If you like watching the world's best golfers taking on one of the world's most challenging courses, the 2011 Honda Classic is your kind of tournament (all tee times).
Last year, no non-major course played harder than the par-70 Champion Course with an average round of 1.64 strokes over par. Known for producing crazy-low birdie percentages and featuring unpredictable winners, you should expect both this weekend when the Honda Classic begins Thursday.
TV coverage can be found starting at 3 p.m. EST on The Golf Channel, radio coverage begins at Noon EST on Sirius Radio (full TV & radio schedule here).
Three of the top four players in the world are in this week's field — No. 2 Lee Westwood, No. 3 Luke Donald and No. 4 Graeme McDowell. It' Donald's Thursday trio that might be worth keeping an eye on the most. He's paired with Rory McIlroy and Camilo Villegas. (full list of Thursday pairings here). Villegas is the tournament's defending champion, though he's coming off the Accenture Match Play tournament, in which he was shuffled loose very early. Donald was the winner of that tournament and hopes to ride that momentum onto Champions Course.
That's easier said that done considering what course designer Jack Nicklaus has in store for him and the rest of the field.
The fear and loathing begins at the par-3, 179-yard 15th. A deep pot bunker to the left, water flanking three-fourths of the green and the usually stout south Florida wind adds to the havoc. Last year the hole played as the toughest par-3 in a non-major, yielding a 3.364 average.
"The 15th was a benign hole," Nicklaus said. "When we brought water into play, it became a monster."
The 14, 15, 16 holes and 15, 16, 17 holes on this course rank as two of the toughest three-hole stretches on the tour. And that is to say nothing of the back nine as a whole, which ranks as the second-toughest on the tour.
Keep an eye on SBNation.com for updates during the day or head on over to Waggle Room for more tournament discussion.