The Players Championship: Preview and Tips

Golf Betting

The Players Championship, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Verda Beach, Florida

Course

One of the most iconic tournaments played on the PGA Tour, the Players Championship will be held this week at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The course that hosts this even is the TPC Stadium Course at Sawgrass, a course that was specifically made to host this tournament.

Pete Dye designed this course and his characteristic touches can be found throughout. There water on almost every hole of the course and the drink will definitely play a part in the outcome. The Par 3 17th hole with the island green is one of the most iconic holes in the world and has claimed it’s fair share of victims.

The fairways are tight, the greens are of an average size, and the rough can be quite penal. Reports from the course also suggest that it is playing pretty fast which should increase the difficulty levels and put an even more premium on accuracy. Bermuda Grass lines the entire course from tee to green. Sunny weather and mild-moderate winds have been forecast for the week in Florida so scoring may be easier than on some recent previous years.

Tournament Overview

The winner’s list of The Players suggests that experience is on of the key features to winning here. The occasion and the spectacle of the tournament have historically caught inexperienced players out with 2017 being an exception with Si Woo Kim grabbing what was his second PGA Tour victory. Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Martin Kaymer were the winners in the years preceding while Tiger Woodds has won here just twice (2001, 2013).  Day is coming off a win at the Wells Fargo Championship and is in excellent form going into this tournament as well.

Accuracy off the tee will be a premium this week as it allows players to get into good positions to attack some very difficult greens. As difficult as this course may be, there are plenty of scoring opportunities that need to be taken advantage of. The Par 5’s will provide eagle opportunities and knowing when to attack the course is a large part of being successful. Scrambling from difficult positions to avoid that disaster hole is also very important.

At just under 7200 yards, this is not a particularly long course but there are no easy shots. Every element of golf will be test at Sawgrass!

Stats that Matter

The stats that the Wolf is going to be looking at for this week include:

– Strokes Gained: Approach to the Green
– Putting Birdie or Better Percentage
– Scrambling

The average winning score at the tournament tends to be around -10 to -15. Now played two months later (in May rather than March), posting a similar score may not be as easy. The greens are firmer which will make it even harder to get close to the pins.

Predictions

The Wolf is picking Jordan Spieth at $15.00 despite the fact that he has missed the cut here on several occasions. He is quoted as saying this course is one of the courses he likes playing on. He has two top 5’s in his last three starts and is well overdue for his first win of the season. He is currently 1st for scrambling, 41st for putting birdie or better percentage and 8th for strokes gained approaching the green.

With all of the big names in the field there is huge value on offer for someone like Justin Thomas at $17.00. Easily among the best players in the world at the moment, The Wolf thinks Justin Thomas is about to regain some of the spectacular form he showed last season. It is not like this season has been bad for Thomas either. He won the Honda Classic and then followed it up with two more top-5 finishes afterward. He has the accuracy, the distance, and the ability navigate difficult greens to be a real contender this week. He also ranks off the charts in all of the relevant statistical categories. We could have a new world number one come Sunday!

With his final selection this week, Wolfy is going with a throwback in the way of Phil Mickelson at $36.00. ‘Lefty’ has been spectacular this season, has already won a tournament and is recording top-5 finishes with regularity. A run of top-5 finishes was followed by a victory at WGC Mexico. He also finished 5th at the Wells Fargo Championship last week after a poor start. Paire with Tiger for the first two days, if Phil gets off to a good start look for him to be a genuine contender over the weekend.

Recommended Bets

Tournament Winner

Best: Jordan Spieth ($15.00)
Value: Justin Thomas ($17.00)
Roughie: Phil Mickelson ($36.00)

Tournament By Country

Top Aussie: Jason Day ($1.85)
Top USA: Jordan Spieth ($11.00)
Top European: Jon Rahm ($8.00)

72 Hole Match Bets

Rahm v Rose: Rose ($2.00)
Garcia v Stenson: Garcia ($2.04)
Woods v Matsuyama: Woods ($1.90)
Noren v Leishman: Leishman ($1.90)

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