THE Players Championship is commonly regarded as the fifth Major and for the past 36 years has been played at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde, Florida.
The fairways are narrow, like Hollow Quail last week, and greens are smaller than the Tour average. There were some changes in 2016 which meant water came into play a lot more than before.
The 415 acres of wooded wetlands were bought for $1 by then commissioner Deane Beman. No two holes play in the same direction and you have right and left doglegs
And of course there is the iconic 17th hole, a nerve-wracking 137 yards over water to a green connected by a narrow pathway.
- Course: The Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, 7189 yards, par 72.
For me one man stands out this week and that is Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. A former winner here (2009) and third in the tournament’s all-time earnings, the Stadium Course seems to fit his game.
This season he has five top 10-finishes and it’s a surprise he hasn’t won. When you look at his stats everything looks good for here and another win.
Like most of the top guys he cherry picks his tournaments and as a former winner and the form shown in the past he looks a solid pick.
- Scrambling: 67.68% (4th). Driving Accuracy 76.80% (1st). Greens in Regulation: 72.22 (1st).
With a fourth place and three missed cuts you would think Spieth doesn’t look a great bet. Also he isn’t in the greatest of form with only four top-10 finishes this year but when you look at his stats he is way up there in most categories.
His putter is lukewarm at the moment and although he is 108th in driving accuracy (60.36%) it is manageable. We all know what Jordan is like when he gets in the groove, he is unstoppable. If he can drop some putts and get on a roll there is no reason why he can’t win.
- Scrambling: 70.12% (1st). Driving Accuracy: 60.36% (108th). Greens in Regulation: 71.53rd (3rd).
I have been a long-time admirer of Grillo and think there is a lot more to come from the Argentine. Two appearances here have seen mixed results with a missed cut on his first visit followed last year by an 11th place.
A T9 last week was a steady showing and that could hold him in good stead this week. He is another whose stats all stack up for here, in fact when you look at his stats for last week at Quail Hollow both DA and GIR were in the 70s which is a good pointer.
- Scrambling: 62.01% (49th). Driving Accuracy: 69.23% (14th). Greens in Regulation: 70.19% (12th).
Since the turn of the year DeChambeau has risen more than 50 points to get into the top 50 of the world rankings and is showing some great form. Three top fives in his last four outings is top scoring by the Californian who is heading to the top.
I saw him in the Walker Cup in 2015 and thought then he was going to be some player. Always recognisable on the course with his Ben Hogan-style cap he is known for having all his irons the same length.
Won his first PGA Tour event in 2017 (John Deere Classic) one year after turning pro. Although he's never played Sawgrass he did finish fourth at Harbour Town in 2015 which is another Peter Dye-designed course.
- Scrambling: 58.62%. Driving Accuracy: 62.27%. (78th) Greens in Regulation: 69.15% (27th).