The fifth major, the Players Championship, is here. While not officially considered a major championship, you will be hard pressed to find a player on tour that does not treat this event with the same respect as a US Open or British Open. It is the real deal and winning it comes with a level of prestige not normally associated with just another tour event. Many of the world’s best will be bedding down in the Ponte Vedra Beach Florida area for the annual rite of passage that is the Players Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass.
Dates: May 12-15 2016
Course: TPC Sawgrass
Stats: Par 72, 7,215 yards
Television Broadcast Coverage (Times):
Thursday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Friday: Golf Channel 1:00 – 7:00 PM EST
Saturday: Golf Channel 9:00 – 2:00 PM EST, NBC 2:00 -7:00 PM EST
Sunday: Golf Channel 9:00 – 2:00 PM EST, NBC 2:00 -7:00 PM EST
Purse: $10 million total purse, $1.8 million winner share
2016 Players Championship Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | TPC Sawgrass Holes To Watch
Hole No. 4 – Par 4, 384 Yards
The distance of the course is not the final determining factor for this monsters difficulty. If you take each hole on its own merit there are a few that will make the players cringe, either openly or whispering to their caddies. The fourth hole is a Par-4 that only plays 384 yards and is a hole that most professionals will choose an iron or fairway wood to tee off with. Not daunting then? It is not the length but rather the sloping mounds, lateral water hazard and fairway bunker that challenge the landing area that will create the trouble. If the players navigate that they will hit an approach to one of the hardest green on the Stadium Course with some of the most challenging pin placements the players will see all year. Birdie is possible here but it can quickly turn into bogey or worse.
Hole No. 5 – Par 4, 466 Yards
The fifth hole is another Par-4 but this time the players will cover 466 yards. Due to its length, this hole provides an ample landing area if players can avoid the fairway bunker down the right side. A mid-iron will be required on the approach to this narrow and rolling green. If the players can avoid the grass bunkers, waste areas, and palm trees, then they should be able to walk away with a very welcome par but birdie on the other hand will be no simple task.
Hole No. 17 – Par 3, 137 Yards
The island 17th is one of the most picturesque holes in the world. It is a 137 yard Par-3 with a wide green that will narrow to the right side. There is bunker on the right that can be a disaster or a savior depending on the shot. The green has two distinct tiers that can make for a challenging putt if players hit it onto the wrong level. A crowd favorite and a swing hole all rolled into one.
Hole No. 18 – Par 4, 466 Yards
Players will leave the 17th green and approach the 466 yard Par-4 finishing hole where a dogleg left awaits the field. Water challenges the players down the entirety of the left side of this incredible finishing hole. Accuracy is key for this tee shot and the approach to avoid the number of grass bunkers waiting to suck in a rogue shot. There are not many, if any, finishing holes on tour that boast the challenge and beauty of 18 at TPC Sawgrass.
2016 Players Championship Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | TPC Sawgrass Selections
Let’s take a look at three players that I would predict to be right in the hunt coming down the stretch on Sunday at the 2016 Players Championship. Two players will seem more logical than the other but I am adding a player that just might surprise, basically a sleeper for success at the 2016 Players Championship Predictions, Picks, Sleeper | TPC Sawgrass
|Matt Kuchar||He seems to be playing 2016 with an every other week is a good week method (even though it is not by design). Poor last start but going on the aforementioned he has three top-10s and a tie for 11th and is due another big one this week at a course he seems to like a lot. At the Stadium Course he won in 2012, finished 13th in 2010 and 14th in 2009, and 17th in 2014.|
|Rory McIlroy||A solid year is continuing for McIlroy with a top-3 at the Cadillac, a top-10 at the Masters, and a tied for fourth this past week at the Wells Fargo on the heels of a solid final round 66. IN his last three trips to the Players he has two ties for eighth and a tie for sixth. Expect him to step forward on a course he can handle and he might win the "Fifth Major" this week.|
|Jim Furyk||He has made the cut in 16 of his last 19 trips to the TPC Sawgrass. During that streak he has posted nine top-25s including a runner-up finish two years ago at the Players Championship. Second start off a seven month injury recovery and he is a resident of Ponte Vedra Beach Florida so the man has the home field advantage.|