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First played in 1972, the PGA Tour event currently known as the Honda Classic once boasted one of the strongest fields in golf, as well as one of its richest purses.

While that’s not the case any longer, as the opener to the Florida swing isn’t one of the PGA Tour’s elevated events, the tournament still boasts a remarkable history and includes a historic list of winners that includes Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Adam Scott.

While the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has hosted the Honda Classic since 2007, six other courses in South Florida hosted the tourney from 1972 to 2006, one of which was the venue for the lowest 72-hole score in tournament history.

The lowest single-round score in Honda Classic history, however, came at PGA National.

What is the lowest round ever shot at the Honda Classic?

The lowest round in tournament history is a shared record and was first shot by Brian Harman in the second round of the 2012 edition of the Honda Classic on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa.

After firing an opening-round 73 on the par-70 track, the then-25-year-old, who was initially an alternate in the field but got in after others withdrew, shot a 9-under round of 61, besting the course record in tournament play by three shots.

Harman played the first three holes in 4-under en route to shooting 29 on his first nine and then made birdie at the 11th to get to 7-under. After a bogey at the 12th, he birdied 13, 14, and 15 to get to 9-under. With pars at 16 and 17, an eagle at the par-5 18th would’ve gotten him to the elusive 59, and he certainly took a shot at it.

After a solid drive, he used a hybrid on his approach instead of a 3-wood, hoping to get the ball closer to the hole. But he came up short in a greenside bunker. However, he nearly holed his bunker shot for eagle, leaving himself only about five feet for birdie. But he missed that as well and had to settle for 61 with a tap-in par.

Harman shot 69-73 over the final two rounds to finish tied for 12th at 4-under, eight shots back of winner Rory McIlroy.

At the 2021 edition of the Honda Classic at PGA National, Matt Jones tied Harman’s record with a nine-under 61 in the first round.

The Aussie star hit 10 of 14 fairways that day, hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, and needed just 24 putts, which obviously ranked him No. 1 in strokes gained tee to green. Six of his nine birdie putts were made from six feet or less, as he was clearly dialed in with his irons.

Unlike Harman, Jones won the tournament, shooting 70-69-68 over the next three rounds to finish at 12-under for the week, five shots better than runner-up Brandon Hagy.

What is the lowest 72-hole score at the Honda Classic?

Justin Leonard at the 2003 PGA Tour Honda Classic
Justin Leonard hits a shot during the final round of the Honda Classic at The Country Club at Mirasol on March 16, 2003 | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As for the lowest 72-hole score in Honda Classic history, that honor belongs to 1997 Open Championship winner Justin Leonard. And that relates to both total strokes and score relative to par.

The Texas native, then 31 years old, notched career PGA Tour victory number eight by shooting a four-round total of 264 at Marisol Country Club in 2003. Leonard shot 63-70-64-67 to finish at 24-under for the week, beating Davis Love III and Chad Campbell by a stroke.

Since the Honda Classic moved to PGA National, the 72-hole record belongs to Camilo Villegas, who shot 66-66-67-68 in 2013 to finish at 13-under.


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