Jason Day won the Players Championship last season so it’s no surprise that he is a big fan of the tournament. However, when he said that he hopes the Players becomes a major championship in the future, he was not talking out of turn judging by the opinion of many PGA Tour players.
The Players Championship has long been considered the unofficial fifth major. Indeed, it has many similarities with golf’s four biggest tournaments. Like the Masters, the Players is held at the same course every year (TPC Sawgrass), it has the highest prize fund of any non major at $10.5 million and provides the winner with a five-year PGA Tour exemption.
Some people go as far as to claim that the Players Championship actually provides the best field of the year. You have to have won something special or be ranked inside the top 125 on the FedEx Cup rankings to get a spot in the Players so this really is a tournament contested by the very best in the world. Most of those competing this year will be familiar with the layout of TPC Sawgrass but the course has undergone some changes since last year. New water features, upgraded tees and bunkers and new putting surfaces combine to add a fresh layer of intrigue to the 2017 Players Championship.
Fresh and Ready, Sergio Can Win Another Big One
Much like the previous winners of the Masters, Sergio Garcia has been on a whistle stop tour to parade his new green jacket. The Spaniard’s win at Augusta National was one of the most popular in recent history but it’s back to the day job for Sergio this week.
What a tournament this is for Garcia to make his first appearance since Augusta. Not only will the confidence be flowing after finally putting his major woes to bed but the 37-year-old is the all-time biggest earner at the Players. If he gets to grips with the new greens, Garcia can win another huge tournament at 18/1 with Bet365.
Course Specialist Kaymer Cannot be Discounted
Martin Kaymer is a strange golfer to follow. At times, the German has looked like the best player on the planet (most notably when winning the 2014 US Open by eight shots). At others, he’s looked like he doesn’t even belong amongst the pro ranks.
Much of Kaymer’s streaky form is due to his desire to constantly improve. He is not averse to making radical swing changes with an eye on the future even if it may worsen his current results. No matter where his game is at, Kaymer always plays well at TPC Sawgrass and given that his game is on an upward trajectory, he must represent each way value at 66/1 with Coral.
Noren Worth a Small Stakes Punt
Alex Noren was desperately disappointed to crumble when in the final group of last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. But, he can be proud of the golf he played over the first three days. His ball striking and brilliant putting will stand him in good stead for his debut performance where he could be worth a small each way bet at 125/1 with Betfred.