Power Rankings: 2017 Honda Classic


The 2017 fantasy golf season shifts to Florida this week, as the PGA Tour heads south for the Honda Classic. A field of 144 players will tackle the Champion Course at PGA National, including the daunting finishing stretch known as "Bear Trap."

Be sure to join the all-new Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to compete for prizes and form your own leagues, and log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to submit your picks for this week's event.

Adam Scott won this event last year by one shot over Sergio Garcia. Here are 10 players to watch in Palm Beach:

1. Russell Knox: The Scot has come close here before, notably losing a playoff in 2014 and following with a T-3 finish the next year. Knox is familiar with expected conditions as a Florida resident, can drive the ball on a string to avoid penal rough and has top-11 finishes this season on a pair of tight tracks (Sony, Mayakoba).

2. Adam Scott: The defending champ acquitted himself well last week at Riviera, finishing T-11 in his first U.S. start since the Tour Championship. He returns to a course where he could have won in runaway fashion last year, but also one where he finished T-12 in 2014. Last year's title was no fluke, as Scott remains as steady as they come when the conditions get tough.

3. Sergio Garcia: Garcia nearly caught Scott down the stretch last year, instead finishing second for his second top-10 at PGA National in the last three years. The Spaniard won just a few weeks ago in Dubai and this week's layout should only serve to spotlight his strength off the tee.

4. Daniel Berger: Berger was a surprise contender when he lost a playoff to Padraig Harrington here in 2015, but he returns to his de facto home game as a known commodity and PGA Tour winner. Berger boasts plenty of experience at PGA National and finished T-7 in Phoenix in his most recent start.

5. Rickie Fowler: Fowler will be a fan favorite this week, and he usually tends to play some of his best golf at this event. Last year's T-6 finish was his fourth top-25 result in the last five years at PGA National, where his experience in the wind from Oklahoma State can often come into play. A T-4 finish in Phoenix shows good play may be just around the corner.

6. Justin Thomas: Thomas has cooled since his Hawaii double-dip to start the year, but he is plenty familiar with Bermuda greens and finished T-3 at this event last year. Already with three wins this season, Thomas ranks second in total strokes gained and fourth in strokes gained tee-to-green.

7. Paul Casey: This event is known to bring a bit of European flair, a trend embodied by Casey's recent record. The Englishman has cracked the top 12 here three times since 2010, notably a T-3 finish two years ago, and enters off solid showings at two other tricky tracks in Torrey Pines (T-28) and Riviera (T-39).

8. Brendan Steele: Steele continues to set a strong pace following his season-opening victory, with four straight top-20 finishes before last week's T-39 result. Now he heads to a venue where he has cracked the top 15 each of the last two years where his strong ball-striking (ninth in strokes gained tee-to-green) should pay off.

9. Graeme McDowell: The Ulsterman hasn't made much noise in recent months, but he tends to find a way onto the Honda leaderboard regardless of prior form. McDowell's record here includes four top-10 finishes over the last six years, highlighted by last year's T-5 showing, so don't be surprised if the former U.S. Open champ again thrives on a tough course.

10. Thomas Pieters: The Belgian bomber has never played this event before, but after last week's runner-up finish at Riviera don't be surprised if his momentum carries him to another big week. Pieters has the length off the tee to conquer nearly any venue, and a couple of good rounds could see him lock up a PGA Tour card before we get to March.