The Players Championship isn’t officially a major, but you wouldn’t know it by all of the coverage and hoopla. With a $10 million purse and 600 FedEx Cup points on the line, there’s a reason it’s known as the fifth major. In a season full of unexpected winners, this weekend could easily bring another unknown into the limelight. A good showing(and a better FedEx Cup position)is also going to be vital if many of the pros want to make it to the Tour Championship.
What: The Players Championship
When: Thursday May 8 – Sunday May 11
Where: The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Verde Beach, Florida
Winning Share: $1,800,000
FedExCup Winner’s Points: 600 – the largest of any non major!
Course Designer: Peter Dye
Last Year’s Champion: Tiger Woods
Watch It Online: http://www.pgatour.com
Featured Holes: http://pgatour.cbssports.com/live/?channel=featuredholes
Featured Group: http://pgatour.cbssports.com/live/?channel=featuredgroup
Live Leaderboard: http://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/leaderboard.html
TV Schedule (Initial Airings)
Thursday: Golf Channel 1-7p.m., 9p.m.-12 a.m. ET
Friday: Golf Channel 1-7p.m., 9p.m.-12a.m. ET
Saturday: Golf Channel 12-6 p.m. ET, CBS 2-7 p.m. ET
Sunday: Golf Channel 12-6 p.m. ET, CBS 2-7 p.m. ET
Radio Schedule (PGA Tour Network on Sirius 208XM 93)
Thursday-Sunday 12-7 p.m.
This season has been FULL of surprises so honestly it’s anyone’s guess who will win come Sunday. Personally, Scratch here would love to see another rookie take their first tournament; there’s been quite a few so far this year! A few things to watch:
- Sergio Garcia – He’s returning to the site of his final-round 78 meltdown last year and it’ll be interesting to see if any ghosts still haunt him on the famous 17th hole island.
- Bubba Watson – This is his first competition since winning the Masters nearly a month ago. He’ll have to mix his well-known long-hitting game with the precision we saw at Augusta to win TPC Sawgrass.
- Rory McIlroy – He’s currently the bookmakers top bet for winning and he has been doing better recently after his abysmal performance last year. However, Scratch here hasn’t seen anything yet to indicate that the young Irishman has anything like his previous game.
- The 17th Hole – The most dramatic looking hole at TPC Sawgrass has certainly produced upsets in the past. Here’s a fun fact: Last year, 44 balls ended up in the drink at this picturesque hole.
- The Over 30’s – I’m not talking about age here. I’m talking about those well-known pros who are currently lower than 30th place in the FedEx Cup Rankings. There’s just over a month to go until the U.S. Open and time is running out to gain the points necessary to qualify for the Tour Championship. Here’s a few players (and their current FedEx Cup rankings) who’ll need to make it into the top 30 if they want to see the Tour Championship: Hunter Mahan (55),Phil Mickelson (83),Steve Stricker (166),Luke Donald (37),Rory McIlroy (38),Rickie Fowler (42),Graeme McDowell (43),Sergio Garcia (44),Justin Rose (50),Adam Scott (57),Jason Dufner (77),Ernie Els (91),Lee Westwood (95),Brandt Snedeker (105).
The Rock Bottom crew is banking a surprise winner. Don’t believe me? Did you remember who J.B. Holmes was until last Sunday?