Players Championship

It’s The Players Championship from TPC Sawgrass in St Johns County, Florida. It’s always a fantastic tournament and one brimming with the world’s best golfing talent

Cast your mind back 12 months, and it was this very weekend that golf ground to a halt. This tournament was cancelled halfway through because of the early effects of the pandemic.

Has the past year changed anything? Sadly, not much. But the good news is that we do now have the PGA Tour and European Tour back up and running, so let’s sit back enjoy the spectacle!

The Players Championship: The Tournament

The Players is called the ‘fifth major’ and with good reason. It’s played on a superb course, attracts all the top golfers and provides great drama with signature holes like the par-3 17th. It only dates back to 1974 but has already acquired status comparable to the majors – and there was talk at one stage that it might become one. However, a change in the annual schedule, which has seen the US PGA Championship move from August to May, has put paid to this idea. But a switch back to March, and pre-US Masters, is still a good move and should see the event regain its high-quality appeal.

The Players Championship: The Course

We’re at TPC Sawgrass this week, at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida. The facility was opened in 1980 and is designed by well-known course architect Pete Dye. The layout is a par 72 at 7,189 yards. Best known for the “island green” on the 17th, it’s a fine test for the players. Scoring is tough but not impossible.

72-Hole Record

264: Greg Norman (1994)

18-Hole Record

63: Colt Knost & Jason Day (2016)

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21

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The Players Championship: Past Winners

2020: Event cancelled
2019: Rory McIlroy
2018: Webb Simpson
2017: Si Woo Kim
2016: Jason Day
2015: Rickie Fowler

The Players Championship: The Field

It’s almost a standard field with 154 players teeing it up this week. Rory McIlroy is the $12 favourite with TopSport.

The Players Championship: The Weather

There’s a bit of cloud cover each day but it’s doubtful there’ll any rain this week in Florida. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s, wind speeds will fail to reach 10mph. Really, conditions should be nigh-on perfect.

The Players Championship: Value Bets

These are two value bets from the Golf Insider. Members receive all of his best bets for all markets – win and each-way, Top 10, Top 20, Round 1 Leader and 3-Ball groups. He covers every tournament on the PGA and European Tours.

Patrick Cantlay – each-way (currently $21 with TopSport)

Cantlay is once again high on my rankings sheet. When you consider that his worst finishing position for the last five months is 17th, it’s pretty hard to argue with this rating. During this time he’s won the Zozo Championship, finished second at the Amex Championship, and third at the AT&T Pebble Beach. His tee-to-green game is exemplary, ranking no worse than 10th on his last three starts. He has become one of the most consistent golfers in the world. TPC Sawgrass is the perfect test for such a classy operator. Cantlay’s record here isn’t anything special. But he had a chance to win on debut before a Sunday disaster saw him finish in 22nd place.

Cantlay has had the last two weeks off, so he clearly has targeted this event, and has given himself maximum preparation time. His game has no weaknesses, and every man will be tested to the max – so it helps to be able to rely on every part of your game. Cantlay is a world class player who should thrive this week and, for me, he should be a lot closer to the front of the market. At 20/1 he’s the best bet for me.”

Tony Finau – Top 10 (currently $4 with TopSport)

Finau continues to please and frustrate punters alike week after week. The walking cash-machine continues to play great golf and finish in the places without getting that elusive second win that his play absolutely deserves. He’s not a bottler, as many people will tell you, he’s just been incredibly unlucky a few times, and maybe not quite aggressive enough others times. One thing is for certain and that is he’ll win again very soon. This week represents another great chance for the big hitting American. Finau is better suited to tough tests, as his long game is superior to most.

Like Cantlay, Finau’s tee-to-green game is phenomenal. He’s gained 43 strokes on the field in this category for his last five starts which is more than eight per event! Finau’s record here is also a bit underwhelming, but he did record his best finish of 22nd on his last start. Finau has finished in the Top 10 on five of his last seven starts, which includes three runner-up finishes.

The Golf Insider is a GUN. Look at these winners, all since the start of 2020...

Martin Laird $201, Rasmus Hojgaard $151, Mark Hubbard $126, Marc Warren $101, Sam Burns $67, Tyrell Hatton $51, Peter Malnati $46, Talor Gooch $41, Harold Varner $36, Harris English $34, Robert Macintyre $31, Adri Arnaus $26, Connor Syme $26, Scott Jamieson $24, JB Holmes $21, Seamus Power $21, Dustin Johnson $21

GET INVOLVED HERE

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