The Players Championship, known as the unofficial fifth major of the PGA Tour, will be played this weekend from Ponte Vedra Beach in sunny Florida. We are back, as always, to preview the event in full and give our betting tips below!
It was a tough weekend in beting at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend. Our $60 value tip for the weekend, Keegan Bradley, looked on track to earn a top ten finish at least as he led the entire field after the second round. However, a fourth round +6 sent him all the way down to T46 as Italian Francesco Molinari came from no where on Sunday to win thr tournament with an -8 score for the day and a -12 for the tournament.
As it has done for every tournament since 1982, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass will host the Players Championship in 2019. The course plays as a 7,189 yard, par 72 which requires extremely accurate tee shots and iron play above everything else. In 2006, all of the tees, fairways and greens of the Pete Dye designed course were replaced with new drainage, irrigation and grass allowing for more control over the firmness of the sufaces in all conditions.
Strong tee to green players and strong green in regulation players in particular generally have the edge at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. No hole better exemplifies the tough nature of the approach shots than the Par 3 island 17th, one of the most famous holes in all of golf.
As you'd expect for a tournament nicknamed 'The Fifth Major', the field for The Players Championship this weekend is absolutely stacked. Every player in the current top 30 ranked golfers in the world will be making a start at TPS Sawgrass this weekend and 2018 winner Webb Simpson will be returning to defend his title.
Amongst the other big names is Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Brysan DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and last week's winner Francesco Molinari. But of course, all eyes will be on Tiger Woods this weekend, who will make his first start since the WGC-Mexico back in February and just his fourth start of the calendar year.
With such a pakced field, it will be tough to find a winner this weekend but because there is so many good players, there should be some good value floating around. He might be the favourite for the tournament at the moment, but it's incredibly hard to look past the form of Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman has been on an absolute tear since the start of the calendar year, and all that's missing from his season so far is a trophy. He has played in five tournaments this year and his results are as follows.
In five tournaments in 2019, Rory has finished in the top five in four of them and the top 10 in all of them. He could have easily picked up two or three trophies by this stage of the year and ranks highly in all the key stats we are looking for this weekend. He is the No.1 ranked players overall in shots gained off the tee, No.1 in shots gained from tee to green and No.27 in shots gained on approach to the green.
McIlroy missed the cut at The Players last season as he battled injury for the first half of the year, however, he has an impeccable record at TPC Sawgrass over his five previous appearances at The Players. T8, T6, T8, T12 and T35 from 2012 through 2017 respectively. Should be almost a lock for top 10 in his current form.
For value this weekend, we love the look of Gary Woodland, who has already racked up six top ten finishes through 10 PGA Tour tournaments this season. Two second place finishes at the CJ Cup and the Tournament of Champions has Woodland currently in fourth place on the Fed Ex Cup standings, one of just two players in the top 10 (Justin Thomas) without a win this season.
Woodland is one of the best tee to green players on tour this season. He ranks No.6 overall in shots gained off the tee, No.9 in shots gained on approach to the green and No.6 in shots gained from tee to green. He is 2nd overall in greens in regulation percentage and history shows that players who aren't strong in that category struggle to win at TPC Sawgrass.
Bonus Players Championship Tips
|Si Woo Kim||$67.00|
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