Mar 03, 2021
Fan Favorites Mickelson, Fowler Commit to Play in The 2021 Honda Classic
Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, two of the biggest names in golf, have committed to play in the 2021 Honda Classic, a PGA TOUR event which will return to PGA National Resort & Spa March 15-21.
The pair join a developing world class field that includes defending champion Sungjae Im, a South Korean who won the 2020 Honda Classic with two massive birdies down the stretch on Sunday, as well as three of the past four winners on the PGA TOUR — 12th-ranked Brooks Koepka, the recent Waste Management Phoenix Open champion, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion Daniel Berger, and Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa.
Other early commitments have come from Lee Westwood, the winner of last year’s Race to Dubai as the top player on the European Tour, as well as 2005 and 2015 Honda Classic champion and European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, fellow Irishman and 2019 British Open winner Shane Lowry, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, Englishman Ian Poulter, and Swede Henrik Stenson.
“Phil is a true legend, a generational player that everybody loves to follow and cheer for,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “We are fortunate to have him join us again this year at The Classic in The Palm Beaches. And getting a commitment from Rickie alongside of Phil is a magical announcement for our event, the City of Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach County.”
Mickelson, who has bought a lot on Jupiter Island with plans to move to Palm Beach County in the future, has one of the most magical resumes in golf, winning 44 times on the PGA TOUR including five Major championships (three Masters titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010, the 2005 PGA Championship and the Open Championship (2013). He also has finished as the runner-up at the U.S. Open six times.
He recently turned 50 and has begun playing a schedule that combines PGA TOUR and PGA Champions Tour events. Mickelson won the first two tournaments he played last year on the Champions circuit. There even has been discussion that Mickelson might start spending some of his future time as a broadcast analyst.
But there still is nothing Mickelson enjoys more than competing and that is the mindset he will bring to The Classic in The Palm Beaches. Mickelson also has not ruled out making a run in 2020 that would inspire captain Steve Stricker to add him to the American Ryder Cup team. No golfer has ever played in more Ryder Cups than Mickelson, who has worn the red, white and blue 12 times.
“My love of the game of golf is extremely high and my desire to compete and play against the best players is high, and so I find myself just internally motivated because of my love to compete and my love to try to bring out the best in me,” Mickelson said. “I’m excited to see if I’m able to continue playing at the highest level. If I am, I’m going to really try to play more events on the PGA TOUR and make a push hopefully for the Ryder Cup. What’s fun for me is competing, getting in contention, and trying to win tournaments.”
It will be a physically fit Mickelson who shows up at PGA National. Mickelson has put enormous effort into his fitness in recent years, fighting off psoriatic arthritis and working himself into great condition to try to recover his best form. That has included fasting and a special coffee blend.
“I don’t know if it’s going to help me play better or not, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to try to get my best back,” Mickelson said. “I’m going to continue to make it a lifestyle change. I’m going to continue to eat better, eat less, work out more, just stay committed to it.”
Fowler has also been working hard in recent weeks to regain his form and comes to PGA National to compete on a track that has been very favorable to him.
He won The Classic in The Palm Beaches in 2017 and finished second in 2019 and sixth in 2016. Fowler has won nine events in his pro career, with five on the PGA Tour: the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, two in 2015 (The Players and Deutsche Bank), the 2017 Honda Classic, and the Waste Management in 2019.
The Classic in The Palm Beaches has released an additional allotment of tickets pointing toward reduced daily crowds of about 10,000 this year with the primary focus on the health and well-being for all involved with the tournament and the local community.
Grounds tickets for each day of competition are now available for $60. Public hospitality tickets at the Champions Club on the 18th hole and the Waterford Club at the 17th green are $325.
The Bear Trap, which usually winds around the 16th green and 17th hole tee box area, is being re-imagined into three sections with limited seating in socially-distanced blocks of two and four seats. Bear Trap tickets are $200.
Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at thehondaclassic.com along with limited number of on-site parking passes that don’t require shuttles ($100). Nearby parking is also available at the PGA of America lot ($50) and the BallenIsles lot ($25).
There will be no on-site ticket or parking sales this year. All purchases must be made in advance at thehondaclassic.com. Anyone interested in hospitality can email email@example.com.
There will be social distancing guidelines at all areas. Protocols will be put in place that include the mandatory use of facial coverings, social distancing and other health and safety measures. All permanent and temporary structures will have complete daily sanitation along with all golf carts and vehicles used in tournament operations. All interactions from start to finish including ticketing, admissions, merchandise, and concessions will be contactless and safety measures regarding food preparation and distribution will be in place.
The Classic in The Palm Beaches awarded a record-shattering $5.35 million to 103 South Florida philanthropic organizations in 2020, the 14th consecutive year that the PGA TOUR event has been able to increase its impact on the lives of local children and their families. Honda Classic Cares is also considering additional ways to raise money this year to minimize the impact of a possible reduced charity distribution because of limited crowds and hospitality venues.
The tournament has now surpassed $50 million in charitable contributions as American Honda approaches its 40th year as title sponsor of the PGA TOUR event, including almost $35 million in the 14 years since Children’s Healthcare Charity, Inc. became the host organization and moved the event to PGA National Resort and Spa. The 2020 distribution is impacting more than 91,000 children and their families this year in Palm Beach County.