It’s PLAYERS Championship time.
Each and every May, the TPC Sawgrass hosts the best in the world in the PGA Tour’s flagship event. It’s widely considered the 5th major in golf. And it’s stadium design leads to thrilling finishes on an almost annual basis.
I’m excited for the PLAYERS, are you?
Watch my review here and if you’d like, read more below!
Video preview (recorded May 4th, 2017):
Click here for a link to the entire 2017 PLAYERS field via PGATour.com.
They’ll be happy about this year’s purse:
$10.5M purse this week at TPC Sawgrass, which means $1.89 million to the winner. Solo second pays out $1.134 million.
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) May 8, 2017
Last 5 Champs
- 2016: Jason Day (Recap)
- 2015: Rickie Fowler (Podcast/Recap)
- 2014: Martin Kaymer (Recap)
- 2013: Tiger Woods (Recap)
- 2012: Matt Kuchar (Recap)
Course Overview: TPC Sawgrass
This is a fascinating history of the event and changes made. Feel free to watch:
Having just undergone renovations, the TPC Sawgrass was the first true “stadium course” and a fan favorite. This because after all, it was designed to make top-notch golf even more enjoyable for fans through a drama-filled golf course with vantage points throughout.
These renovations, made clear by the video above, were designed to further enhance the original intent for the experience.
The course, designed originally in 1982 by former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman and acclaimed course architect Pete Dye, does not favor any specific style of play. There’s an array of short, medium and long holes, left and right doglegs, and a layout with no two consecutive holes playing in the same direction.
Golf Digest ranked the course it 47th among America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses for 2015-2016.
THROWBACK VIDEO TO 2015!
This Week’s Picks: Three From the Fairway
He probably should be wearing a green jacket right now. He played phenomenal golf at Augusta a month ago. And I’m going to stick with him to continue forward with this momentum.
I mean look how chill he’s been…
— Justin Rose (@JustinRose99) May 4, 2017
Rose is a comfortable player at the TPC Sawgrass. A wonderful ball-striker, Rose has two top-20s in the last 3 years here and enters as one of the most confident players in golf.
I’m going to give Rose a run this week.
This is what Sergio Garcia was doing the last time we saw him.
The Masters champion hasn’t teed it up since his signature victory. Now does this bode toward a rested, relaxed, and ready Sergio? Or does it lend to a lazy, unfocused, and unmotivated Sergio?
I’m trusting and hoping for the latter.
Sergio Garcia is the player to look to as a horse for this golf course. The venue fits his game perfectly. The demanding shots tee-to-green favors his iron play and his consistent play off the tee.
A Friday 66 was his lone bright spot here last year, but in his previous 9 starts here, 5 of them had yielded top-10 finishes. Let’s also remember, 0 missed cuts in his career at the PLAYERS.
Momentum rolling for the newly crowned Spaniard. I’m looking his way this week.
His maiden victory at the Valero two weeks back have injected him with a newly found sense of belonging on the PGA Tour.
Chappell’s game is a great fit for the TPC Sawgrass.
He’s controlling his golf ball wonderfully right now and his understanding of his ball flight and game is a requirement to play well here. And he did it last year with a T2 finish at the Stadium Course.
Confidence on the course. Confidence in his game. I have confidence in Chappell.
One From the Rough
We shot our Preview for the TPC Sawgrass before the Wells Fargo and I said I like Molinari both at the Wells Fargo and at the PLAYERS. He played well at the Wells. Now it’s time for him to put up in Florida.
I like Molinari for no other reason than he likes TPC Sawgrass.
Look at his track record at the TPC Sawgrass:
- 2016: T7
- 2015: DNP
- 2014: T6
Sum that up, and he’s a top-10 every year he’s teed it up here since 2014. And his form is currently quite nice. Pair that with his lethally accurate driver (2nd on the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy) and Molinari is a great sleeper this week.
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) May 6, 2017
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) May 6, 2017
Bonus: Zach Johnson
He just hasn’t been himself in 2017.
A dismal performance and MC at the Masters in early April was preceded by 8 rounds where he broke 70 only one time. It was then followed by another MC in Texas. We’re in the middle of May and Johnson only has one top-10 in stroke play events so far in 2017.
But the 41-year old loves it at the TPC Sawgrass.
Since 2009, his worst finish is a T58 (last year, after a Saturday 80). Other than that he’s had 5 top-25s and a near win in 2012. His play last week at the Wells Fargo boded well, as he cruised to a T18.
TPC Sawgrass is a good track for the model of consistency. Look his way as a buy low sleeper this week.
The Man with the Trophy
This will be Daniel Berger’s staple victory.
The big-dippin’ Florida-native is playing a home game this week. Having grown-up, attended college, and still living in the Sunshine state, Berger is comfortable here. And I think his quality of game is a great fit for the TPC Sawgrass.
Uber-consistent play last week at the Wells Fargo comes off a top-5 in Houston and a top-30 at Augusta the week after. After getting his bearings with a missed cut here in 2015, Berger bounced into the top-10 in 2016 with his finish.
His T9 last year was a stamp of approval on this golf course.
One of Berger’s signature moments on the PGA Tour came a few years back at PGA National in south Florida. It’s a course with a very similar, penal layout to the TPC Sawgrass.
Something about Daniel Berger feels right this week.