The unofficial 5th major of the PGA Tour season is upon us! THE PLAYERS will be played from TPC Sawgrass this weekend and promises to be an exciting event. At $15 million, THE PLAYERS has the highest purse of any single tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, so the top players in the world will all be in action this week. Check out our full preview and betting tips for the event below.
While we were unable to find the winner at the Arnold Palmer last week, it was still a decent weekend as two of our top picks in Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood finished in the top 10 for a decent return. We’ll be hunting some more winners this week as we provide our selections for THE PLAYERS getting underway on Thursday night (AEDT).
A total of just five players who are eligible for THE PLAYERS this season will not be teeing it up in Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka, Matthew Wolff, Zac Blair and Bud Cauley. The fact that every other eligible player will be competing this season means that the field will be absolutely stacked full of top line talent. All of the top 10 players in the world will be playing in Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Colin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Reed, Patrick Cantlay and Webb Simpson.
Rory McIlroy fell out of the top 10 for the first time in three years this week, however, he is the reigning champion at TPC Sawgrass and a successful title defence would surely see him jump back in. Other winners who will be back to tee it up this week include Webb Simpson (2018), Si Woo Kim (2017), Jason Day (2016) and Rickie Fowler (2015).
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has been the home of THE PLAYERS since all the way back in the 1982 season. It is a beautifully manicured park course that boasts one of the most well-known holes in all of golf, the 17th island green Par 3. So many thrilling moments have come from the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass and there will no doubt be some more this year.
Overall, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass sets up as a Par 72 at just over 7,180 yards. It should be in pristine conditions as last year’s PLAYERS was called off after just one round and the fan footprint will be minimal this season. Greens in regulation are super important at the Stadium Course, with winners generally finishing in the top 10 in this category, so it’s one that we will be targeting this week.
There are a few of the big dogs that we like this week but we will also outline a couple of value picks that we are really interested in below.
1 Dustin Johnson ($13)
Pretty tough to look past the best player in the world regardless of a rare poor performance in his last outing at the WGC-Mexico. That result was the first time in 12 tournaments that Johnson has not finished in the top 12 of a tournament he has played in and in that span he has racked up four wins. THE PLAYERS is one tournament that the No.1 player in the world does not have on his resume yet, so I’m sure he’ll be keen to pick up this trophy and the massive pay-day that comes with it. Has finished T12, T17 and T5 in his last three trips to Sawgrass.
2 Xander Schauffele ($21)
How Schauffele has not recorded a win on the PGA Tour this season so far is almost unbelievable. He has been arguably the most consistent gofer, already racking up eight top 20 finishes in 9 tournaments. He has finished second on three occasions in the CJ Cup, the Farmers Insurance and the Waste Management Open. Finished 2nd to Si Woo Kim in the 2018 edition and the Stadium Course seems to set up well for the World No.5.
3 Jordan Spieth ($31)
Could Spieth be back? In his last four tournaments, he has recorded results of T4 at the Waste Management, T3 at Pebble Beach, T15 at the Genesis and T4 at the Arnold Palmer. He seems to have found some confidence from tee-to-green, which has always been his issue and he has been absolutely lights out with the short stick.
Tony Finau - $29
Adam Scott - $67
Justin Rose - $101
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