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The Players Championship - Preview + Picks

It’s Players Championship week! The tours flagship event is here, and I am looking forward to breaking it down. Before I do that, lets start with the usual recap from last week. What a golf tournament it was at the API last week! In my opinion, that’s how all golf tournaments should be structured. Its so enjoyable watching the players have to struggle a bit and really have to hit great shots to win. The man that did win was Scottie Scheffler. After never winning in his career, he has now won twice in his last three starts. Thankfully I did place a live bet on Scottie Sunday morning at +500. That helped make up for what was a not-so-great tournament for me. I am disappointed in Viktor Hovland’s Sunday performance. I really thought he was going to win, but the chipping and putting is still really holding him back. The worst beat of the weekend was Adam Scott top 20. He missed it by one stroke. I went back to his score card to see what happened. This idiot bogeyed 17 and doubled 18. That was incredibly frustrating. But now its time to move forward to what should be an awesome week with the Players Championship


The Players Championship

Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Course: TPC Sawgrass

Par: 72 – 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s, 4 par 5s

Length: 7256 yards

Greens: Bermudagrass over seeded with Poa/Bent

Average Green Size: 5500 sq. feet.

Field Size: 144 players – Top 65 players to make cut after 36 holes.

Purse: $20 Million – Winner $3.6M

The Course:


TPC Sawgrass is an iconic track. If you are at all interested in watching golf, then you are likely very familiar with this golf course. Pete Dye is the original designer of this place. Dye is famous for making world class golf courses. Fun fact I learned: the land that now holds this golf course was once a swamp that was purchased for just $1 in the 1970’s. Pretty impressive they were able to turn that into one of the most recognizable courses in golf.


TPC Sawgrass is a course that challenges every part of the golf game and allows players to win with different styles. It’s a traditional par 72 golf course. The par 3’s are much shorter than last week. Only one measuring in at over 200 yards. The par 4’s are pretty standard. There is a drivable par 4 on #12. Other than that, players will opt to hit less than driver off the tee to set them up for better approach shots. Players need to be patient and grind out some pars on these holes. The 4 par 5’s are getable. Like last week, par 5 scoring will be crucial for success. The rough here is nothing like what we saw last week. It should only be about 2.5 inches compared to the 4 inches last week. So, hitting it in the rough is less penal, but you still want to be accurate off the tee so you aren’t out of position and can take the optimal line into the green. There is water on 17 out of the 18 holes, so obviously that will be a major factor. There are also many huge bunkers throughout the course that players will need to avoid off the tee and be prepared to make good shot out of around the green. Sawgrass will test players short game and scrambling as there are many false fronts and run off areas. So, as you can see this really is a true test of the complete golf game.

Weather:


The weather for this week has been highly talked about. This is Florida, so weather seems to change rapidly and is harder to predict. However, at the current moment it is not looking great. They are calling for thunderstorms on both Thursday and Friday along with a good amount of rain. Then on Saturday the temperature is supposed to drop nearly 20 degrees and pick up around 25 MPH of wind. Sunday looks like it could be the best weather day out of them all. You will definitely want to take the weather into consideration this week.

Field:


This is the best field for a tournament we have had all year and is the best non-major field of the year by a long shot. Like I said earlier, this is the PGA Tour’s flagship event and one that many would consider to be the “fifth major.” All top 100 players in the world will be in the field apart from Tiger, Phil, Stricker and Harris English. Loaded field events like this are awesome to watch because of the star power but they are equally as good to bet because of the value you can get on players.


Purse:


The reason all those top guys are playing certainly has to do with the money getting tossed around at this event. It is the highest purse event of the year with $20 million dollars getting divvied up. Every player in the top 3 is clearing over a million with $3.6 million going to the winner. The top 36 guys are making six figures. You make $43k for coming in dead last. So, it’s pretty easy to see why everyone clears their schedules to attend this event.


Previous Winners – Odds Included

2021: Justin Thomas (-14) – 20/1

2020: *Canceled*

2019: Rory McIlroy (-16) – 14/1

2018: Webb Simpson (-18) – 100/1

2017: Si Woo Kim (-10) – 500/1

2016: Jason Day (-15) – 12/1

Outrights:


My favorite part of golf betting is building the card. Usually, I’ll start at the top and maybe grab a guy there. Then work my way down until I am at the long shots and have a full card filled out. This week I am doing something a little different. TPC Sawgrass and the Players Championship often is won by a top player. I think it takes a lot to come down the stretch and hit quality tee balls on #17 and #18 to close this thing out. So, I want studs and studs only this week. If a 100/1 long shot beats me, then so be it. We are due for a week when one of the top favorites win as well.


Justin Thomas +1500

Collin Morikawa +1600

Patrick Cantlay +2100


These are my guys for the week! I am excited to be backing some of the top players in the world. It’s are much shorter card, but I am opting for quality over quantity this week. All three of these guys have the skills to go out and win any given tournament. I feel confident about their ability to close this tournament out. I feel good about my chances of having one if not all my guys in contention come Sunday.


**Zalatoris +5000**

I said it in my last blog. Zalatoris is due to win soon. The guy hits it too good. This is the Zal Tax. I cannot stop betting it because if he wins without me on the betting on him, I will not be able to get over it. I am playing it small but just need it on the card.


Top 20:


Matthew Fitzpatrick +175

This one is just a no brainer. Fitz was as calm and steady as they came last week. If they played a 5th day, I’m fairly confident he would have won to be honest. They are calling for bad weather again, and Fitz thrives in it.


Shane Lowry +200

Sugar Shane Lowry is another player that thrives in adverse conditions. His last time out he finished second and has finished top 20 in every event he has played this year outside of 1. He also finished 8th in this event last year. I think Lowry is the perfect top 20 play.


Alex Noren +350

Noren is my long shot top 20 this week. Noren has had a decent season this year with a 6th and 5th place finish on the year. He has also come top 20 at the Players in 2 of his 4 times playing there. Noren currently hasn’t qualified for any of the majors and has to be highly motivated for a huge week so he secures his spot.


Full Tournament H2H Matchups:


Cantlay > Hovland -110

Matsuyama > Im -105

Oosti > Conners +105

Woodland > Homa -110


Thats the card for this week! Thanks as always for reading. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or anything like that. Smokin' Greens will be live on Twitter at 8:00 PM tonight. Follow along on twitter.


Twitter: @Bminus3 @Smokin_Greens

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