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The Honda Classic swings into Palm Beach Gardens

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The Honda Classic swings into Palm Beach Gardens

Junior Couture club members juniors Katelyn Smallwood and Lexi Coquillette and sophomores Annabelle Ford and Cressa Bronson pose in front of a Lilly Pulitzer-themed wall at the Honda Classic, a fashion company which sponsors both the Couture Club as well as the Honda Classic.

Junior Couture club members juniors Katelyn Smallwood and Lexi Coquillette and sophomores Annabelle Ford and Cressa Bronson pose in front of a Lilly Pulitzer-themed wall at the Honda Classic, a fashion company which sponsors both the Couture Club as well as the Honda Classic.

Katelyn Smallwood

Junior Couture club members juniors Katelyn Smallwood and Lexi Coquillette and sophomores Annabelle Ford and Cressa Bronson pose in front of a Lilly Pulitzer-themed wall at the Honda Classic, a fashion company which sponsors both the Couture Club as well as the Honda Classic.

Katelyn Smallwood

Katelyn Smallwood

Junior Couture club members juniors Katelyn Smallwood and Lexi Coquillette and sophomores Annabelle Ford and Cressa Bronson pose in front of a Lilly Pulitzer-themed wall at the Honda Classic, a fashion company which sponsors both the Couture Club as well as the Honda Classic.

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The Honda Classic annual golf tournament took place Feb. 19-25 at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“The Honda Classic is awesome. I recommend it for anyone,” Jupiter High junior Katelyn Smallwood said.

Since 1972, the Honda Classic has brought world-renowned golfers to Palm Beach County, sometimes referred to as the golf capital of the nation. The tournament’s net proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare Charity, an organization supporting diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood diseases and disorders.

“While we strive to provide Palm Beach County with a premier professional sporting event, our ultimate goal is to positively impact youth in need,” the official Honda Classic webpage reads.

The Honda Classic’s success would not be possible without the help of 1,700 volunteers, including Smallwood who volunteered with the Jupiter High Couture Club handing out balls to kids to get signed by famous golfers. The Couture Club is sponsored by Palm Beach-based Lilly Pulitzer, which also sponsors the Honda Classic golf tournament.

“I enjoyed it a lot, and it was just a refreshing change of environment,” Smallwood said.

The Honda Classic is Palm Beach County’s largest annual tourism source. This year’s attendance was over 224,642, a whopping 10 percent increase from 2017, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“I’ve volunteered at the Honda for 15 years, and traffic has never been more chaotic. Getting home is a pain, but I love the [Honda, and] a lot of good people come out to it,” Virginia Filar, PGA National resident, said.

Friday’s massive turn-out was due to world-famous golfer Tiger Woods’ arrival after various rumors of this being his last tournament. However, despite immense support for Woods, American player Justin Thomas eventually pulled off the big win, scoring 4-5 against American player Luke List in a nail-biting, one-hole playoff, made necessary after tying 8-8 at the final hole.

“I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to have played this year. All the hard work paid off and it was definitely a rewarding ending,” Thomas told CNN in a post-tournament interview.

The Honda Classic is an exciting event for people of all ages and a tradition for Jupiter High junior and golf team member, Teddie Scott.

“I got to go [to the Honda Classic] last year, and it was so cool. I got to see the best of the best,” Scott said.

Junior Caden Key has attended the Honda Classic with friends for three years, and recommends it to all teenagers. “The Honda this year was awesome,” Key said.

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The Honda Classic swings into Palm Beach Gardens