (1996). The TPC at Heron Bay hosted from 1997 to 2002. In 2003, the event moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, first at the Country Club at Mirasol through 2006, then starting in 2007 at PGA National Resort and Spa’s Champion Course. The move to PGA National was apparently in part an effort to attract more top players. That course is well regarded on Tour.

As of 2007 the tournament’s main beneficiary is the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which is chaired by Barbara Nicklaus, wife of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. Having the Nicklaus name attached to a tournament also can’t hurt.

Three men were multiple winners at the Honda:

Jack Nicklaus: 1977, 1978
Johnny Miller: 1980, 1983
Mark Calcavecchia: 1987, 1998

Nicklaus won three if you count his 1976 victory at the Players Championship which was held at the Jackie Gleason site at Inverrary.

Low round scores are held by Dan Pohl (1989), Hale Irwin (1979), Tim Herron (1996) and Jerry Kelly (2003)—all at 62.

Justin Leonard in 2003 holds the low 72 hole score at 264.

Honda Classic Past Winners
Year Player Country Score To par 1st Prize ($) Purse ($)
The Honda Classic
2013 Michael Thompson US 271 -9 1,080,000 ($) 6,000,000 ($)
2012 Rory McIlroy Ireland 268 -12 1026000 ($) 5700000 ($)
2011 Rory Sabbatini South Africa 271 -9 1026000 ($) 5700000 ($)
2010 Camilo Villegas Colombia 267 -13 1,008,000 5,600,000
2009 Y.E. Yang South Korea 271 -9 1,008,000 5,600,000
2008 Ernie Els South Africa 274 -6 990,000 5,500,000
2007 Mark Wilson United States 275 -5 990,000 5,500,000
2006 Luke Donald England 276 -12 990,000 5,500,000
2005 Pádraig Harrington Ireland 274 -14 990,000 5,500,000
2004 Todd Hamilton United States 276 -12 900,000 5,000,000
2003 Justin Leonard United States 264 -24 900,000 5,000,000
2002 Matt Kuchar United States 269 -19 630,000 3,500,000
Honda Classic
2001 Jesper Parnevik Sweden 270 -18 576,000 3,200,000
2000 Dudley Hart United States 269 -19 522,000 2,900,000
1999 Vijay Singh Fiji 277 -11 468,000 2,600,000
1998 Mark Calcavecchia United States 270 -18 324,000 1,800,000
1997 Stuart Appleby Australia 274 -14 270,000 1,500,000
1996 Tim Herron United States 271 -17 234,000 1,300,000
1995 Mark O'Meara United States 275 -9 216,000 1,200,000
1994 Nick Price Zimbabwe 276 -8 198,000 1,100,000
1993 Fred Couples United States 207* -9 198,000 1,100,000
1992 Corey Pavin United States 273 -15 198,000 1,100,000
1991 Steve Pate United States 279 -9 180,000 1,000,000
1990 John Huston United States 282 -6 180,000 1,000,000
1989 Blaine McCallister United States 266 -22 144,000 800,000
1988 Joey Sindelar United States 276 -12 126,000 700,000
1987 Mark Calcavecchia United States 279 -9 108,000 600,000
1986 Kenny Knox United States 287 -1 90,000 500,000
1985 Curtis Strange United States 275 -13 90,000 500,000
1984 Bruce Lietzke United States 280 -8 90,000 500,000
Honda Inverrary Classic
1983 Johnny Miller United States 278 -10 72,000 400,000
1982 Hale Irwin United States 269 -19 72,000 400,000
American Motors Inverrary Classic
1981 Tom Kite United States 274 -14 54,000 300,000
Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic
1980 Johnny Miller United States 274 -14 54,000 300,000
1979 Larry Nelson United States 274 -14 54,000 300,000
1978 Jack Nicklaus United States 276 -12 50,000 250,000
1977 Jack Nicklaus United States 275 -13 50,000 250,000
1976 No tournament. Inverrary Golf Club hosts The Players Championship. See below:
1976 Jack Nicklaus United States 269 -19 $60,000
1975 Bob Murphy United States 273 -15 52,000 260,000
1974 Leonard Thompson United States 278 -10 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason Inverrary-National Airlines Classic
1973 Lee Trevino United States 279 -9 52,000 260,000
Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic
1972 Tom Weiskopf United States 278 -10 52,000 260,000
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Comments

  • It’s hard to believe this tournament hasn’t been able to attract the big names in recent years. Especially given the history and the calibre of previous winners including Nicklaus, Miller, Els, Singh and Couples to name just a few.

    No doubt the organisers will be pleased to have both McIlroy and Woods on show this week.

    I’m looking forward to it.

    Posted by Troy Vayanos on 02/26

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