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Bear Traps claws should be up

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – The Bear Trap should be a beast in the first two rounds of the Honda Classic.

Strong winds ripping from 20 to 25 mph are forecast out of the east in the first two rounds.

That’s means the toughest shots on the treacherous 15th, 16th and 17th holes will be played dead into the wind.

The 15th is a 179-yard par 3 with water right and behind. The 16th is a 434-yard par 4 with a tough second shot that will play into an easterly wind. The 17th is a 190-yard par 3.

“The course is in the best shape we’ve ever seen it,” PGA Tour rules official Jon Brendle said.

Brendle said the rough, grown to 4 inches last year, is just 2 inches this year.

“But it’s thicker, denser,” Brendle said.

Brendle said the objective of shorter rough is tempt players to play shots to well-guarded greens rather than hack out into fairways.