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The PLAYERS Championship: Expert Picks

Take a look at Lee Westwood as a sneaky pick

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

What: The PLAYERS Championship
When: May 11th -€” 14th
Where: TPC Sawgrass
2016 Winner: Jason Day (-15)
Purse: $10.5 Million ($1.9MM to winner) -€” 2016 amounts.

Quick aside on Wells Fargo -€” I deeply apologize for Kevin Streelman, that might be my worst feature pick I've made on these (I should have factored in the course change). Phil, JB and Emiliano were all respectable but Kevin just flat out fell apart. It seems lately like the feature player tanks but the others do well, take that for what you will when I post these.

Course: TPC Sawgrass. Built in 1980 by Pete and Alice Dye it stands as one of the more difficult course in the United States. Sitting at 7,190 yards, this par 72 course is a ‘jack of all trades' course forcing players to use the entirety of their swiss army knife to pass it's illustrious tests. Notorious hole 17 will stand out in infamy to most as the green stands alone surrounded by water. The great joy of this course is watching the players lean after their shot on 17 trying to use their mental capacity to direct the ball midflight.

Dustin Johnson. Dustin Johnson. Dustin Johnson. 3rd place. 1st place. 1st place. 1st place. 2nd place. That's his last 5 tournaments.


Justin Thomas. This is not Jordan's event, he's missed the cut 2 of his last 3 passes here, this leaves me with Justin Thomas as the fellow up and coming star. After back to back wins in Hawaii earlier this year he hit a rough patch of 3 missed cuts in 5 tournaments, but with a 22nd place finish at the Masters and 5th place finish at Zurich Classic he's back into form. He has comfort at Sawgrass with a 3rd place finish here last year and a 24th place in 2015.

Hideki Matsuyama. Currently 3rd in Fedex Cup points, Hideki is the 3rd best B-player this season. Much like Justin, he had a great start with 5 top 2 finishes in his first 8 tournaments of this Fedex year. Since then he hit some missed cuts, 40 and 50 place finishes but with an 11th place finish at the Masters, he's back on track. He finished 7th place at the PLAYERS last year, 17th in 2015 and 23rd in 2014.

Sergio Garcia. Does anyone remember the great playoff two years ago here where Sergio lost and the question emerged: He will win the PLAYERS but he'll likely never win a major. Fast forward two years and one green jacket later. Besides his Masters win he has 3 top 15 finishes in the 6 tournaments he played, he has not missed a cut and he has only shot 4 rounds over par this season.

Dark Horse:
Lee Westwood. He's having a great season across all continents and now he travels to TPC Sawgrass where he has yielded two top ten finishes over his last 4 trips here (6th in 2014 and 8th in 2013). Oh and 4 of his five PGA tours this year have ended in top 30 finishes.