Golf: PGA Tour – The Players Championship
Venue: TPC Sawgrass, Florida
Dates: Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th March 2020
The unofficial ‘5th major’ gets underway in Florida as the Players Championship gets underway at the TPC Sawgrass course in Florida. The event, which was founded in 1974, traditionally saw the world’s top 50 ranked golfers battle it out for glory in the Florida sunshine. The field has been extended to 125 players during the subsequent seasons, but the notoriety associated with the tournament continues to grow. Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Jack Nicklaus are just some of the infamous winners of the Players Championship and with a $15 million prize pot on offer, the stakes are as high as ever in Florida this week.
The field in Florida is strong with some of the biggest names in the world of golf all chasing a slice of glory:
Despite fading somewhat at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last time out, Rory McIlroy is in fine form and the world number one will take some stopping at an event he is currently the defending champion at.
Big hitting Spaniard Jon Rahm has been in stellar form for the past 12-18 months and he is firmly amongst golf’s elite currently. The TPC Sawgrass course could be a good fit for him too.
World number 4 Justin Thomas already has a tournament win in the bag in 2020 and he looks to be in excellent form as he arrives in familiar surroundings and conditions in Florida.
Much was made of Tommy Fleetwood’s ‘failure’ to win at the Honda Classic a fortnight ago, but the Englishman is made of stern stuff and he will be keen to set the record straight this week.
2018 Players Championship winner Webb Simpson is always in amongst it, in every event he plays and he will be relishing the opportunity to sneak under the radar here in Florida.
1st Round Leader
The whole field here in Florida will believe they can get off to a strong start and if they do so they could set themselves up for the week ahead:
World number 14 Bryson DeChambeau finished inside the top 5 last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and he will be keen to get off to a flyer here at the Players Championship,
Whilst Patrick Reed isn’t known for his fast starts, he finished strongly in Florida last week and with a win in Mexico already under his belt this season, he could just continue his great form here at Sawgrass.
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick has really come of age on both the European and PGA Tours in recent times and his finish at the Arnold Palmer last week will be a real cause for optimism.
Top 10 Finish
With so many good players assembled here in Florida, getting into the winning enclosure could be tough but there are plenty of candidates to finish in the top 10 come Sunday:
Adam Scott burst onto the scene by winning this event back in 2004 and he continues to be one of the men to beat on the PGA Tour. With a win at the Genesis Open last month, he is in excellent form currently too.
South African Louis Oosthuizen is a pillar of consistency across both the European and PGA Tours and having been edged out at this event in 2017, he will fancy his chances this year.
With a win already under his belt this season, Graeme McDowell continually goes under the radar at big events and with a Ryder Cup place to play for, he will be all too aware of the need to keep picking up ranking points.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Rory McIlroy – 8.00
Top Ten Finish: Adam Scott – 3.30