It is time for The Players. This is the tournament that many Tour Professionals consider “The 5th Major.” It is played at the world famous Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Sawgrass is a 7,215 yard Par 72. It is a Pete Dye design that calls for Accuracy, hitting greens, and rolling in putts. It is a course that sets up well for a course management style of player, rather than a bomber. Golfers have to be extremely accurate with their shots this week, and this will not guarantee they stay out of trouble. Accuracy this week will be what I am looking for this week when choosing matchups. When choosing golfers to win the tournament, you need to look at golfers that can handle the pressure late in the tournament. The last 3 holes are among the toughest finish in golf. The famous “Island Green” on 17 always sets up for great drama on Sunday. Let’s take a look at some suggestions for the week.
2016 PLAYERS Champ
Dates May 12-15, 2016
Location Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, United States
Courses THE PLAYERS Stadium Course
The Players Championship Free Picks:
Luke Donald -110 vs. Justin Thomas
Donald’s game sets up well for this course, and he is coming into this event playing very well. Justin Thomas played well here last year, but I do not believe his game sets up particularly great for Sawgrass. He also has been inconsistent recently. I am willing to take Donald at this price.
Russell Henley +100 vs. Gary Woodland
Henley’s game sets up well here, and he has a nice course history at TPC Sawgrass. Woodland has a Top 15 here in 2014, but has missed the other 3 events at Sawgrass. I do not believe his game sets up well for this course, but he is playing well this season. As long as Henley is at plus money, I’d be willing to take a shot on him.
Ryan Moore +105 vs. Charles Howell III
Ryan Moore’s game sets up well for this course. He has some solid finishes previously at this course, but has missed the cut in his last 2 events this season but was playing well prior to that. Howell III is coming off of a missed cut and has very poor course history here. I am willing to take the chance at plus money of going against the solid CH3 this week based on the matchup.
Sergio Garcia -120 vs. Dustin Johnson
Sergio is an extremely accurate ball striker who has finished 2nd, 3rd, and 8th in his last 3 events. Dustin Johnson is a great golfer who is a bomber and has not fared well at Sawgrass. I will take accuracy and course history here.
John Senden -115 vs. Ian Poulter
Senden is known for his accuracy and ball striking ability. His form has also been solid of late. At this event he finished 8th last year and has made the cut his last 3 years. Poulter has had stretches this season where he has played well, but that has not been lately. He does have experience at Sawgrass, but given his current form I am willing to take Senden at this price.
Kevin Na -130 vs. Daniel Berger (Grabbed Na at -115 at post; not sure I would take his this price)
K.J. Choi -115 vs. Webb Simpson
Danny Willett +100 vs. Phil Mickelson ( very intriguing, but Willett hasn’t played an event since Masters)
Zach Johnson 50-1
Henrik Stenson 30-1
Russell Knox 80-1
Branden Grace 40-1
Patrick Reed 45-1
Enjoy the tournament. It is a great event!