MARCH 10TH 2022 – SADDLERS07
So after the trials and tribulations of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in which Scotty Scheffler won we now move on to what some would call the pinnacle of golf and the (Fith major, according to most people) The Players Championship.
So this season it has been nothing but dull thus far, we’ve had no more than four tour maiden winners, we had the fairy tale of Tom Hoge winning the AT&T at Pebble Beach, we also had the charismatic Scotty Scheffler winning at the Pheonix Open, two other maiden winners were Luke list(The Farmers) and two weeks ago Straka at the Honda Classic so we are not short of drama, which brings us back to the Players.
last year was an emotional triumph by Justin Thomas, after losing his grandad Paul Thomas the month before he had to come from behind to win the Players by one shot to Lee Westwood.
COURSE TPC SAWGRASS (stadium course)
The players have been held at TPC Sawgrass since 1982 it’s a Pete Dye & Alice Dye masterpiece, they have created some amazing courses but this is the crown jewel of their designs, it’s a par 72 just over 7000 yards, The fairways are a celebration grass overseeded by champion fine ryegrass and the greens are TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded with poa trivialis/velvet bentgrass,.Alice and Pete created this course specifically for the players to create drama and knife-edge viewing.
There are some amazing holes to talk about and why not start with the 17th which is possibly the most famous hole on the PGA Tour and has been voted in the top ten best par 3 holes in the world alongside such holes as the 12th at Augusta and the 8th at Royal Troon (The Postage Stamp ) it’s an island green 132-yard shot which in the past has made or broken your round.
Not to be overshadowed by the centrepiece 17th the 12th has its own idea on putting you out your comfort zone but at the same time gives you the excitement of a possible two-shot swing, The redesign par 4th usually plays just over 300 -350 yards depending on the tee box, just under half the pros go for the green in one, they have to contend with water down the left-hand side which runs alongside the whole of the green and ait has a massive bunker alongside it that gives the players a chance to go for it, there are also three small bunkers on the right waiting to give you an awkward up and down.
THE 16TH HOLE
As you can see the par 5- 16th is easy on the eye but easy is not a word for this hole, it plays just over 500yards and is reachable in two, you have water to contend with on the right-hand side and if you don’t go in you will certainly have some rough to deal with which makes the second shot so much harder to control, on the left-hand side you have trees which if you go in your possibly chipping out and then it’s more like a par rather than an Eagle or Birdie hole, by the green you have one bunker on the right and four on the left, you must make sure you get the ball on the right level of the green due to it being two-tier, the green slopes back to the water so you need to keep it well away from the water or it might roll in.
2021 JUSTIN THOMAS -14 SGTTG 1ST – OTT 10TH -APR 5TH -GIR T17 -SCR 14TH – PUTT 42ND.
2019 RORY MCLLROY -16 SGTTG 1ST -OTT 2ND -APR 6TH -GIR T3 -SCR T40 -PUTT 45TH.
2018 WEBB SIMPSON -18 SGTTG 16TH – OTT 32ND – APR 62ND -GIR T5TH – SCR 24TH -PUTT 1ST
2017 SI WOO KIM -10 SGTTG 2ND – OTT 2ND – APR 17TH – GIRT37TH -SCR 1ST -PUTT 37TH.
2016 JASON DAY -15 SGTTG 3RD -OTT 28TH -APR 9TH -GIR T15TH – SCR 1ST – PUTT 8TH.
2015 RICKY FOWLER -12 SGTTG 5TH -OTT 26TH – APR 5TH – GIR T51 -SCR 10TH – PUTT 20TH.
2014 MARTIN KAYMER -13 SGTTG 2ND – OTT 9TH -APR 4TH -GIR 3RD -SCR 4TH -PUTT 19TH.
2013 TIGER WOODS -13 SGTTG 1ST – OTT 30TH -APR 2ND – GIR T3RD – SCR 6TH -PUTT 38TH.
2012 MATT KUCHAR -13 SGTTG 10TH -OTT 20TH -APR 12TH – GIR T3RD -SCR 21ST -PUTT 2ND.
2011 K J CHOI -13 SGTTG 28TH – OTT 45TH – APR 27TH – GIR 21ST – SCR 3RD – PUTT 2ND.
Looking back at the past winner its quite obvious that strokes gained off the tee and approach are important with possibly someone who has strong scrambling stats, looking back you can see some strong iron players have won the players with the likes of Tiger – Rory -Thomas – Day – and fowler, we are looking for the best birdie makers, and we need to identify those with good SG/approach numbers.
QUAIL HOLLOW (results)
HARBOUR TOWN (results)
EAST LAKE (results)
JUSTIN THOMAS 12/1- 3PTS EW 11 PLACES BOYLE SPORTS 1/5 ODDS
After a steady start to the season, last year’s winner is back to defend his title and will be coming down the stretch on the 18th with him winning back to back players. He has three top tens this year out of four starts with him finishing T20th on the other start, his stats for the Genesis where he finished 6th which was his last start read as SGTTG 9th -SGOTT 4th – SGAPR 47th – SGGIR T8th- SCR T12th- PUTT 14th, stats so far this year are SGTTG 4th – OTT 16th – APR 10th- GIR 14th – SCR 16th- PUTT 127th. as you can see from the stats Justin has been steady off the tee with good stats with the TTG, his irons are not the usual darts he throws but they are not a million miles away from being where he wants them to be, Justin is a solid bet and at 11 places its a licence to print money for me.
COLIN MORRIKAWA 12/1- 3PTS EW 11 PLACES WITH BOYLE SPORTS 1/5 ODDS
Colin has started the year with a bit of a mixed bag he has two top tens to his name he also T18 in Dubai and T62 at Abu Dhabi, but his recent start where he was T2 was so much better. His stats for the Genesis were SGTTG 6th SGOTT 7th SGAPR 26th SGGIR T8th SGSCR 1st SGPUTT 3rd, his course form is pretty average with him only T41 in 2021 which was his only start there. Colin has their wins in 2021 with one of them being the open championship, it won’t be long before he adds to that tally.
MATSUYAMA 25/1- 2PTS EW 11 PLACES BOYLE SPORTS 1/5 ODDS
Hideki has already tasted victory this year at the Sony he’s also posted a T8th at the Pheonix and two other top 30s. Last year’s Masters champion has shown that it wasn’t just a fluke and is trying to establish himself as a solid top ten player in the world, at the moment he’s 11th. Hideki has some course form to go on, he’s T7-T17-T22-T23at the stadium course, he’s also played well at some correlating courses such as East Lake and the Wyndham, Matsu has played some solid golf this year and with the stats pointing towards SGOTT and SGAPR Hideki must have a good chance of getting his first win in the players.
DANIEL BERGER 40/1- 1 PT EW -8 PLACES WITH PADDY POWER 1/5 ODDS
So I’m giving Daniel a reprieve after the Honda debacle, this man has talent in abundance, he made the Ryder Cup-winning team last year with his great form, so far this year he’s posted T5 at the Sentry- T20 Farmers – mc and 4th at the Honda, his missed cut at the Pheonix was by 3 shots, his numbers suggest he’s due a win with him 39th SGOTT -6th SGTTG gaining 1.639 strokes – 3rd APR -22nd GIR -1st SCR and 89th Putt, so let’s hope he used his time off to brush up on the putting, and if he can keep his nerve in the final round then he can get his first Players.
SI WOO KIM 80/1-0.5PTS EW 8 PLACES WITH PADDY POWER 1/5 ODDS
What can we say about the enigmatic person that is Si Woo that ain’t already been said after being the youngest golfer to win the players at the ripe old age of 21, his numbers this year are trending towards another win after winning the Wyndham last year, he’s posted T26 at the API – 73Rrd at Genesis- T26 phoenix- 11th Farmers- 11th Amex-T55 Sony and T23 at the Sentry, his course form is 1st in 2017 – T9 2021 – T56 in 2019 – T63- 2018 and T23 in 2016, he also has correlating form winning the Wyndham with a 2nd and 3rd, he also has a second at Harbour town. Si Woo is back at his old hunting ground where he feels most comfortable.
KEVIN KISNER 80/1- 0.5PTS EW – 11 PLACES BOYLE SPORTS 1/5 ODDS
Kevin has been on the tour for quite some time but the Players has eluded him, like others in the same boat he’s trying to get his first win at the Stadium Course, he’s placed better than most with the good course form he has and playing well at similar venues, he also comes into the players with the good recent form he mc the Arnold Palmer but after such a hard tournament he can be forgiven that, previously he T38 at the Pheonix -mc – T3rd at the sony and T8th at the Sentry, Kevin is a solid ew player at here.