The world’s top golfers will head to TPC Sawgrass this week for the 2017 staging of the Players Championship. A cool $10.5 million is at stake for the elite field with the champion grabbing not only 600 FedExCup points but also the $1.89 million top prize. Read on below for an in-depth breakdown of this prestigious event and while you’re at it, you can check out our sleeper picks for golf’s unofficial fifth major.
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2017 The Players Championship Preview
Where: TPC Sawgrass – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
When: May 11-14
TV Broadcast: Golf Channel/NBC
It isn’t a complete surprise to see Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy installed as favorites to win this week’s Players Championship. Johnson and McIlroy are the two highest-ranked players in the field and they’re both playing some outstanding golf of late.
DJ has been on fire to start the year, posting top-six finishes in seven of his first eight starts. He showed no ill effects of the back injury he suffered at Augusta, nabbing a runner-up finish at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. McIlroy, on the other hand, has finished in the top-7 in three of his last four PGA Tour starts. The four-time major champion has done everything at Sawgrass but win, finishing eighth, sixth, eighth and 12th in the last four years.
With the form that they are both in right now and their experience with this particular course, expect Johnson and McIlroy to contend once again for the title this week.
High-Value Sleepers – David Hearn and Kevin Chappell (+5,000)
One golfer who loves playing here at TPC Sawgrass is David Hearn. The Canuck is 5-for-5 with a T6 in 2014. He finished tied for 28th in this event last year, scoring a three-under-par total of 285. Hearn has been playing some solid golf of late as well, nabbing top-22 finishes in three of his last seven starts.
Another golfer who’s primed for a huge performance this week is Kevin Chappell. He came oh so close to winning this tournament last year, finishing four strokes shy of eventual champion Jason Day. Chappell’s playing some inspired golf at the moment, posting top-7s in two of his last three Tour starts, including a stunning victory at last month’s Texas Open.
Long Shot – Freddie Jacobson
One long shot who can definitely spring a surprise this week is Freddie Jacobson. The Swedish star has survived the cut in eight of his last nine tries at TPC Sawgrass. Jacobson’s overall record in 13 showings includes a T10 in 2010, which is the only year the 42-year-old has beaten par in a final round.
Rory McIlroy (+1,000) wins the Players Championship for the first time in his illustrious career.
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