A top class field will contest the Players Championship at Sawgrass from the 11th to the 14th of May.
Sawgrass is a testing par 72 layout that has some tough challengers for the players. Strong ball-strikers have tended to rise to the top over the years although the design of the course is such that almost every style of player has an opportunity to contend here. Wayward shots are generally punished and the wind can also play a factor. It is the sort of course which can beat a player down one year only for him to contend the next and while not on the face of it easy to find a winner the class players tend to rise to the top.
Dustin Johnson showed last week that he never lost too much of an edge with his back injury and he tops the boards at 7/1 but he has poor course form and I am looking for bigger prices this week.
2016 – Jason Day -15
2015 – Rickie Fowler -12 *
2014 – Martin Kaymer -13
2013 – Tiger Woods -13
2012 – Matt Kuchar -13
Dustin Johnson 7/1
30/1 and better the balance, prices correct at the time of posting but will fluctuate
Justin Thomas each way at 30/1
I am at risk of having too much faith in Thomas but after delivering successive wins for us at the start of the year I am happy to give him another go. He has begun to show signs of returning to his best and finished in the top 3 last year in his 2nd appearance at The Players.
Branden Grace each way at 80/1
The South African is double the price at what I backed him at last year and that is of course because he hasn’t been in the same kind of form. He showed some form here in 2015 with a fast start before fading and that at least shows that he can take to Sawgrass.
Patrick Reed each way at 70/1
Reed scrambled well last week but his driving was a bit too wayward and he finished 12th in the Wells Fargo. It was a welcome return to form though and while he doesn’t have a great record here he was 24th here in 2015 between a pair of missed cuts.
Tyrrell Hatton each way at 80/1
Hatton has cooled a bit of late but I am happy to back him at the price. I expect him to be course suited and while winning here on debut is a big ask he has had an excellent year and is one I have pencilled into my notebook.
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