Last year's one shot victory over Davis Love III and Chad Campbell gave the 31-year-old Texan his fourth straight year in which he has won at least one PGA Tour event, the third longest active streak on the tour behind Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. His winning 72-hole total of 264 broke the previous Honda Classic record of 266 set by Blaine McCallister in 1989.
Depsite missing the cut in three of the four majors in 2003 - the exception being his tie for 20th at the U.S. Open - Leonard finished among the tour's top earners coming in at 17th on the money list with $2,450,525. It was the Dallas native's ninth consecutive season in the top 25.
The Honda Classic will be just the sixth event for Leonard this season as a new daughter, Reese, is vying for time with the world's 27th ranked player. It was at last year's John Deere Classic in September, that Leonard, just four strokes off the lead, withdrew from the tournament and flew home to witness the birth of he and his wife Amanda's first child.
Saddled up to play against the Texan this week is Leonard's good friend and world No. 4 Davis Love.
Love, coming off a brilliant week at the WGC-Match Play Championships where he finished runner-up to Tiger Woods, has had to endure a media frenzy regarding his reaction and handling of a heckler during the final match.
Compared to the traumatic year he endured in 2003, the suicide death of his brother in-law and false allegations about martial problems between he and his wife, there is little doubt Love will be able to handle this latest brouhaha.
Also teeing it up are a couple of champions from the past week in Mark O'Meara and Australian Craig Parry.
The duo, however, will have to take drastically different routes to get to the first tee box in South Florida. O'Meara will travel halfway around the world following his victory in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, whereas Parry has just a quick drive up the coast after his dramatic win at the Ford Championship.
Buick Invitational winner John Daly has withdrawn from this week's action citing a injured hand.
This is the second year that The Country Club at Mirasol will play host following the tournament's six-year run at the TPC at Heron Bay in Coral Springs. Its the fifth different course used in the tournaments 31 years.
The purse for the event is $5 million, with first place paying out $900,000.