Where: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (TPC Sawgrass)
When: Thursday 12th May (9:15pm first tee)
Last week the Wells Fargo Championship was won by James Hahn. This result probably shocked Hahn himself considering he missed his previous eight cuts. He had some big name players hot on his tail including Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ricky Fowler and Justin Rose.
This week the PGA tour moves into Florida for one of everyone’s favourite tournaments The PLAYERS Championship. With 600 FedEx cup points going to the winner and a purse of $10,500,000 its not only guaranteed to attract the best players but also their extra focus. There is another reason why this tournament is known as the “fifth major”. Not only is there cash and points up for grabs the winner will receive a Five-year exemption on the PGA tour. An invitation to the Masters for three years plus a U.S Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship exemption.
TPC Sawgrass is probably the second most well-known course after Augusta National. The Island green (17th hole) has been on sports news highlight reels for years. Last year Ricky Fowler had one of the most memorable Sundays ever finishing birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie and then won the playoff against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner. This course rewards driving accuracy, hitting plenty of greens and basically all-around solid golf (very few mistakes). Not really a course that sets up for Bubba Watson or Dustin Johnson who feel the need to overpower the course with driver.
With all that in mind here are my selections for the 2016 PLAYERS Championship.
The defending champ has everything going for him. To begin with his all-around ranking is 1st. He is accurate off the tee hitting 62.18% of fairways. He ranks 7th in GIR at 75.17% and when he does miss the green he gets up and down 64.85% of the time. Fowler has played 12 events for 6 Top 10’s so at $2.80 for a Top 10 finish he is slightly overs. He will have nothing but good energy from last year’s win and he comes into this tournament with great form.
Tip: Ricky Fowler to win outright - $19 at crownbet
+ Fowler to finish Top 10 - $2.80 at crownbet
Stenson missed the cut last week which might explain his juicy odds but on paper he really stacks up. He is ranked 7th in all-around stats including 11th in driving accuracy at 69.71% and 9th in GIR at 75.00%. He has had good showings here with a T5 in 2013 and a T17 last year. Stenson ticks all the boxes for TPC Sawgrass.
Tip: Henrick Stenson to win outright - $34 at CrownBet
+Stenson to finish Top 10 - $4.00 at crownbet
His last few events have not been his best efforts but he was playing some great golf at the start of the year and he will be determined to get back to his best. His game suits TPC Sawgrass. Kisner is ranked 12th in driving accuracy at 69.44% and hits enough greens at 67.75% his all-around ranking is higher than Stenson’s at 5th. He finished 2nd here last year in a playoff and he can go one better this year.
Tip: Kevin Kisner to win outright - $67 at CrownBet
+ Kisner to finish Top 20 - $3.80 at crownbet
I love this pick. The little Scotsman lives just up the road from TPC Sawgrass and has been known to spend plenty of time there (on the ping pong tables) and range. He is very accurate off the tee hitting 69.14% of fairways and ranks 3rd in GIR at 72.10%. He also scrambles very well at 64.60%. Knox is having a great season ranked 4th in FedEx cup standings with over $2,800,000 in the bank. He finished T17th here last year and looks like plenty of value.
Tip: Russell Knox to win outright - $81 at crownbet
+Knox to finish Top 20 - $4.50 at crownbet
I have also taken a look at some 1st round leader markets. Below are three players that suit this course have an early tee time Thursday and can be fast starters.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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