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It’s not often you hear 73-time PGA Tour winner and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus and one-time PGA Tour winner and six-time major championship participant Sepp Straka mentioned in the same breath.

But if all goes right for Straka at the Honda Classic this week on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort, where he captured that lone PGA Tour victory a year ago, the 29-year-old Austrian will join “The Golden Bear” in the record books of this storied event.

Sepp Straka could join Jack Nicklaus as the only back-to-back winners of the Honda Classic

Sepp Straka during the final round of the 2022 PGA Tour Honda Classic
Sepp Straka plays his shot from the 14th tee during the final round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort And Spa on February 27, 2022 | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

First played in 1972, the Honda Classic has seen some of golf’s biggest names hoist the winner’s trophy at the end of the tournament, a list that includes Tom Weiskopf, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Curtis Strange, Corey Pavin, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Mark O’Meara, Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, and Rickie Fowler.

So with that list, you can understand why it was such a big deal for Sepp Straka to win the Honda Classic a season ago. Well, that and it was his first PGA Tour victory. And what a victory it was. En route to becoming the first-ever Austrian-born player to win on the PGA Tour, Straka birdied three of the last five holes during his final-round 66 to claim a one-shot win over Shane Lowry.

And this week, Straka can make some more history. You see, of all the historic names mentioned above, not one of them ever won the Honda Classic two years in a row. In fact, in the 50-plus years this tournament has been played, only one player has taken back-to-back trophies: Jack Nicklaus.

That’s right. The very man who redesigned the course on which Straka will attempt to win his second straight Honda Classic is the only man who won this tournament two years in a row. Nicklaus first won this event in 1977, taking a five-shot victory over Gary Player, and then did it again in 1978, earning a one-stroke win over Grier Jones.

So if Straka can find a way to take this tournament once again, not only will he join Nicklaus as the only other player to win the Honda Classic two years in a row, but he’ll also become part of another exclusive club that unbelievably features just four golfers.

Of all the great winners of this event, only Nicklaus (1977, 1978), Johnny Miller (1980, 1983), Mark Calcavechhia (1987, 1998), and Padraig Harrington (2005, 2015) have won the Honda Classic more than once overall.


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