The Players Championship preview


The 47th Staging of the Players Championship will once again be held at TPC Sawgrass Florida starting this Thursday.

Commonly referred to as The Fifth Major, the tournament has been held here since 1982 and always features one of the strongest fields in world golf.

Opened in 1980, the course at Sawgrass is one that demands intense accuracy from tee to green. It has putting surfaces that are smaller than the tour average along with narrower than normal fairways.

Rory McIlroy will be hoping to make it back to back victories at Sawgrass after holding off Jim Furyk to win by one stroke last year with a winning score of 16-under par, but history is against the Irishman as so far nobody has recorded back to back wins in the Players Championship.

The world number one comes into the week as the most consistent golfer around, following a top five finish at last weekends Arnold Palmer Invitational, McIlroy has reeled off seven consecutive top five finishes and four top ten finishes at The Players.

For the first time since 2017, the Players Championships will be missing Tiger Woods, who will miss the event because of a long standing back problem. However, even without Woods the event will feature 19 of the top 20 players in the official world golf rankings.

Former champions Webb Simpson, Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler will be in the field, alongside 2007 champion Phil Mickelson, but the course isn’t one of Mickelson’s favourites, having missed the cut in six of his last seven starts.

For McIlroy to complete a unique double, he will need to play four rounds of flawless golf, something he has failed to do so far this season. In every tournament thus far this season he has produced 54 consistent holes of golf, and one bad round which has hampered his chances of more success.

Despite this, the current world number one will start the tournament as clear favourite. Last year Jon Rahm was 15 under entering the final round of the Players Championship, before shooting a four over par 76 to finish in 12th place. If he can finish better this time, the Spaniard could notch the biggest win of his PGA Tour.

Look out as well for Simpson, who won this event in 2018, has also been playing well this season and has already claimed the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a play off in February.

This type of course is perfect for Scott, having won the Players Championship back in 2004. The Australian has had four consecutive top 12 finishes in the event, despite a missed cut at the API, Scott enters the week in fine form, having won the Genesis Invitational less than a month ago.

American Keegan Bradley is another player who really enjoys playing at Sawgrass. He was the 18-hole leader after an opening round 65 a year ago before finishing in 16th place. Bradley has reeled off sub 70 scores in five of his last eight rounds at the course and could go well this week.




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