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The PLAYERS Championship: Expert Picks

Francesco with a top 10 finish at TPC Sawgrass

PGA: The Players Championship - Final Round Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Tournament Information

The Players Championship

Date: May 10th – 13th

Course: TPC Sawgrass, Stadium Course

Purse: $10.5MM ($1.9MM to each winner)

FedEx points: 600 to the winner

2017 Winner: Kim Si-Woo (-10)

Course: TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course. 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.

Starting 4

Hideki Matsuyama. The only golfer with top 25 finishes each of the last 3 years here. After a good start to his 2018 campaign, Hideki has struggled a bit lately with only one finish in the top 20 in his last 6 starts. A familiar course like TPC should help reset his true north and realign his game.

Russell Knox. Top 20 finishes in 2015 AND 2016 at Sawgrass. He opened with a 76 last year which hurt him. A good guide is the preceding tournament where he had a 43rd finish and 2nd finish in 2016 and 2016 while he missed the cut in 2017. This year he’s coming off a T7 at Zurich Classic which is a good sign heading into the PLAYERS Championship.

Francesco Molinari. Top ten finishes each of the last two years here meshed with top 20 finishes in 3 of his last 4 tournaments this season makes for a strong cocktail. I think he is the likeliest top 10 candidate in the field this year.

Dustin Johnson. Everyone seems so focused on Jason Day and Justin Thomas that no one is paying attention to Dustin who has back to back top 30 finishes here and top 20 finishes in all but one tournament this season.

Bench 2

Louis Oosthuizen. Having a quietly great season. Two missed cuts present the only blemish on a season that has six top 30 finishes and three top 15 finishes in his last 4 tournaments. He finished 2ndhere last year.

Chris Kirk. He has top 15 finishes in 2015 and 2017, he is 26th in strokes gained approaching the green, 24th in strokes gained around the green and 42nd in total strokes gained. His recent play has me a bit reticent with just one top 20 finish in his last 4 tournaments to go with 2 missed cuts.

Poll

Which marquee name player not listed will do the best at the PLAYERS Championship

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Justin Thomas
    (39 votes)
  • 23%
    Jason Day
    (39 votes)
  • 21%
    Rickie Fowler
    (36 votes)
  • 9%
    Patrick Reed
    (15 votes)
  • 7%
    Tiger Woods
    (12 votes)
  • 14%
    Jordan Spieth
    (23 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

2018 Stats

Starting 4 avg finish: 40th (31st percentile)

Bench 2 avg finish: 32nd (33rd percentile)