The PGA Tour returns to a familiar spot, TPC Sawgrass, for the 2016 PLAYERS Championship. Deemed the “5th Major”, this tournament hosts arguably the toughest field in all of golf. Most recognize this tournament by the famous 17th island green pictured above. This daunting hole ranges from 120-140 yards each day and humbles the games best as they try to avoid disaster. Let’s move into our picks for this week’s fantastic event.
- Rory McIlroy– McIlroy began his career with three straight missed cuts at this event. His last three….all top 10s. He is also on a tear this year with three straight top 10 finishes. This tournament demands precise shots on holes 16,17 and 18 on Sunday to win. Although he is a 4-time Major Champion, McIlroy has also crumbled on Sundays under pressure. He will use his success and failures on Sundays to win this week.
Betting Odds: +800 (Bovada)
- Hideki Matsuyama– Every week I look at the field and chose who I think can win and every week no matter the course Matsuyama is an option. Besides his WD at the Honda Classic he has recorded top 25 finishes in six of his last seven events including a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He is 2/2 at TPC Sawgrass with two top 25 finishes. He is also a tee to green monster. He ranks 5th on tour in strokes gained tee to green, 3rd in birdie average, 6th in scoring average, 16th in ball striking etc….I can keep going if I wanted too. Get familiar with his name because he is becoming one of the most consistent golfers in the world.
Betting Odds: +2500
- Sergio Garcia– Garcia has had major success at this tournament. He has missed the cut only twice in sixteen tries and has recorded six top 10 finishes including a win in the 2008 edition. He is also the all-time money leader at this event. Garcia always seems to have his name near the top of the leaderboard at this event.
Betting Odds: +3000
- Henrik Stenson– Another player with great success here. Has missed the cut twice in ten attempts. Has recorded four top 10s and won the event in 2009. He stumbled last week missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship but before that posted six straight top 30 finishes. Currently is ranked 2nd on tour in ball striking, 3rd in total driving, 8th in birdie average, 4th in stroked gained tee to green and 8th in greens in regulation percentage. All areas needed to thrive here at TPC Sawgrass.
Betting Odds: +2800
- Rickie Fowler- Fowler embarrassed me when I chose him to win the Masters. He missed the cut in ugly fashion. With that being said, I can’t ignore the way he has been playing this year. In twelve events this year he has posted nine top 25 finishes and six top 10s. I could talk all about his stats but only one category really matters with him, he is ranked 1st on tour in all around ranking meaning he is good at everything. I expect the defending champion to be in contention on the weekend.
Betting odds: +1800
Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Chris Kirk.
Guys with great odds to win:
- Kevin Na- +6600
- Martin Kaymer- +9000
- Bill Haas- +9000
- Jim Furyk- +12500
- John Senden- +15000
- KJ Choi- +22500
- Martin Laird- +22500
One and Done Pick: Rory McIlroy